Saturday, January 22, 2011

myRemote Android App for Windows Media Center

I am in heaven.  I had been using gRemote to remotely controller my computer when watching media.  It basically turns your phone screen into a track pad.  There’s another screen with play, ff, rew, etc., but I honestly have no idea what good it does, as I’ve never seen it work with any program.

I just downloaded myRemote from Viclabs on the Android Market.

All you do is download the msi from the link above (it’s the server software that allows your phone to communicate with your computer), download myRemote from the Android Market, right click the myRemote icon in your tray to find your computer’s IP, and enter the IP into myRemote on your phone (make sure WiFi is enabled on your phone).

Now you have a robust, suberb remote to control Windows Media Center.  Not only are there plenty of buttons specifically for Media Center, but you can click the mouse button on the myRemote interface and use your phone screen as a track pad to control your entire computer (like gRemote).  The trackpad screen also has a text input field at the top, so you can input text.  Click your dpad or trackball to apply the text you’ve typed.  Very slick.

Probably my favorite feature of myRemote is the fact that it has volume control and a MUTE button (sort of).  If you long-press either volume button, it will jump in 15 point increments.  I no longer need my TV remote control to handle the volume.

The dedicated full screen toggle button is great.  You can also open and close WMC right from the application.  The power button will close whatever window is currently in focus, so not only can you use it to close WMC, but any open program.  In the bottom right of the main area are two buttons to toggle between a full screen view and a scrolling carousel view of all your open windows.  Very, very cool.

There are dedicated shortcut buttons to Live TV, Internet TV, Video Library, and music library.  For some reason there is no button for the Movie Library, but if you press the windows logo button it takes you to the default screen so you can scroll to the correct library.

The plus/minus buttons function as skip forward/skip back during movie playback. The FF/RW buttons at the very bottom to the same, but in greater increments.

I have no idea what the camera icon button does, so someone please tell me (it’s driving me crazy).

I run Hulu and Netflix via WMC.  I’ve also found that you actually don’t have to run Hulu from Media Center to control it with the dedicated myRemote keypad.  For Hulu, use the center arrow keys.  Ok is play/pause, left and right are fwd/rev.  The dedicated FF key at the bottom left functions as a full screen toggle for Hulu.

For added fun-ness: you can run the server over 3G instead of WiFi. Forward port 9876 (UDP) to your PC and then use your router’s IP address (from your ISP) in your myRemote app.

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