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Use Android to Control Your Music Without Getting Out of Bed

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Have you ever wished you could make your computer start and stop playing music without reaching for the keyboard and mouse? If you have an Android device, you can do this with just two free applications!

Installing Foobar2000

Foobar2000 is a Swiss-army knife music player, and this is what we’re going to control remotely using Android. We’ve discussed it briefly when showing you How to Convert an MP4 Video into an MP3 Audio File. If you don’t have it yet, go to the Foobar2000 website, download it and install it.

Installing the Remote Control Components

Foobar2000 is modular; rather than include every possible feature, many features are implemented as optional “components”. If you don’t need a feature, there’s no reason for it to weigh down your computer. Remote control is one of those optional features, so let’s set it up now.  Go to the Foobar2000 Controller page and download the all-in-one package:

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Next, make sure Foobar2000 is not running, run the installer and step through it, next-next-next, all the way to the end. You don’t need to modify any options.

Once that’s done, run Foobar2000. At this point you may get a firewall warning asking if you want to let Foobar2000 access the network. Let it through – we need it to be able to communicate over the network for what we’re doing. To verify the component loaded correctly, go into Preferences (Ctrl+P) > Tools > HTTP Control. You should see something like this:

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The last thing we’re going to do on the PC is find out what’s the local IP. Start a console window (Start > type CMD) and type ipconfig. You should see something like this:

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Our IP address is 192.168.2.15. Yours will probably be different. Write it down somewhere.

At this point we’re done setting things up on the PC. Let’s move on to the Android part.

Installing the Android Remote Control Client

We’ll be using an Android application called Foobar2000 Remote Control. Click the link and install it on your device.

Now, make sure you’re connected to your home network over WiFi, and run the application. You will be greeted with a configuration screen.

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Tap IP Address and enter the IP address of your computer:

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Scroll down and tap Test connection. You should see a pop-up (“toaster”) message saying “Connected successfully!”

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If you’re curious, you can keep scrolling down – there are many other settings you can customize. But if you just want to see if it works, tap the Back button on your device to exit the settings. You should now see the main interface. Hitting the large Play button should make your PC start playing music.

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The seekbar works, and you can even use your device’s volume buttons to change the PC’s playback volume!

A technical writer for Tibbo Technology by day, Erez is obsessed with customizing anything and everything. After years of using Litestep and Blackbox, switching to a custom keyboard layout (Colemak), extending Word and Excel with elaborate VBA, losing weight with an AutoHotkey script he developed and spending countless hours tweaking Foobar2000 to get it to look "just right", Erez decided the time has come to share some of this obsession with the world at large.

  • Published 03/24/11

Comments (13)

  1. David

    …and if you have an iOS device, you can do it with a single app: Remote. Apple FTW!

  2. frysee

    or you coul use “Unified Remote” on Android, which is free and supports a LOT more than just controlling foobar. Android FTW!

  3. rino

    …or you could use your laptop’s remote control to do it without installing any apps anywere! FTW!

  4. Lady Fitzgerald

    I use a wireless mouse I keep on the nightstand by my bed to control the volume of music being played by VLC player. I have my TV patched into my computer so I can see what I am doing.

  5. Jabberwock

    Ever heard of UPnP? Like the industry standard?

    With UPnP applications (there are several for Android, iPhone and PC) I can play any song/movie from my home archive on my Android phone or play anything on three of my home devices (HTPC, regular PC, Phillips Streamium music player). In fact, I have full control of other devices from any control point (i.e. phone and computers) – I can adjust volume on my phone from my computer, if I don’t feel like reaching for the pocket… Syncing is not working yet (i.e. making music “follow” me from one device to the other), but I’m working on it (read: bugging the developers of the relevant software ;) ).

  6. elvis

    I use Andromote for remote-controlling the audiostream from my wd live tv-box. so i don’t have to turn on the computer and i can control the stream with my mobile or my archospad (which is more convenient because of the 10.1 screen)

  7. Thomas Clover

    I only void warranties when the firmware won’t let me do what I bought the product for. Thankfully, I am very picky on what I buy so it doesn’t happen very often.

  8. Boshko

    Hello,can this be controlled using Bluetooth?

  9. Israel

    Ubuntu compatibility?

  10. dude

    I agree that unified remote is a very powerful tool, I use it to control all my media since it’s compatible with every player windows supports. This has the advantage of a specific interface, I’ll give it a go. Great article, as always!

  11. Loki

    I tried to follow this… my first break in the flow was when it told me to follow a link to the HTTPcontrol page and download the All-In-One installer…. it’s not on that page… or in the downloads section… So I just followed the directions for installing the .dll and then read that I needed a template that I couldn’t really find and once I did couldn’t find where to put it… this is a REALLY hard way to do something that is supposed to be easy. Also, your tutorial is broken.

  12. Alex

    @Israel

    For Ubuntu (or any other Linux distro) you can check out anyremote (http://anyremote.sourceforge.net/).

  13. Rick

    What about using UPnPlay or aMediaControl to stream music/videos/pictures from any DLNA compliant device? Windows has this built in, and it’s easy to add for Ubuntu and Mac.

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