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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Control Mac from iPod w/o other peripherals?


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mike37

 
Member Since: Dec 07, 2011
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I have just returned to the Mac world after many years away, and am not current on the OS. I got an iPod Touch & Mac Mini at a Black Friday sale with the intention of using the Mini as a music file server for my audio system, and controlling the Mini with the iPod Touch. I understand that screen sharing, perhaps in conjunction with an iPod app, is one way the iPod can control the Mac. I don't yet have any Mac compatible peripherals, and don't know whether I need any, which leads to 2 questions:

1) Can I do the initial setup of the Mac Mini via remote control by the iPod Touch without any conventional peripherals (i.e. monitor, mouse, keyboard) connected to the Mini? I suspect there is a "bootstrapping" problem here, where setup that cannot be done with the iPod alone is needed to establish screen sharing (or whatever other OS facility or setting I use for remote control). If this is the only problem, I could use a friend's peripherals for the initial setup.

2) Once the Mini & iPod have been set up, can I then use the iPod Touch to control the Mini without the need to have Mac compatible peripherals? In other words, can I get the Mini into a screen sharing mode (or other remotely controlled mode) that will automatically be activated at startup, so that all I need in the future is the iPod to control it?

If the answer to both questions is no, I will presumably need to get peripherals. Either way, any advice on which app or OS facility to use for remote control would be greatly appreciated.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Member Since: Sep 30, 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike37 View Post
1) Can I do the initial setup of the Mac Mini via remote control by the iPod Touch without any conventional peripherals (i.e. monitor, mouse, keyboard) connected to the Mini? I suspect there is a "bootstrapping" problem here, where setup that cannot be done with the iPod alone is needed to establish screen sharing (or whatever other OS facility or setting I use for remote control). If this is the only problem, I could use a friend's peripherals for the initial setup.
You will need a keyboard/mouse for the initial setup. Without one, the first problem you will encounter is that it will try to find a Bluetooth keyboard if no wired keyboard is found. You cannot continue past that point. As part of your configuration, you'll need to go in to the Bluetooth preference panel and disable the Open Bluetooth Setup Assistant at startup if… options.

Quote:
2) Once the Mini & iPod have been set up, can I then use the iPod Touch to control the Mini without the need to have Mac compatible peripherals? In other words, can I get the Mini into a screen sharing mode (or other remotely controlled mode) that will automatically be activated at startup, so that all I need in the future is the iPod to control it?
Absolutely yes. I recommend Remoter VNC. It's only 2 bucks at the moment; is a universal app for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad; and personally I've found it to be highly responsive and generally has a very good interface. I would only use that for managing the Mac though. For accessing your music Library, Apple's Remote app should suffice if you are using iTunes.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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mike37

 
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Thanks, lifeisabeach, for a great response.

I'm going to be using third party software on the Mini rather than iTunes, so would appreciate any advice on how that would affect your (or other members') recommendations. Do I need anything in addition to Remoter VNC?
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Member Since: Sep 30, 2007
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Originally Posted by mike37 View Post
I'm going to be using third party software on the Mini rather than iTunes, so would appreciate any advice on how that would affect your (or other members') recommendations. Do I need anything in addition to Remoter VNC?
Any idea what 3rd party software you are considering? Plex is very popular as HTPC software. I love the interface, but found it lacking at times when it came to streaming some videos while the same videos had no issues on either Front Row or on the Apple TV. I never used Plex for music, but it should do well in that regard. Their iOS app has some great networking features, like the ability to access your library away from home. It can also function as a remote control for the Mac-based Plex.

In all honesty though, for "simple" music playback on a headless unit, sticking to iTunes should be perfectly sufficient since you'd be controlling it via Apple's Remote app. Is there any particular reason you don't want to use iTunes? At the least, consider giving it a whirl. Other than Plex, I have no other specific recommendations, though others here may yet chime in.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.
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mike37

 
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Sorry I don't have that worked out yet. Some have their own remote control app (Fidelia) or interface with iTunes (BitPerfect). I don't yet know enough about some of the candidates to know how they could be controlled, or which will give the best sound quality. Candidates are:

Amarra
Pure Music
Decibel
Fidelia
Audirvana Plus
BitPerfect
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