Remote Control iTunes on PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ericinboston, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #1
    Hi all. I have plugged a Windows XP notebook into my home stereo, installed iTunes on it, and have it streaming music from my other Windows XP box upstairs.

    Everything works perfectly.

    What I'd like is a suggestion on a make/model remote control (you know, like the tv remote you use every day) that will allow me to do simple operations in iTunes like Next Song, Back, etc.

    I have the Apple Mac Mini remote control but it, by default, will not talk to my Windows hardware because there is no Infrared Port (as far as I know).

    Soooo...any suggestions? It's not the easiest thing to google...I would assume I could find a Remote Control package that includes the Remote, an Infrared Receiver (that plugs in via USB), and some baseline software for under $30 somewhere.

    It needs to be a USB port because I do not have an RS232 jack on my laptop (Dell Mini9).

    On a side note, I have to say, this setup I created is THE BEST way to stream iTunes music down to my stereo...I have tried numerous products for the past 10 years ranging from Tivo to Logitech's Squeezebox2 and nothing compares to simply 2 computers sharing iTunes. I got the Dell Mini9 for $302 to my door!!!

    Thanks so much in advance for the tips.

    -Eric
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #2
    This is way over your budget but have you thought about a ipod touch with the remote app? Maybe you can find a used or refurbished one. You can eliminate main laptop that is streaming and have the one next to the stereo play your music. If you don't have enough room you can get a external drive to hold the music.

    If not then try newegg

    http://www.newegg.com/

    I did a search and found a few remotes under $30 but have no experience with them.

    Found this one, no idea if it works with itunes.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815144019
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #3

    Hi. Well, I looked into the iTouch awhile ago and although I don't remember all the details, I ruled it out for some reason. Maybe it was overkill and overpriced for what I wanted (comparing to a $275 laptop that is more than just a music player). I also think the iTouch needs to physically be plugged into my stereo so I would still need a physical remote control.

    Maybe I am wrong...do you have a suggestion of exactly how to use the iTouch to accomplish what I am doing?

    -Eric
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Houston,TX
    #4
    There is a app called REMOTE, if your Touch or iPhone is on the same wifi network as your computer running iTunes, the Touch or iPhone can control iTunes (volume, next track, playlist, etc...). The music would be played from the computer, not from the touch/iPhone. Kind of defeats the purpose of it being a remote if it had to be tethered.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Rural America
    #5
    Basically, the iPod touch (or iPhone, for this matter) has a free application you can download onto it from the AppStore called "Remote", which Apple created. The program uses the wi-fi connection in your home to connect to an iTunes library on your computer, allowing you to wirelessly control your music from anywhere in your house.

    It's actually a very slick application. So the question would be, (a) how badly would you like an iPod touch, and (b) how badly do you want a great wireless remote?

    I'm sure there's other options out there, but I'm just saying that using the iPod touch will be the easiest and most elegant way of doing what you're asking.

    Read more about Remote here [iTunes link].
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #6


    I get all this...thanks for the info...I looked at your suggested iTouch setup before but the problem is that my computer is upstairs in 1 room (actually my recording studio)...so that desktop is not physically moving anywhere...nor will I run a 100' audio cable from it to my stereo system downstairs. :)

    So, the available options for me to play/stream my iTunes music on my downstairs stereo are:

    1)Move the computer downstairs...not going to happen
    2)Attach *something* to my downstairs stereo that will stream the music

    Option 2 is really my only option. So, if I were to attach an iTouch (I would LOVE to get an iTouch for numerous reasons) to my downstairs stereo (using the headphone out jack or buying some type of cradle) then I still have no physical remote control to control the iTouch from my couch. Or, I can hook up a computer to my downstairs stereo with it's own copy of iTunes and let the 2 computers talk to each other...but I would like a physical remote control for the computer.

    I bought a nice, cheap, laptop that works nicely on the downstairs stereo, streaming iTunes...I'd just like a physical remote to control it.

    -Eric
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Houston,TX
    #7
    eric, you already have the streaming to your stereo set up correct? There is no need for the Touch to ever be connected. The Touch IS the remote. As long as it's on the same wifi network as the computer that is running iTunes, it can control the iTunes library. No need for a cradle or patch cable, the music is not being played from the Touch itself, it is still being played from iTunes on the computer. I'm not so sure you've been following us on that.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    fohawk17

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #8
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
  10. macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #10
    Pretty much, you'd have your Mini9 connected to the stereo system downstairs, and then your main PC streaming the music to the Mini9. Your iPod Touch isn't plugged into ANYTHING. It has an app on it called Remote. It functions JUST like a remote for your iTunes. It can pause, play, skip, rewind tracks. and it can control the volume.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #11

    Hi Dino...thanks for the reply. I have 2 questions:

    1)How is the iTouch talking to that laptop? Via the laptop's Bluetooth?...or wireless card?....or an internal IR port? Is there any installation at all on the laptop?

    2)This video shows it working with 1 iTunes...I need it to specifically work with the iTunes installation on the Mini...not on my desktop. For example, I can have my Mini streaming Madonna from my desktop...but I can, at the same time, walk up to my desktop and start playing Led Zep (so both computers are simultaneously playing 2 different songs). I want the iTouch to control the iTunes (which is in turn streaming from the desktop installation of iTunes) that is installed on the Mini...so I want it to, for example, go to the next Madonna track...NOT the next Led Zep track.

    Make sense?

    Thanks again!
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #12
    Hi...right...I understand...but you're giving me the 1000 foot view which I fully already understand. :) If you know more details, please share.

    Thanks.

    -Eric
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #13
    Hi...right...that is exactly what I am looking for...pain in the butt to find on the net (not just that make/model). Street price is about $60 which is pretty high for that thing. I might as well buy a used/refurb iTouch.

    Right now I am loving my setup. The remote control is almost becoming a moot point but I would still love to have one.

    :)

    -Eric
     
  14. macrumors 68030

    kbmb

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #14
    The iPod Touch (or iPhone) using Apple's Remote App is simply talking over your wireless network.

    Basically you have each computer on your network, they can be hard wired or wireless. Assuming you have a wireless network setup, you'd add you iPod Touch to that network. Now your Touch is on the same network as your other systems.

    In each iTunes on each computer, you need to make sure under the Preferences under Devices, you have Look for iPod and iPhone remotes.

    Once you launch the App on the iPod, it will scan the network and ask to choose a library. The first time you do this for each library, it will pop up the 4 digit code on the iPod. You then go to that iTunes and click on the Remote in the sidebar, enter the code, and viola, the iPod is now able to control that instance of iTunes.

    Think of the iPod as just showing you the same info you see in iTunes.

    So, if you choose a Madonna album on the iPod, and select the first song, iTunes will play that song. When it gets to the end, iTunes will go to the next song....the iPod isn't doing anything other than acting as a remote. However, the iPod will update as iTunes changes songs.

    It's very cool.

    -Kevin
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    kbmb

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #15
    Also, from the iPod, after you've authenticated to each iTunes library, you can (from the iPod) switch to control each library at any time.

    -Kevin
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    kbmb

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH

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