Using your iPhone as a remote control for iTunes
I’ve been working on setting up a work bench and trying to get things organized in the garage. I got a Blu-Ray player for Christmas and our small all-in-one home theater setup was no longer being used, so I decided to put it to use out in the garage, thinking it would be a great system that could probably produce enough volume to be heard over most of my power tools. I got it setup, ran all of the speaker wires and got things looking as organized as possible, speakers mounted to the walls and all and now there was the question of getting my music to the receiver so I could listen to it. This is where things got interesting.
Extending the network reach
We’ve got a large wireless network setup at the house currently but the signal wasn’t quite strong enough to reach to the back end of the garage, so I took one of the Airport Expresses I had lying around and plugged it in out by the receiver and a 2nd Airport Express towards the front of the garage to bridge the gap between my router and the one hooked up near the receiver. I set the “bridge” AE to extend my existing wireless network and the receiver’s AE to join my existing network and enabled AirTunes. I had a nice strong signal so I used an 1/8″ stereo to stereo RCA cable it hooked it from the receiver’s AE to the AUX input on the back of the receiver and was able to setup iTunes to play my music from my MacPro through my receiver in the garage, which was cool enough but I wanted a way to be able to change songs from the garage without going inside to interact with iTunes, and then it hit me.
The iTunes Remote Control
If you’re fortunate enough to have an iPhone you have access to one of the most amazing apps created for the device. It’s called Remote and it’s probably the best example of a sleeper app I’ve ever seen. I had downloaded it (it’s free) from the App Store but never really had a use for it until now. With Remote you’re able to connect to your iTunes library (as well as your Apple TV) and control the playback of songs. What’s amazing is that is also gives you a wonderful artwork view, ability to control AirTunes speakers, search your iTunes library, edit playlists and more. So instantly I had this amazingly powerful remote that allowed me to access and playback music sitting inside on my computer and hear it outside in the garage through my receiver and the sound quality was excellent.
The other bonus is that I now have wi-fi access out in the garage should the need ever come up 🙂