Mac Mini and Air Mouse style remote?

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 16, 2015
312
149
germany
I have a spare 2012 Mini sitting here that I'd like to use as a media player hooked up to the TV running mainly VLC.

Something along these lines is what I'd like to use to control it: https://macsources.com/air-mouse-bluetooth-remote-review/

Seeing as there is a whole bunch of these devices I'm just wondering what's considered the best option out there? Needs to wake the computer from sleep and let me control the mouse. I have no real use for a keyboard in my scenario.
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
1,457
999
NYC & Newfoundland
Maybe you've already considered this option, but an iPhone or iPad can be used to select and play media on your mini if it is in an iTunes Library.

To do this, you have to download the Apple app called iTunes Remote to the iPhone or iPad, and enable iTunes Home Sharing on your mini. The iTunes Library has to contain media in a format that iTunes supports, but that appears to be the only restriction. I haven't tried this with video, but I'm doing it with my music collection, none of which was purchased from Apple. I just added the files in my collection, in a format that iTunes supports, to an iTunes Library, indeed one that I created for this purpose.

The result is that I can use my iPhone or iPad to see the music that I've got stored on my 2014 mini and tell the mini what to play. The iTunes Remote interface is very clean, and has no noticeable lag.

Of course, you may already have considered and rejected this idea.

P.S. I tried both Luna Display and iTunes Remote/Home Sharing for this purpose, and preferred the latter for the reasons explained, starting at post #20, in this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2018-mini-2014-mini-luna-ipad-display-music.2171149/
 
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th0masp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 16, 2015
312
149
germany
Hey thanks for your input.

I was aware of this app (and while I don't own an iphone I do have the latest gen ipod touch where this may work on as well) but I'd much prefer the simplicity of operating the computer like the TV set and the HiFi equipment.

In my case VLC is a must though - I have videos that neither the Smart-TV's builtin media player nor the PS4 can play back properly (subtitles and all).
 
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th0masp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 16, 2015
312
149
germany
Ok, got the Air mouse - aaaaaaaaand ditched it.

While the device I got seems to generally do the job, I just don't feel confident moving the pointer. It's a bit of an irritating affair as if calibration is going out the window every time I pick up the device and the way it's pointed at the screen in the moment I activate it has a big impact on how well the pointer behaves during that session.

The model I chose also has some questionable build quality, I managed to briefly sit on it on the couch and a button ended up stuck right away. I can twist the case a little even, so not exactly a bullet proof device that can be expected to last for years.
Trying to put the computer to sleep by using it is also quite the stunt: you have to hover over the corresponding menu entry, lock the pointer in place, put your finger on the off switch of the remote and quickly click the mouse-button on the remote and immediately after turn off the remote or any slight hand motion will wake the machine again.

I put it on the shelf and mapped my backup Playstation 4 controller as an input device. Feels a bit robotic and I'd rather be able to use the touchpad for mouse control but basically... sorted. ;)