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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Easy to understand instructions for setting up VLC remote android app. 
I love watching movies/ TV shows on my laptop plugged into my TV via a HDMI cable , I use VLC media player I'm sure you've heard of it . Well this is a great little set-up but it's missing one thing for it to a true couch potato experience , yes a remote control. Lucky for me such an thing exists in the form of Remote for VLC android app . This is a great little app but a little hard for the novice user to set up, so I decided to rewrite the instructions so people who are not as tech savvy can still set it up on their android device and enjoy the life of a couch potato.

The first thing you need to do is start VLC media player in server mode, for those who have never done that before or don't know what that means , start VLC ,
in the left hand corner you will see  local network option expand that and click on Network streams. You may get a firewall warning that's OK , just click Allow.

Right now you need to make sure web interface is enabled this is done by simply going to the left hand top corner of VLC and click on View >> Add interface ( it's at the bottom of the list ) >> then select Web from the list.

Now here is what I feel is the tricky bit for the novice user, edit the .host files if you are like me you will have no idea what a .host file is let alone how to edit it , well I'll try and explain in plain English. These instructions are for Windows 7.
First open notepad as administrator ( windows start menu>> all programs >> Accessories>> right click on notepad>> then select the option to 'run as administrator'.

Important make sure you have 'all files' selected not just 'text files' other wise the .host file won't show.
In notepad select >>open >> then navigate to the program file for VLC, in my PC it was>> computer>> local disk ( C )>> program files (x86)>> videolan>> ( provided you installed VLC in it's default location your VLC program file should be in that location too) Now you need to navigate to the .host file open the videolan file then>> VLC >>Lua>>http>> then open the .host file ( in mine it was about 1/2 way down.

Now you are ready to edit the .host file , provided your PC / home network is behind a router delete the contents and replace with

# private addresses

then just save and exit the notepad. and that's it well for the PC side of things anyway, but you may need to restart VLC after editing the .host files for the changes to take effect.
Setting up the app is much simpler . just install from the link , once installed open the app and provided your VLC media player is set up correctly running the app will scan for the server once it finds it you are connected and ready to use the remote, ( make sure your android device and PC are on the same network ( your home network)
If you have any issues my instructions don't cover see these links for extra information I found useful.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Daily Reader My New Favorite Mobile RSS Reader
Well as I have already said lately I discovered the joy of RSS I have now started using a new RSS reader  on my Android device, with a much smaller memory footprint and off-line reading available Daily Reader ( Google Reader ) is my new top choice Android reader , take a look at it and see what you think.
What I love the most is the off-line reading which is so useful never mind the fact it saves on data charges, it's easy to get carried aways reading things that interest you and blam you are nearly if not over your limit for that month but with Daily Reader you can choose to read the saved page option ( provided you enabled that setting in settings, find it under settings >> display content >> select the saved page option for off-line viewing).
My android phone has a stupidly small amount of internal memory so the small memory foot print ( which I find a nice surprise  especially considering it has off-line reading , I would think it would have a bigger memory foot print, but I'm no expert on these things) is always welcome.