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New Plex Remote for the iPhone
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Aargh-a-Knot
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: New Plex Remote for the iPhone Reply with quote

Check out the full details of the remote HERE, on my blog.

Some of you may have already read my previous posts about using the iPhone app 'Snatch' as a remote control for Plex. I've been communicating with Snatch's developer, Dan over the last few months, offering suggestions on ways to make the app better and more customizable as a remote for use with Plex. Dan has been extremely receptive, and added many of the features that I requested. I have had the opportunity to Beta test the new improvements for the last few weeks, and am really enjoying the the new improved app. I was able to stretch the intended limits for the new features to create a completely custom Plex remote control, and thanks to another new feature, the ability to save your remote screens to your computer, I am able to share my creation with any Plex users who have an iTouch device with the app 'Snatch' installed. I know I sound like a commercial, but I just really like this app, and think it has really helped make my Plex experience what it is, so I want to share.

I actually created two different remote screens (Snatch lets you have four).

Here is the main remote:



The second remote screen requires adding a custom keyboard.xml file to accommodate the advanced features. There's not a lot of space on the keyboard for adding shortcuts, so I replaced the global shortcuts for the numbers 0-9, which I wasn't using anyway. This screen lets you go instantly to the majority of Plex's main screens, settings, etc. I also left the two red buttons non-descript, so that each user could customize them to their own needs. I have mine set to wake and sleep my media server. For the download-able screen, I set them to default to launch dvd player and itunes, but as I said, you can set them to do whatever you'd like within Snatch. Really, all the buttons can be changed, but I designed them to be connected to specific functions.

Here's the shortcut screen:




Here's the link to the main remote: click here to download

Here's the link to the shortcut remote: click here to download

Here's the link to the custom XML file: click here to download(right click and choose 'save link as')

The XML file needs to be placed in in ~/Library/Application Support/Plex/, in a folder called 'keymaps'. If you haven't previously made any additions, you'll need to create the 'keymaps' folder yourself.

You can download the custom XML file above, or if you have already made some customizations and you want to add to your current file,
here are the changes that need to be added for the second remote to work:

Quote:

<keymap>
<global>
<keyboard>
<zero>XBMC.ActivateWindow(5)</zero>
<one>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyVideoLibrary,movietitles,return)</one>
<two>XBMC.ActivateWindow(videofiles)</two>
<three>XBMC.ActivateWindow(16)</three>
<four>Plex.ActivateWindow(Favourites)</four>
<five>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyPrograms)</five>
<six>XBMC.ActivateWindow(2600)</six>
<seven>XBMC.ActivateWindow(2)</seven>
<eight>Plex.ActivateWindow(1,Plex Help,return)</eight>
<nine>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyVideoLibrary,tvshowtitles,return)</nine>
</keyboard>
</global>
<FullscreenVideo>
<keyboard>
<c>OSD</c>
</keyboard>
</FullscreenVideo>
</keymap>



If you want to create the XML file from scratch using the above code, just copy and paste the code into a text editor and name it 'keyboard.xml', then save it in ~/Library/Application Support/Plex/

I also added another line that will allow you to use the menu button on the main remote screen to bring up the video OSD while watching a video. You used to be able to do this with the return key, but it was changed with the latest release.

Once you have downloaded these remote screen files, it's pretty easy to install them in Snatch. You just select edit on one of the remote screens in Snatch, and choose 'Load screen'. A dialog box will appear on your desktop asking which file to use. You just choose it, accept the screen on your iTouch device, and it should be ready to use.

Check out the Snatch website for more details on all the new features found in the latest release of Snatch, and how to use them.


Check out the full details of the remote HERE, on my blog.

Enjoy! Smile


Last edited by Aargh-a-Knot on Thu May 28, 2009 7:19 am; edited 6 times in total
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Wedge
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks very interesting. I'll have to consider if I want to drop the $6 on Snatch.

However, one minor point is that you shouldn't go mucking about inside the Plex app to adjust your keymap. It will prevent you from easily upgrading Plex whenever a new version is out.

The good news, however, is that Plex has built in support for precisely what you want to do, but you can do it without editing the Plex app at all.

All you have to do is make a keymaps folder at ~/Library/Application Support/Plex/keymaps

Then make a keyboard.xml file with your favorite text editor (anything other than TextEdit, please), and insert just these codes:
Code:

<keymap>
   <global>
      <keyboard>
         <zero>XBMC.ActivateWindow(5)</zero>
         <one>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyVideoLibrary,movietitles,return)</one>
         <two>XBMC.ActivateWindow(videofiles)</two>
         <three>XBMC.ActivateWindow(16)</three>
         <four>Plex.ActivateWindow(Favourites)</four>
         <five>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyPrograms)</five>
         <six>XBMC.ActivateWindow(2600)</six>
         <seven>XBMC.ActivateWindow(2)</seven>
         <eight>Plex.ActivateWindow(1,Plex Help,return)</eight>
         <nine>XBMC.ActivateWindow(MyVideoLibrary,tvshowtitles,return)</nine>
      </keyboard>
   </global>
</keymap>



Note that they're exactly the same as the ones you changed, with a few minor opening and closing tags. These nine commands will simply override the original commands within the Plex app, but the remaining hundreds of commands will still operate normally.

Now when Plex is updated, you can update without fear, because this keymap resides in the Application Support folder, which is left alone during application upgrades.
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Aargh-a-Knot
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, that's a great tip for people.

I'm so used to messin' with the innards of the Plex app, I forgot about that way of editing the preferences. That's a much better way for people to go about it.

Thanks!

I edited the above post.
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curt
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job Aargh-a-Knot! I like the overall design, button layout and color scheme. I'll have to get this going over the weekend. I already have me some Snatch, but to be honest, I haven't been using it that much lately. I may even need a little refresher.
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YesHD
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks really awesome. First things first, though. I need to get Plex set up for Movies and TV shows tonight.
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Ben Tex
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A giant step up from your old remote Aargh-a-Knot. Those yellow buttons really pop off the screen. I would say that you have the best looking and working iPhone remote out there for Plex. Nice work!

Now, if we could just get Dan to lower the price of Snatch some. I think more people like Wedge would be jumping onboard.
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Zuma
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like a cool new feature for Snatch 3.0. You definitely have the best looking remote on their website. I just wish you could test them with the lite version of Snatch.
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Wedge
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben_Tex wrote:
I think more people like Wedge would be jumping onboard.

Eh, I did anyway Smile I didn't want to see it go up even further and then later want it.
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Aargh-a-Knot
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing...

Apparently Dan changed the name of the saved remote file extension at the last minute... I have replaced the files and updated the links. The new files have an .remote extension.


Last edited by Aargh-a-Knot on Sun May 17, 2009 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Zuma
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine downloaded as plex.remote from the Snatch website, so I didn't have any trouble. That's probably a better extension anyways.
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Aargh-a-Knot
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zuma wrote:
Mine downloaded as plex.remote from the Snatch website, so I didn't have any trouble. That's probably a better extension anyways.


Dan currently only has an earlier version of the remote screen available for download on his site. For the finished version, please download from the links I provided in my post above.
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Zuma
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aargh-a-Knot wrote:
Dan currently only has an earlier version of the remote screen available for download on his site. For the finished version, please download from the links I provided in my post above.

Okay, but it looks like he updated the page to v2.0 yesterday. You don't have anything beyond that, right?
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Grover Time
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks really nice, but I wish someone would make a Plex remote like the one for Boxee. I like that Gesture Mode they have. It's just simple and free flowing. I find most of these other iPhone remotes to be so cramped. I'm always hitting the wrong button or having to look down at it. That being said, more buttons usually equals more functionality. That definitely looks to be the case with Aargh's creation.
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Aargh-a-Knot
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zuma wrote:
Aargh-a-Knot wrote:
Dan currently only has an earlier version of the remote screen available for download on his site. For the finished version, please download from the links I provided in my post above.

Okay, but it looks like he updated the page to v2.0 yesterday. You don't have anything beyond that, right?


He said he was going to update it, so it sounds like he did. If it looks like the screenshot in this thread, then it's the right one.
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Huff
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grover Time wrote:
That looks really nice, but I wish someone would make a Plex remote like the one for Boxee. I like that Gesture Mode they have. It's just simple and free flowing. I find most of these other iPhone remotes to be so cramped. I'm always hitting the wrong button or having to look down at it.

That's one of the reasons why I like Rowmote so much - it's just plain and simple. It also works with a bunch of applications (like Plex, Boxee, Front Row and EyeTV) and includes a launcher and screen toggle. And it does all this for 99 cents, I might add.
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