Inside the iPhone Remote App

One thing that has made Apple such a spectacular success is its remarkable integration of software and hardware.  Its pieces of software become so universal because they allow for such depth and can integrate all the tools you need.  When the iPhone and iPod Touch came out it was a revelation that allowed people to take the content from their computer and allowed them to centralize it in iTunes, while at the same time porting it over to their new device.  One of the most persistent of Apple’s own free iPhone apps has been Remote, which actually allows you to take the control of your computer’s iTunes into the touch screen of your mobile.  Here is a look at how to use Remote on the iPhone, which allows you to transform your iPhone into an iTunes remote for your computer.

The premise is pretty standard.  You connect your Remote app to your computer’s iTunes player and allow it to browse, select, and control your media content.  Though it is an Apple branded app, you still have to download it for free from the App Store.  Once it is installed the first thing you are going to want to do is to open it and choose the Add Library option.  This is going to give you a numerical four-digit code, which is going to be important.  You will also want to make sure that you are connected to Wi-Fi on the same network that your computer is.

Once that code is on your screen go into iTunes and look under the Devices heading.  Your iPhone should be on there even though it is not plugged into the computer.  When you select it you will have a spot in the main display to enter in the four-digit code that is on your iPhone’s screen.  When you do the Remote app and your iTunes will sync up and the content of your iTunes will appear in your Remote app in a way that is similar to if you were using your Music section.

From here you will be able to browse through your Playlists, Artists, Podcasts, Radio Stations, and Albums, as well as search through to see what is available.  When you select a song, for example, and set it to play, it will do so from your computer’s system rather than from your iPhone.  When you go into your iTunes you will find that it is actually coming from your computer’s software, and the Remote is simply selecting the actions you want to complete.

You can apply Remote to a number of different computers, which is why you add specific Libraries to control.  If you select the two intersecting squares in the upper left hand corner of your browsing display you will be taken to a list of the Libraries you have added.  If you have only done this process with your home computer then only a single one will be listed.  If you want to delete this Library then you can press the Edit button in the upper right hand corner and then hit the small “X” that appears in the upper left hand corner of that Library’s icon.

If you select the gear button in the upper right hand corner of this display you can view the Settings, which is important in the Remote iPhone app.  At the top will be Home Sharing, which is often set as Off for default if you added a Library when you first began with the app.  If this is set to On then it will find Libraries and Apple TVs in the general area that are on the same network and have their Home Sharing turned on.


Below that is the option to add an additional iTunes Library, which is the same step-by-step process you performed when, adding the original one.  This is the choice you will make if a computer is not using Home Sharing already, but if it is then you really do not need to connect with it manually be using the code system.

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