How to..., HTPC, Windows MCE

Remote control your music collection in MCE

PDA

Update:
I have played around with another PDA Remote solution as well here.

I have been using NetRemote for a long time. NetRemote is a little application that runs as a server on the box with your music. You can then connect from a client running on another PC or a PDA. From the client you can control what is playing on the box running the server.

This works very well towards J. River Media Center and Meedio that I have been using before. Of course, I could install J River on my new MCE box, but it would be much more interesting to directly control the same media library that I have in MCE.

There are some dedicated remote solutions for MCE out there. I had to test them…

I tried:

Niveus remote
The Niveus solution was extremely slow on my HP Jornada. The music
collection control was not close to useless, but completely useless.

This is what I saw most of the time running the Niveus solution. Waiting…

Edit: See the comments below and please note that my experience should not make you skip the Niveus solution if you want to test the options. It might work better on your system.

Rudeo control.
The Rudeo solution was somewhat better when it comes to performance, but it did not show cover art and had a very unfamiliar way of controling my music collection.

In adition to this the Rudeo trial was so limited that it was difficult to test it seriously.

None of the mentioned solutions have clients for both PDA and PC.

PDA

So, I am back to NetRemote. And, know what? NetRemote can control Windows Media Player. Windows Media Center Edition is built on basis of Windows Media Player.

So, what happens if you install the Windows Media Player version of NetRemote on an MCE box?

It plays very well! Some times the "Now Playing" info on my MCE screen does not update in sync with my NetRemote clients. That is not a big issue, because the reason I use NetRemote is that I do not turn on the MCE screen.
I use NetRemote when I want to control my music without turning on the screen in my living room.

Edit: And, NetRemote comes with clients for both PDA and PC.

Edit2: I had an issue with problems when trying to open a playlist in NetRemote. This has been fixed in the latest beta version of the server software and I guess it will be released in an official version soon.

Related post:
How to remote control your music collection from your PDA, laptop, meedio etc…