So it's not exactly ground-breaking news that the iPhone and iPod Touch can do just about anything (the phrase "There's an app for that" comes to mind), but most of those apps come with a price. Yes, many of them are only $.99 to $1.99, but quite a few of the cooler apps are closer to $30 to $50 or more.
Last month (April) I celebrated the passing of another year in my life, and to celebrate my wife bought me one of these devices, an iPod Touch. Up until that point, I was never really a big fan of the devices. I'm generally not one to give into the hype, but as many of my clients love new technology (which is generally why I stay in business) I find myself having to keep up with the latest and greatest.
So in the process of downloading every free app I could find, and even a few $.99 apps, I ran across something called Remote. This app was created by Apple, and believe or not, was one of the free apps. (I didn't think anything Apple did was free?)
This is the description from the Apple iTunes website: "Remote is a free, fun, and easy-to-use application that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a remote control. So wherever you are in your house, you can control the music in the iTunes library on your computer and your Apple TV with a tap or flick of a finger."
This intrigued me. So I could take my iPod Touch, which connects to my Wifi network, and control my PC running iTunes as if I were sitting in front of it. Wow, now that's cool. So I had to download.
After running through a fairly simple setup procedure (connect iPod to PC for iTunes to sync it – done, add iTunes server to iPod – done) I was controlling my iTunes PC on a beautiful interface, complete with cover art, right on my portable iPod Touch!
Now, of course, being in the A/V industry, I have my audio system connected to just about every room in my house. Generally I will play AM/FM radio, or drop in my XM Radio to play some music, or just shuffle a bunch of songs from my Windows Media Center PC. But, not having been a big fan of Apple or iTunes in the past, I had never really used iTunes much. Now, that's a whole different story. I love it! I can take my iPod Touch with me to any room in the house and shuffle through playlist, artists, songs, albums, etc. I can even control the volume of iTunes running on my PC (which adds a whole new level of remote control to my multi-room audio system.) This actually comes really close to replacing an iPod dock in the house now (although it is kind of nice to just drop the iPod into the dock and let it play – but I lose my remote control of the iPod/iTunes then.)
All-in-all, I have to tell you, I may be taking a big bite of the Apple soon. I really have enjoyed the capabilities of iTunes and being able to share my music to all of my PCs in the house, and now with the added capabilities that Remote gives me, I see no need to use any other audio sources (although, I do still enjoy listening to XM Radio for those new artists and titles that are not in my collection yet.)