Windows Media Center is a 10-foot interface for a PC that lets you control your music, movies, photos, and other media from the comfort of your couch — provided your PC is plugged into your TV and you have a Media Center remote control. But here’s a little secret: Windows 7 Home Premium and Ultimate both come with Windows Media Center functionality baked in, whether you plug in a remote, TV tuner, or HDTV or not. And if you don’t feel like investing in extra hardware to take full advantage of Windows Media Center, you can just use your Windows Mobile phone or PDA like a remote control.
xda-developers forum member oishiiunko whipped up an application for Windows Mobile 6.0 and up that lets you navigate menus, control media playback, and control the volume using your phone.
The app is called Windows Media Center Mobile Remote Control, and what it lacks in creative naming is makes up for in simple functionality. You can play and pause media, hit the next or previous buttons, and there’s a position seek feature as well. There’s haptic feedback for supported touchscreens, which means you should feel a little vibration when you press a button — making it easier to confirm that you’ve pressed a key without looking at your fingers.
Right now only QVGA devices are supported, but the app is still a work in progress.
In order to use the app, you’ll need to install VMC Controller on your PC, install the mobile app on your phone or PDA, connect to your PC over WiFi or an ActiveSync connection, fire up the mobile app, hit the connect button, and enter the IP address for your computer. All told, a dedicated remote control is probably easier to use. But that wouldn’t be as cool… or as cheap. Windows Media Center Mobile Remote Control is available as a free download from the xda-developers forum.