Wednesday, June 27, 2018

iTunes Remote Updated

Benjamin Mayo:

Rising from the ashes, iTunes Remote has been updated with a new design and support for the latest device form factors. The icon is greatly improved. It went from a white roundrect with an inscribed circle and harsh geometric triangle to a simpler coloured gradient and neatly-rounded play symbol. It’s a nicer icon than the stock Music app now.


Looking slighter wider, what is the point of this app existing. Remote controlling your Mac’s iTunes app makes little sense in an era of AirPlay 2 and HomePod speakers. Also, Apple now has three separate places to find ‘media remotes’. There’s the iTunes Remote app, Apple TV Remote app, and the Apple TV Remote platter in Control Centre. Each of these tread on each other’s toes in different ways, but there’s not one app for everything either. It is messy.

I’m glad the app is still around, as iTunes on my Mac is the only device that has access to all my music.

Update (2018-06-28): Nick Heer:

Because my music library and bookshelf speakers are still connected to my Mac, I use the iTunes Remote app all the time. It’s nice to see this app updated.

6 Comments RSS · Twitter

"Looking slighter wider, what is the point of this app existing."

Indeed. One could say similar about iTunes itself, which should’ve been remade into a headless server a decade ago. Apple can’t even integrate its own silos.

"Also, Apple now has three separate places to find ‘media remotes’."

I shudder to think how many RPMs ol’ Steve is up to now.

"I’m glad the app it still around, as iTunes on my Mac is the only device that has access to all my music."

See point #1. Also point #2.

I mostly just use it to stop or turn down the volume on my Mac when I'm in another room or just don't want to get up.

I use Remote every single day because my music library is in iTunes and I don’t stream. Every morning before I get out of bed I use a physical remote to turn on the stereo in my bedroom and then use the Remote app to play an album. I had two outstanding Radars on the iPad version. An email from Apple saying one of them was closed is how I found out about the update. The new version doesn’t crash when you touch the playback position indicator. Yay!

Why do we need an app like this? The same functionality should be built-in to the Music app, just like how the Spotify iOS app allows you to control other instances of Spotify (e.g. running the Mac app on my MBP).

Bryan Pietrzak

@Ben G - and then before long you'll be complaining that the Music app is doing too many things and apple needs to break it into separate apps that focus on more specific things just like folks say about iTunes all the time.

@Bryan: Don’t be ridiculous. Decoupling the UI from the player is an absolute no-brainer for improving usability. This is not 1998; people want to listen to music, not sit at some device.

For the company that cut the physical cord that made computing mobile, Apple has a limited appreciation of how mobility works. But perhaps unsurprising for a company so dependent on selling branded discrete devices to recoil at a future where devices are ubiquitous, invisible, distributed, and completely commoditized. Which won’t stop it happening; it just means they won’t be part of it.

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