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Remote control apps for your media center

Three cool apps that give you complete control over your media center Mac.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

I have a Mac mini connected to my home theater setup and one of its pitfalls is waiting for the Bluetooth keyboard/trackpad (currently a Logitech Cordless MediaBoard Pro) to wake up when I want to quickly adjust the volume or hit play/pause.

One option would be to buck up for the newer diNovo Edge keyboard or one of those slick Adesso models, but why when there's equally capable software out there at a fraction of the price?

A couple of apps to the rescue and boom! Problem solved. These following apps are great additions to your iPhone, especially if you need to control a home media center.

Air Mouse Pro (App Store, $1.99, pictured) turns your iPhone into remote control and remote trackpad. Install a free server application on your desktop and this excellent app turns your iPhone into an accelerometer-based mouse controller. The mini dock view and launcher is also excellent.

VLC Remote (App Store, $2.99 and free) allows you to control the excellent Video LAN Client (VLC) media player software from your iPhone. The free VLC remote automatically looks for VLC players running on your local network and allows you to control the volume and stop, play, pause from your iPhone. The paid version included many other features including the ability to select specific files and access external drives.

Jaadu VNC (App Store, $24.99). When just controlling a mouse or VLC doesn't cut it, you may have to pull out the big guns – a VNC client. Jaadu VNC is a full-featured VNC client app (which I reviewed in January 2009) that gives you Remote Desktop Control of any computer running a VNC server including the one built into Mac OS X.

What remote control apps do you use?

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