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Remote Control

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 2007/07/13

After Winamp, SongBird and MusikCube I am now using Windows Media Player. You may be thinking why do I use it when it’s so heavy and microsofty. Well, I use it to Sync with my TyTN and it’s one cent coin sized microSD card. But then again, this sync is not really a sync. WMP checks how much space is left and we can send musics there. They are copied even if they already are in the device. One-way sync sucks!

Next, I like to lie down a little lot in the sofa listening to music and watching morangos com açúcar tv. Well, due to my enormous playlist, most of the time I wanna skip songs (no I dont like to make different playlists) and I don’t like to take my wireless keyboard with me to the sofa.

So I’ve looked for WMP remote control programs for my TyTN, but I haven’t found any freeware and nice to use. These are the times I love to be a developer :) First I tried to control it from Python using this but it would only read things from WMP, not to perform actions.

Next, I thought about creating a webservice and then a PocketPC application to consume it. I did it (and can get you the code if you want), but it wouldn’t run in my IIS. Next try: did a ASP.NET website to control the WMP remotly, worked fine but when running on my IIS didn’t worked again. Damn IIS! I removed it and reinstalled, but no good. Looked for any hack or something, and no results. I tried to run ASMX without IIS but didn’t worked either. Next try: Mod_AspDotNet and this time the application was running, but not affecting WMP.

Finally I managed to have it running. How? I compiled a command-line executable (like remotecontrol.exe next/play/stop/previous) and I created a python web script to call it depending on the link clicked. It runs on my own Python CGI Server and I access it from the PDA using PocketIE. I hoped a WirelessLAN solution would be quicker but it takes almost 30 seconds to perform a page query. My webserver responds quickly, the wireless network is fast and PocketIE works fines with internet pages. Maybe one day I’ll find out more.