I Miss Using the Apple Remote to Control iTunes Playback on My Computer

MM4T2I’ve got a comfy chair in my office, facing my desk, about 15 feet away from it. I often sit in that chair and read, listening to music at the same time. I remember when the Apple Remote could control the media playback on my computer. I would use the play/pause button, and the next and previous buttons to easily control what I heard.

I miss this. Sure, you can use the Remote app on an iOS device, but you have to 1) wake up your iPhone or iPad, 2) press the Home button, 3) find the app, 4) tap it, 5) select the library (if there’s more than one), then 6) tap the controls. Of course, the next time you do this, if the app is frontmost, it’s quicker, but that little hardware remote was so much easier to use.

I wish there were a way to control media playback with some sort of simple hardware remote…

20 thoughts on “I Miss Using the Apple Remote to Control iTunes Playback on My Computer

  1. Is the inability to control iTunes only while you’re using the remote pictured? I ask because I’m using one of the old remotes, the plain white one with curved sides, and it works fine with 12.5.5.5 on a Mid 2010 MBP currently running 10.11.6. Maybe if you could find one of the old ones somewhere with a good battery it might work for you. If this inability is a “feature” of Sierra I may have to drag my feet on upgrading a little longer

    • It’s the fact that more recent Macs don’t support infrared remotes. Yours is old enough that it still does.

      • Sigh. Why why why does Apple keep taking things away and at the same time letting half baked features languish for years with no improvements?

        If your iTunes library is on some kind of server anyway, maybe you could use an older Mac just as a “front end” for playback if it’s worth the hassle. Sorry it isn’t working for you.

  2. Is the inability to control iTunes only while you’re using the remote pictured? I ask because I’m using one of the old remotes, the plain white one with curved sides, and it works fine with 12.5.5.5 on a Mid 2010 MBP currently running 10.11.6. Maybe if you could find one of the old ones somewhere with a good battery it might work for you. If this inability is a “feature” of Sierra I may have to drag my feet on upgrading a little longer

    • It’s the fact that more recent Macs don’t support infrared remotes. Yours is old enough that it still does.

      • Sigh. Why why why does Apple keep taking things away and at the same time letting half baked features languish for years with no improvements?

        If your iTunes library is on some kind of server anyway, maybe you could use an older Mac just as a “front end” for playback if it’s worth the hassle. Sorry it isn’t working for you.

  3. It’s possible to pick up an ir sensor from a mb on eBay or other sites. I picked up a couple and soldered a USB plug on. I now have an old iMac with apple remote control for music

  4. It’s possible to pick up an ir sensor from a mb on eBay or other sites. I picked up a couple and soldered a USB plug on. I now have an old iMac with apple remote control for music

  5. Using the remote app on an Apple Watch is a nice replacement for this kind of task. Much quicker than using the iPhone.

  6. Using the remote app on an Apple Watch is a nice replacement for this kind of task. Much quicker than using the iPhone.

  7. If I remember correctly, the problem with this was that if your mac was in the room while you were controlling your AppleTV then crazy unwanted things tended to happen.

  8. If I remember correctly, the problem with this was that if your mac was in the room while you were controlling your AppleTV then crazy unwanted things tended to happen.

  9. You can use Remote Buddy with a supported USB IR receivers (mostly Windows eHome/MCE and old Keyspan IR receivers) to add back Apple Remote support to your Mac. It allows you to customize the actions associated with the buttons, but also includes a full Apple IR emulation so that those parts of other apps (and macOS) made specifically for an Apple Remote become accessible again as well.

    Here’s Remote Buddy’s website: https://www.iospirit.com/products/remotebuddy/

    Please let me know if you’re interested. I’d be really happy to send you a free license. 🙂

  10. You can use Remote Buddy with a supported USB IR receivers (mostly Windows eHome/MCE and old Keyspan IR receivers) to add back Apple Remote support to your Mac. It allows you to customize the actions associated with the buttons, but also includes a full Apple IR emulation so that those parts of other apps (and macOS) made specifically for an Apple Remote become accessible again as well.

    Here’s Remote Buddy’s website: https://www.iospirit.com/products/remotebuddy/

    Please let me know if you’re interested. I’d be really happy to send you a free license. 🙂

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