how to control iTunes' volume with Apple Remote?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by b&g, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. b&g macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    hi- I've tried googling this and checking out some other threads about this that had been started, but there doesn't seem to be an answer I can find:

    How do you control iTunes' volume with the Remote control (very difficult to google this, since it seems to think I mean the Remote app- they should have named them different things, perhaps)? I just got the Airport Express/Airplay and I'm blown away by how great it is... the sound quality is a vast improvement over using the headphone jack as output.

    But now my Remote is ~50% more useless than before- that is, unless I figure out how to control the volume! :( Seems like a pretty obvious thing to be able to do... is Apple really going to force me to buy some app to do this? I haven't been able to even figure out what apps would do this or not- seems like their websites can't even bother to have a list of what their products do...?

  2. MaxMike macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2009
    The Apple Remote (Aluminum or White) is IR. This means that the remote must be in line-of-sight with the Mac. This is like with TV remotes where you need to point at the TV. Thus, the remote will not work in a different room of your house than where the Mac is.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    No, the remote app by apple is free just search "remote" in the itunes store or click here

    the sound quality coming out should be no different than the sound coming out of the headphone jack, the only difference is you don't get sounds from other programs. so no mail alert in the middle of a song.

    and while what you say is true maxmike, it's not what he's asking. the default for the IR remote is to control the system volume. so it has no control over speakers connected via airtunes if you're in the room or not.

    If you want to directly control iTunes volume with the apple IR remote, you'll probably have to go with something like remote buddy, it is a paid application, but you can map the IR remote to work with any program.
    You can also use a wii-mote with it, which connects via bluetooth, so you get a little better range, and you don't have to be "line of sight" to make it work. although it's probably not going to work several rooms over
  4. b&g thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2010
    There is no question in my mind that the Airport Express sounds FAR, FAR better... I recommend folks try a comparison sometime! I think that the headphone jack's output impedance and/or voltage is of course meant to drive headphones, and since it is so different from line level then it's overdriving my preamp (vintage Harman-Kardon w/ Boston Acoustic speakers), even when the system volume is at low levels. I only have to turn my stereo volume up to half what I did before and the output is louder and far cleaner. I feel seriously dumb that I've been muddling through for years like this....

    I just meant that it seems Apple is forcing me to buy a third party program (Remote Buddy- I'll check it out thanks!) as opposed to simply providing the basic functionality one might expect (control volume of the active application)
  5. hogie65 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2011
    I have the same problem. My little white Apple Remote (you know, the infra-red one that comes with the computer, that you hold in front of the machine, like all other IR remotes) no longer wants to alter the volume of iTunes or Front Row. When iTunes is displayed, and the volume button + or - on the IR pressed, the small volume overlay is displayed on the screen, with a small circle and line through it, indicating that a change in volume is not going to happen.

    So, the rest of the remote works. The + and - buttons work to move up & down lists, but they just will no longer work to adjust volume.

    Any ideas.......anyone.......?


  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    have you changed the sound output on your computer?
    if you're using digital out, the master volume controls no longer work.
  7. revolutionx macrumors newbie


    Dec 26, 2010
    isn't there any app that would control itunes from your iphone using bluetooth?
  8. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    remote buddy will, but it works over wi-fi (or cellular data if you set it up correctly).
  9. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I love the iPhone app called Mobile Mouse. I can control anything on the computer via the wifi link. No line-of-sight issues, and you can do literally anything you would with your mouse and keyboard. It works on the iPad, too.

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