Many h4x0rs backup their DVD titles (whether all their DVD titles are in the Public Domain, or they are exercising their fair use rights under the DRMA to have a backup of a DVD title they bought) onto a HD. There are many ways to accomplish this (which I'm not going into), and the 2 main ways to do it (without loosing data or quality) are either by extracting the VIDEO_TS directory, or by making a disk image of the DVD (a dvdr/cdr master, which is necessarily UDF (uses a Universal Disk Format, or udf, filesystem)), which I believe can also have any one of these file extensions: .bin, .dmg, .img, .iso, .nrg, .mdf, .toast, etc.
For the purposes of Front Row and this hack (convoluted as it may be... ok, its mostly just a workaround), the better of the two ways becomes using disk images (even though, yes... disk images use a tiny bit more space on the HD than a VIDEO_TS folder alone)
You may have noticed that Front Row will only play actual DVDs inserted in the optical drive and that there's a smattering of complaints about this around if you google. The only reason you would care is if you wanted to use the Apple Remote with the DVD Player.app to watch a (backup) DVD image instead of off of a DVD (as DVD Player.app by default, alone, without the Front Row front end, doesn't seem to be controllable with the Apple Remote, excluding third-party software (which I'm not aware of)). The complaints out there, if you look closely, are that, though DVD Player.app will play VIDEO_TS folders (either by holding down the command key in the Finder, and dragging and dropping the VIDEO_TS folder onto the icon for DVD Player.app, or from the File menu), there's no way to open a VIDEO_TS folder using Front Row — unless its on a mounted DVD, that is — and this 'hack' doesn't actually address that directly, but the ends are pretty much the same).
So... Apple's disk image mounter utility,
By default, many of the different types of disk images automatically mount when you double click them... because, just like any other document, they happened to be 'tied' to an application... that application being DiskImageMounter.app (in the Finder, select a disk image and type command-i, and notice the application under ">Open with:")
Roxio's Toast Titanium can also mount disk images... but it does it a little differently (apparently!)
Included with Toast Titanium is a little Universal executable
When you use this to mount an image, when the image is a dvdr master (UDF), the icon in the Finder is TOTALLY different (you may have noticed this... DiskImageMounter.app mounts disk images using a default icon that is very similar to the default firewire drive icon, but its all white without the firewire logo, but Toast mounts UDF images in the Finder with what looks like the DVD icon (you know, the original Sony DVD Optical Disc icon that we all know and love).
The same disk image (in this case, an .iso) mounted 2 different ways (simultaneously).
When you mount your UDF dvdr master, (whether .bin, .dmg, .img, .iso, .nrg, .mdf, .toast, etc) using ToastImageMounter,
Front Row DVD sees it as if its a DVD in your optical drive!
[if anyone really knows what the differences are between how DiskImageMounter.app and ToastImageMounter mount images, spill it... esp. if there's a way to do what ToastImageMounter does without ToastImageMounter -- or if anyone is aware of other executables or apps or command line mounting tricks to achieve the same, i.e. mounting a disk image in the Finder such that Front Row will see it as a DVD, stop holding back already and let us know]
In the Toast installer, I think, there's a way to install ToastImageMounter as a function of right-click... but I thought that was lame. I'm not sure if ToastImageMounter is part of an actual .app (other than Toast.app and Popcorn.app) that simply mounts disks in the Finder like DiskImageMounter.app does... meaning... ToastImageMounter is an executable, not a bundle like a .app... so if you copy ToastImageMounter from Toast Titanium.app/Contents/MacOS/ToastImageMounter to somewhere else... it doesn't really work in the Finder like a normal app.
You can set any/all disk images to open automatically with Toast (or Popcorn, which also includes ToastImageMounter), but it doesn't mount the disk automatically then go away.
But, as has been mentioned elsewhere (but is undocumented afaik), ToastImageMounter can be called from the command line.
How I did it:
is in your path (already was on my machine... to find out how to add commands to your path, google til your ears bleed),
$ sudo cp Toast Titanium.app/Contents/MacOS/ToastImageMounter /usr/local/bin/tmount
basically... I copied ToastImageMounter to /usr/local/bin and renamed it "tmount" (because ToastImageMounter is too long, and "tim" is taken... and I didn't feel like soft-linking, or aliasing/editing a file, though I likely will do one or the other eventually)
checked to make sure it was seeing it in my path:
$ which tmount
when I type tmount at the command line now:
ToastImageImounter imageFileName [-readonly] [-hybrid] [-shadow] [-nomount] [-imagekey
ToastImageImounter imageFileName [options]
[I can't find a man page online or in Roxio's docs... so if you know about it, spill it]
and when I type:
$ tmount ~/Movies/Example/Movie.iso
my disk image mounts in the Finder with the DVD disc icon, and when I activate Front Row, the DVD Player.app sees it, and (wait for it...) the friggen' Apple Remote will work with the DVD Player.app just the way you expect it.
I see there is now a new Front Row Update 1.2.2, which requires a restart. Maybe Apple fixed Front Row so it can open VIDEO_TS folders now? or Maybe they fixed DVD Player.app (also) so that it works with the Apple Remote without Front Row? or Maybe all they did was break this hackaround? To find out, tune in post-update! Same fritter time!! Same fritter channel!!