Mac Media Centre - iTunes Remotes

05 Feb 2006

Despite constant bribes the children still haven’t broken the old telly, so for now, the Mac Mini is acting solely as a server for iTunes and iPhoto. Thats just fine though, as it was mainly for music that I wanted to use it, and there isn’t much time for TV/DVDs. What I have done though is pick up a cheap Airport Express off ebay which is a great for sending music to the stereo without trailing wires.

So far, I’d been using my s700i phone with Salling Clicker to control everything, and this worked great. The only drawback is that when I’m away with my phone, Leigh is left without a remote. (There’s still VNC of course, but its not really a ‘small remote’!) . So I’ve been looking into other options available.

The Keyspan Express remote and particularly the ATI Remote Wonder, are possibilites, but when navigating iTunes without the TV & FrontRow, you really need visuals for choosing albums and playlists. What you need is basically an iPod Nano that acts as a remote. Actually, hang that, how about a 40” screen displaying Coverflow with just a Griffin PowerMate underneath?!

Next up was Coverbuddy. If you have a Sony PSP, Coverbuddy’s web interface has a special version sized for it, and it makes a nice remote. However, not only do i not have a PSP, but Coverbuddy only plays albums, not playlists. webRemote does both playlists and library, but seemed quite clunky after what I was used to on Salling Clicker. Like Coverbuddy, it also needs a web browser to work from.

Cut to the chase, it just occurred to me that Leigh had a Palm Tungsten C, and that I could use Salling Clicker with that. This meant enjoying the full graphics glory of the buillt-in iTunes Controller that I didn’t get on my Sony Erricson s700i. It worked so well, I just laughed for about an hour, punching the air like I was ‘Living on a Prayer’. Job done.

Palm Tungsten C with Salling Clicker

The 3 yr old Tungsten C is a maybe little bulky by todays PDA standards, but I’m sure that somewhere there is a smallish, light, supported handheld (or phone with a reasonable sized screen) thats also cheap to grab off ebay. I’d be keen to hear what device you’re using with Salling Clicker that gives you graphics.

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