First iTunes Remote App for iPhone Hands-On

Click to viewOne of the first apps I downloaded while doing the App Store video walkthrough today was the new iPhone Remote for iTunes. There's only one word to describe it: perfectomfgthisissocool. As you can see in the video, it just works, giving you full control of all the music, video, podcasts, and movies stored on your computer or AppleTV. The applications show you the art, your personal playlists (including the smart ones), all in real time. Updated: second part of the video is up, plus some more impressions. Verdict: download it now.


The whole thing feels like having iTunes in the palm of your hand. Once you authenticate your remote by entering a four-digit code-the iPhone or iPod touch needs to be in the same wireless network-it's all a matter of opening the application and starting to surf your iTunes library.

There are five sections on the remote:


Here you have access to your personal playlists, just like in iTunes. This includes the smart playlists as well. All changes in iTunes are reflected in real time on the remote, just as you would expect.


This is a browser view by artist, which looks identical to the one on the iPod.


Same as Artists. Here you can see the artwork, streamed directly from iTunes.


The search engine is a little bit weird but works great. It's live, so when you start writing, the results start to appear on the screen. However, you can't click directly on the list. When you are done writing whatever you're searching for, you click on the result list and it activates. Then you can scroll through it, with all your results neatly organized by Albums, Artists and Songs.


Here you will find access to the rest of the media in iTunes, from audiobooks to music videos and, of course, movies.


You can associate several libraries to the remote. There is a Settings button on the top left corner. When you click on it, you can Add Library and also turn on the Stay Connected option, which is listed under Performance. I don't know if this is related to Wi-Fi power consumption or just to the fact that, while being always connected, you won't need to reconnect after your iPhone wakes up.

There are no delays in the operation so far. Everything works fast and smoothly. Now, the only thing I want is having playback on the iPhone. Not just control iTunes remotely, but actually accessing the media from the iPhone or iPod touch, via Wi-Fi or 3G network. That would be the key to avoid having too little space: get an unlimited data plan and just access everything on your computer remotely. We can only hope that this is what Steve & Co. have in mind for the next version.




I have one airport express base station thing that lets me forward my music to another stereo in the house, which means that while my computer is upstairs, I can listen to music downstairs in the basement, or outside or what not. Previously, it was too much of a pain to try to change songs (I have somewhat picky tastes sometimes) so I never really set it up properly. This will help immensely.

Also, this is great for people like my parents (who are certified Mac iFan Nuts) who have a big house, and 5 seperate 'zones' with these things set up around the house. This will let them switch from the old music system, which is sort of hit or miss as to if it works today or not, and something that will just work with minimal effort.