One of the most popular questions I hear today is, "how do I control my music library from my listening chair?" There are numerous answers to this question. Some are thousands of dollars and somewhat complicated. Others are hundreds of dollars and pretty easy to use. To me this is a no-brainer. I don't want a support contract for my remote so I am steering away from a separate computer like a tablet PC running VNC or another remote control application just to control my library. I also don't want to run a several thousand dollar audiophile system with a cellphone or a web browser from an iPod touch. These two options and their derivatives do not appeal to me. Call me old school, but what I want is to hit buttons and listen to music. I want access to my library through an intuitive interface that is straight forward and is built for this purpose only. Did I say I don't want to use a mobile phone/iPod/internet browser/laser pointer/calendar/remote control etc... to play a little John Coltrane? You get my point. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid.
In the first installment of "Laid-back Library Control" I delve into the Keyspan TuneView. Keyspan calls it iTunes in your hand. They knew exactly what they were doing creating this product and they never lost focus. There are no bells and whistles which only add complexity and needless features. The TuneView looks to be a great way to control your music from the comfort of your listening chair and doesn't require a PHd. to use.
The TuneView consists of a remote control with an LCD screen, a USB transceiver, and the included TuneView software application that interacts with iTunes. It works with Windows XP and Vista, and Mac OS X 10.3.9 through the latest Leopard release. You'll need one available USB port and iTunes 7.1.1 or later and you are ready to rock, literally. It doesn't matter if you are using a wireless transfer method such as the AirPort Express or if your computer is connected directly to your audio system via USB or S/PDIF etc..., TuneView still works the same. Your TuneView transceiver will need to be within about 150 feet of the TuneView remote to receive the signal via a 2.4 Ghz radio signal. This is far better than infrared remotes which require a direct line of sight. Whole house audio fans will be very happy about this feature. To access your iTunes library the TuneView remote has a color LCD screen and ten keys. This enables you to browse your music, videos playlists, streaming radio and everything else in your library. As Keyspan says, this is iTunes in your hand. If you can navigate your iPod you can use this remote. The Keyspan TuneView is available direct or through several online retailers for about $135. For this price you can't afford not to buy it.
In the next installment of "Laid-back Library Control" we step up or game, and price, with a little more functionality and a few more options.
Click to enlarge