Saturday, January 09, 2010

File In "I Love Technology"
I just downloaded a free app for the iPhone - a WiFi based remote control for iTunes. So now I can control my iTunes from anywhere in my house. Why is this such a big deal? It all comes down to my need for talk radio. Rush is broadcast locally on a station that routinely gets a rotten signal in my house. And in my kitchen, despite the nice Bose Wave radio, it doesn't come in at all. So I moved my old iMac to the kitchen to use as an iTunes "server" and to sometimes web surf. But if I boot up the 'puter, the radio goes completely fuzzed out with interference. So then I can only run either FM stations or the computer signal through the AUX jack.
There are problems. Booting up the computer takes time and not a little effort to reach the start button given that the edge behind which said button lurks is the most distant from being easily reached. And the iMac takes up not a little space. Not a lot of space but not a little either. Yet there is a work-around. I have an Airport Express unit (about 2 inches square and and inch thick) which can serve iTunes from a remote machine to, say, a stereo in a different room. So I could leave my main machine booted up and running iTunes to send the signal to the little Airport box and save myself some kitchen space.
I can see you thinking, "But how will he control iTunes if he's in the kitchen and the iMac that's sending his radio is on a whole 'nother level?" Ha ha! Apple has thought of that already. The app store has a free Apple app called "Remote" that I mentioned at the opening of this post. I downloaded it, sync'd it to my iTunes (very easy) and started controlling my musical domain. Then the sticking point hit me. I don't see any controls to run iTunes radio on the remote. Bugger. But my Google Fu is strong. It turns out (and I did not know this) that you can make a playlist of radio stations! And once I did that, I had access to the stations I needed on the remote.
Tomorrow will be the set-up of the Airport Express and then the great experiment should be finished. I love technology that does what I want.

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