Using Your iOS Device as a Remote

Ever wish you could control your iTunes from across the room? Sure, sometimes desktop and laptop computers come with a small little remote, but it can be a hard thing to keep track of. The things you always have handy are your devices running iOS, such as iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. These can control iTunes on a desktop computer or laptop with the Remote app.

This is something I never even considered until my son came home from college. He had picked up a used iPod Touch from a friend and didn’t have the same music on it that we haveĀ  downloaded to our house iTunes account. He could have downloaded it from the cloud, but instead, he logged onto Remote and iTunes and played the music he wanted through one of our laptops.


Once you open Remote, you have two choices: Turn on Home Sharing and Add an iTunes Library. Before you add anything, Home Sharing needs to be turned on.


Turning on Home Sharing asks you to log into your account with the Apple ID and password. This isn’t necessarily the same ID and password of the computer you’re using, but yours. It’s how Apple keeps track of you.


Once you are signed in with your Apple ID, the app asks you to turn on “Home Sharing” on any computer using your Apple ID and iTunes.


Once Home Sharing is turned on, the iTunes logo pops up, along with your library on your desktop or laptop computer. If you have multiple computers using your Apple ID, all of those would show up.


Clicking the icon for one of the libraries opens up the iTunes library showing you all of the music, movies, and TV shows that are active in that particular iTunes library.


Not only can you “see” what’s inside the library, you can also control the play. From here, you can stop, pause, forward, and reverse, as well as control the volume. The volume isn’t coming out of your Apple device, but the desktop or laptop computer. You can also create Genius libraries at this point.


Clicking the icon next to the name of that library in the upper left returns you to the Remote app on your Apple mobile device. Clicking on the setting icon in the upper right controls Home Sharing, allowing it to be turned on and off. Through here you can also set up a library that isn’t using Home Sharing.


Opting to set up a library not using Home Sharing gives you a four-digit passcode. Open up the iTunes library you’re trying to tap into and find the name of the device in the devices list on the left in the app. Click on this and it asks for the four-digit code.


This leaves this library as yet another option in the Remote app. Opening it not only allows you to play the computers that are using your Apple ID, but also the computers you have set up that are not. Your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch can now be used as a Remote so that you can play music, movies, or TV from anywhere in your home or place of business. No longer do you have to go upstairs, go into another room, or go inside to change the music. You can do it all from where you’re sitting.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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