Friday, July 25, 2008

The iPhone Remote will control iTunes Airtunes in a multi-user system

So far I've learned 11 things about the iPhone I didn't see in any reviews. Mostly not bad.

One thing, however, has really impressed me.

First, some background ...
Gordon's Tech: Remote control of iTunes and AppleTV: will AirTunes return?

... Apple has, years late, added a remote control feature to the iPhone/iTouch:
... I’m wary though. I suspect:

1. It won’t work with background sessions.
2. The AirTunes streaming will still be messed up by microwave use.

It’s not totally hopeless though. I haven’t tested AirTunes with 10.5 or the new AirPort Express. If the remote will communicate with iTunes running in a background user session on a 10.5 machine I might try testing again. The background user problem doesn’t apply to an AppleTV of course.
I was suspicious. Years ago I spent weeks trying to make AirTunes work. I needed a way to control my upstairs iMac from the downstairs kitchen, but I was defeated by our multi-user configuration.

Today I tried Apple's Remote app for the iPhone/iTouch.

I connected to my iTunes library, chose the "stay connected" setting, and then switched users. iTunes was then running on the background ... in 10.4.11.

I was able to control it. I could even control what speakers it used -- local or the speakers connected to my Airport Express.

Wow, I didn't expect that to work! Now I'm tempted to give iTunes a go again. Maybe I should buy an iTouch for the family ...

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