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pc media center remote controlIf you use your computer as a media center (or more specifically, jukebox), you’ll sometimes want to interrupt the automated shuffle. Maybe because you’re up for something harder, or you don’t want your date to know you dig opera.

You’re not always going to be in front of your computer, and you probably don’t have a remote for your laptop (although there are exceptions).

This tutorial will show you how to create a PC media center remote control by controlling Songbird remotely over your home network – no matter what operating system you’re using, and because the remote uses a web interface, you can use it on pretty much every platform. A laptop will work just as well as your iPhone, Android, Palm or Windows Mobile.

Step 1 – Install The Songbird Telescope Add-on

First, we need to install the Songbird add-on. Either search via Songbird for Telescope, or simply point its native browser to

pc media center remote control


There isn’t any complicated installation process involved. The add-on will enable remote control after you restart Songbird. In the add-on settings, you can optionally set a password (so your neighbors don’t stumble upon the magic remote control) or change the access port.

Step 2 – Find Out The Local IP Address Of Your Host Computer

For your network-enabled device to find your Songbird library and the Telescope broadcast, it’ll need to know where to look. That’s why we need the IP address of your host computer. Do not use one of those online IP detection services. Your local IP address (the ‘name’ of the device inside your network) differs from your global IP address.

Your computer might have more than one IP address – i.e. one for each internet connection. If you have wireless and cable internet make sure to write down the one that’s connected to the same network as your remote control.

Windows –

Open the command line by pressing start, and typing cmd in the start menu text field. Windows XP or older needs you to press run, and then enter cmd.

pc media center remote control

In the command line, type ipconfig and hit enter. Windows will list every available internet connection, and the corresponding IPv4 address.

Mac –

Open the Mac menu in the top-left corner of the screen, and select System Preferences…

media center remote

In System Preferences, click on the Network icon. This will list all your internet connections, and the corresponding IP Address.

media center remote

Older versions of OS X might require you to click the Advanced button before you’re able to see the IP Address.

Linux –

Finding your internal IP address on Linux is very similar to Windows, with one essential difference.

media center remote

Instead of ipconfig, Linux uses the ifconfig command. Your IP address will still be listed per available internet connection.

Step 3 – Enjoy Your Songbird Remote

Open the web browser on your remote control-device, and point it to http://your_ipaddress:3689 – after inserting the IP address we found in step three.

media center remote control

Do you know another way to create a working Songbird remote? So far, this has seemed the only working method for Android phones, but if you know any alternatives, feel free to weigh in in the comments section below!

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  1. Alex
    May 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    You can do something like this with a Wiimote and GlovePIE.
    It requires a bit of scripting, but it's simple enough