If you’re a fan of VLC for your multimedia needs, and have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you might want to use it as a remote. Here we take a look at a couple of free apps that allow you to do it easily.
One free app that does a pretty good job is VLC Remco from HexBeerium. It’s cross-platform and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Although it appears this app hasn’t been worked on for a while, it did a good job with VLC on our Windows machines. Just install it from the iTunes App Store or directly from your device.
After you launch it, it scans your network for computers that have VLC installed and which one(s) have it running.
If you don’t see the computers running VLC in the remote, open VLC and go to Tools \ Preferences.
Under Show settings select All and go to Interface \ Main interfaces the check the box HTTP remote control interface then click Save and restart VLC.
After changing the above setting we were able to connect to 4 different computers. Two of which are running Windows 7, one on Vista, and running XP over Wi-Fi.
If you have Windows Firewall enabled you might be prompted to allow it access to your machine.
Just tap on the computer you want to connect with to remote control VLC and browse to the location of your music or video files.
Then you’ll have basic play back controls while kicking back in your chair and not having to use the keyboard and mouse to navigate media.
VLC Remote Free
While VLC Remco gives you basic controls for navigating VLC, you might want something that is more advanced. Here we look at VLC Remote Free, which is ad supported, but does offer more control. You can upgrade to the pro version for $4.99 and we have a link to a review of the full version below.
After installing it on your iOS device, you’ll need to head over to their website and download the Remote Setup Helper and install it on your Mac or PC. Setup is simple following the wizard defaults.
Then click on Setup VLC in Standard view.
And that’s all there is to it! You should now be able to add computers and start using your device as a remote.
Because it’s the free version…not all of the options are available to you…like browsing for a file to play.
You’ll need to start your music or video on your computer first.
Then you can control the playback and certain other options from your iOS device.
Slide the time bar at the top to get to a particular area in your video. And slide the volume bar at the bottom to adjust the sound.
If you go into Settings, you can actually boost the sound on VLC up to 400% which comes in handy for videos or recordings with low sound quality.
The free version allows you a bit more control over VLC than Remco, however it does require installing the Remote Helper, and to get the full set of features you’ll need to pay $4.99.
If you’re looking for basic remote control of VLC from you iPhone or iPod Touch, either of these apps should be adequate. But, if you want the full set of features in VLC Remote, you’ll need to shell out a few bucks.
Check out our review of the VLC Remote Full Version if you’d like to see the additional features. Or if you want to use your iPhone or iPod Touch as a remote for your entire PC, check out our article on HippoRemote Lite.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 10/25/10