Apple iPod/iPhone as a remote control for Apple Media Centre

Remember Apple Media Center patent, describing how all of your home entertainment system components could be merged into a single Apple Home Media Center? And how you then be able to access and play all your songs, movies, pictures and other media files from any device from anywhere in your home? We also speculated that wireless iPod or iPhone can be used as a remote control for such media center.

This speculation just received some support, as the patent application describing exactly that – wireless iPod as a remote control for media center, has been made public.


In the patent application Apple describes the need and convenience of accessing the media files stored on your PC remotely. Apple even gives a nod to Sonos Digital Music System and how good it’s at providing remote access to your music collection.

But then Apple has a revelation – it can be really expensive! You have to purchase Sonos Zone Players and Sonos controllers for the system to work. And why should you do that, when your next wireless iPod, coupled with updated iTunes software can do the same or even better?

Apple describes three ways the wireless iPod can become a perfect Apple Media Center remote control:

  • if your media collection on your wireless video iPod and iTunes is already sync’ed, you just set your player into remote control mode and operate it normally. But instead of playing the files, your iPod sends the control commands to your iTunes software on your iMac.
  • if you have your media collection with you, you are at your friends house and want to listen to your music, you couple his iTunes media server to your iPod and stream media files to his PC via Wi-Fi.
  • if you have a basic player such as iPod/iPhone Nano, you don’t even need to stream full media files. You can just download media library meta data, such as song title, author, movie names, etc; to your portable player and then use this text data to select songs, pictures and films you want.

Of course, control commands such as play, pause, fast forward or volume control are even easier to implement.

And the best thing about this wireless iPod as a remote control – as of June 29, Apple already has almost a million of them in your homes. They are called iPhones. All Apple will have to do is download updated software the next time you sync your iPhone with iTunes.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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