Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Remote Buddy

I found a nice program the other night but it seems Im late to the party based on some of the comments over at places like TUAW. As you may have guess from the title, the program is called Remote Buddy, its a fantastic program that enhances the functionality of the Apple Remote.

When you install it, it will ask to install a kernal extension to enable full functionality but there is an option to undo this in the program itself if you chose to go back or youre nervous.

After installation the functionality of the remote is improved a thousandfold at least, you're suddenly able to open pretty much any application on your mac or access any file. For example I can navigate to my movies folder, select a file, choose whether to open it in VLC or Quicktime and then switch to fullscreen to play it. While there I can also do things like adjust the brightness if I need to (if watching at night), volume as well as the usual controls such as pause, play, fast forward.

The program also includes a virtual mouse with (spotlight/halo effect), that you can use as you would a normal mouse or in a presentation, an on screen keyboard - admittedly a bit fiddly with the remote but good in a pinch.

I know that all of this may sound complicated but its surprising how easy and effortlessly it is, Ive tried a few programs for the remote and so far this is the best that I have came across but even so I didnt really "get it" or see the difference from the other programs until I tried it. So the main thing that I can recommend is to try the demo which works for 30 days, after which youll need to register. I bought my copy after 24 hours... it costs 20 euros but is well worth it.

The only small problem that I had was that after installation the remote functionality didnt seem to work in quicktime. I could switch the player to fullscreen and back but I couldnt pause it or adjust the volume in quicktime (though it still worked via the menu). I tried VLC and everything worked there fine.

My initial assumption was to do with the kernal extension that was installed and that given the integration of quicktime in the system that perhaps a reboot was solution. This proved true when I tried the program again the next day after shutting the computer down for the night (with the remote, not sleep but shutdown), as afterwards quicktime is working flawlessly.

Anyway this is really just a recommendation to try this program out, especially if you are using a mac as a media centre or if you're like me and like watching TV on your mac in bed - did I mention that it works with EyeTV too? :)

Well worth it, give it a look and if you have any questions let me know.


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