For the last year I've been using Boxee as my media center application, and it rulez!!11! I encourage you all to try it out. But this is not the point of this post. I'm going to talk about remote controlling Boxee.
My Boxee is installed on a Linux machine, and I controlled it with Supware's Boxee Remote, a simple gesture based remote control: swipes (navigating) or a tap (select). As you can understand, you don't need to look at the remote UI, or to remember where each action button is located on the UI: just swipe! And with Boxee exceptional UI/UX the whole experience has totally won the WAF!
For a few months everything went great. Some remote crashes from time to time, but all in all, it was good. And then my curious side got the best of me: I found out that Supware's remote is actually open-sourced, which was the incentive to start hacking it. I fixed a few issues, and added some too and sent a patch to Supware. But it was not integrated very well, mostly because the guy had a new daughter (CONGRATS!), and had very little time to play with a working project.
Open Source rulez!
How hard is it to write my own Boxee remote? Not so much!
I took Supware's code for reference, browsed Boxee's official iPhone remote control code, browsed XBMC code and API and read Boxee remote API.
Coded for a few hours (took base64 code from iharder), and that's it! I have my own version!
- Automatically detecting your Boxee server
- Navigate via swipe gestures
- Selecting via tapping
- Running media poster as remote background
- Media control buttons (just for fun)
- Notification icon when media is playing (showing media title, and allow quick return to the remote activity upon clicking it)
- Pausing running media upon phone call
- And probably more!