This app connects to the popular VLC Media Player on your computer through a program you can install onto your computer and makes your iPhone act as a remote control. This app is by Hobbyist Software and is available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. VLC Remote costs $2.99 though has a free alternative.
There are quite a lot of features that come with the paid version, which is the version I will be reviewing. You can search through your computer using your iPhone from a good distance away, change aspect ratios, change volume, access the DVD menu, and any feature you would have on a television remote. It’s actually quite packed with features.
In order to properly run this app, you MUST install VLCSetup software onto your computer, whether it is a Mac or PC. Once that is set up and you connect your iPhone to it, the program will work… sometimes. There were times where I was using it to set up playlists and the program will sometimes lag and/or crash on rare occasion.
I never had big issues with this app, so overall, it serves as a VLC remote that enables you to view movies from a great distance away, say, from a sofa or bed and watch the movie from your computer’s monitor. The way I used this was to set up the program, connect my PC to a TV set via HDMI cable, then sit with my girlfriend and play some movies. I then realized that if I had a Bluetooth or a wireless mouse, I could still control my computer off the TV display (since it was bigger) and control the showings from there… and it didn’t cost me $3.
I wouldn’t say this is a useless app. It has lots of neat features and supposedly, was greatly improved from the first versions, with reduced crashing, reduced lag, and reduced problems. I would still suggest DVD/Blue Ray watching on your TV via DVD/Blue Ray player since that way you can watch with more clarity. I don’t know how many people have screens larger than 20 inches, but I’m sure not everyone wants to dish out the money for them. Watching any show from your couch off a computer screen is not what I call entertainment.
I really like my mouse and I have no problem getting up after a movie is done to select another movie or change some settings. Otherwise, it works well enough but with lag issues and 2 separate crashing incidents, I can’t give this a perfect score.
Here is a video demo of the VLC Remote app on the iPhone
This 3rd Party App is available at the Apple iTunes AppStore. Browse the full list of all AppStore apps filed under the AppStore category.
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