Works excellently as advertised
Simple to use
Neat expansion to the capabilities of these devices
Some initial set up trickiness
Tricky support for web radio
Remote is the first Apple-created program for the iPhone App Store, the iTunes-like store of third-party programs to expand the feature sets of devices running the iPhone 2.0 firmware. Remote, as its name might indicate, transforms your iPhone or iPod touch into a remote control operating over a WiFi network that can control your desktop iTunes library or an AppleTV.
As a demonstration of what the App Store and iPhone 2.0 offer users, it’s great. As a program for everyday use, it’s also great. You may not use it every day unless you’ve got a particularly wired house or through a lot of parties, but when you do use it, you’ll love it. It just feels fun.
The process of pairing the iPhone/iPod and the iTunes library/AppleTV is fairly simple (though there can be a little trickiness surrounding establishing the connection due to firewalls) and once it’s happened once, the next time you launch Remote while both devices are connected to the same WiFi network, the connection will be made automatically.
With the connection made, the contents of your iTunes library or AppleTV are displayed on your device as if they were stored locally. You can browse almost all of your content – music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, audiobooks, music videos (it’s pretty neat to start a movie playing on your computer without even touching). You won’t find any web radio stations or your desktop iTunes DJ queue – two things I use a lot and would like to have access to – but everything else is there.NOTE: this has been remedied in later versions of Remote.
Using Remote, you navigate the iTunes library is the standard way you would on the iPhone/iPod – via menus, scrolling, and search. When available, cover art is displayed and looks great. You can even control the volume of playback on your computer from your mobile device.
As I said above, this might not be a program you use every day (and, since it’s free, that’s not much of a concern), but when you use it, you’ll be pleased at how smooth and simple it is. And, now, you’ll be able to look like a magic DJ at parties when you change the tunes without having to bend over your computer.