Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Pick of the Week: VLC Remote Interface Widget
Merlin Mann | Apr 4 2007
(On each MacBreak Weekly, guests choose a "Pick of the Week" -- a piece of software or hardware, a web site, or just a cool trick -- that they want to share with the audience. Here's Merlin's pick for this week's episode)
For my money, VLC Media Player is the coolest OS X digital video player out there. It's free, open source, frequently updated, and seems to have no trouble running most every kind of video I've thrown at it.
Currently, one way I use VLC is to play movies on an old (pre-IR remote) PowerBook that's S-video'd up to our TV. This works like a champ, but, if I want to pause or fast-forward the movie, I have to haul my lazy ass over to the Mac to do so. To the rescue comes VLC Remote Interface Widget.
This is a very simple, (currently beta) Dashboard widget that lets me access the VLC controls on a Mac over my local network via a second Mac that's sitting on my lap. Just tell the controlling Mac what the IP address of the movie-running Mac is and to which port it should send the commands ("8080" should work fine), and presto: your laptop turns into a $3000 remote for your $3000 PVR. And all for free. :-)
It would be cool if future releases mirrored more of the VLC key commands -- e.g., I've gotten very fast at
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