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
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