5 ways to get the most out of your Apple Remote

Although this was published way back in 2007 and at one point was “10 tips”, the 5 remaining tips will still work – although most will not work with Catalina (macOS 10.15). So if you’re using an older version of macOS (OS X) – these will be super helpful!

The Apple Remote has turned out to be one of my favorite things about my MacBook Pro. Aside from its obvious uses (Front Row, iTunes etc) you can use it to do a pretty wide variety of things. Here are 10 5 of the ways I’ve used the Apple Remote to make my life a bit easier.

ps. All of the software mentioned below is free (and/or open source).  

  1. iRed Lite – your Apple Remote on steroids
  2. iTheater – an open source Front Row alternative
  3. iAlertU – good luck stealing my MacBook from the inet cafe
  4. Aurora – never get out of bed to hit Snooze again
  5. Tip: Put your Mac to sleep w/ the Apple Remote – one less reason to get out of bed

  1. iRed Lite
  2. If you want to put your Apple Remote on steroids, iRed Lite is for you. Though a bit confusing at first, once you get the hang of it (read the manual) you’ll be able to control any app on your Mac using your Apple Remote. I’ve found it most useful to use when controlling "other" media players (like Cog) – but again, with this app, the sky’s the limit.


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  3. iTheater
  4. If you’re not a huge fan of Front Row, iTheater may be for you. Some of the iTheater features not included (by default) in Front Row are: Video_TS (backup DVD’s) playback, support for widgets and the Wii controller, and the ability to customize the background picture and sounds. The most recent release of iTheater is also very “developer-friendly”, which means we should see some very cool plugins and add-ons in the near future.


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  5. iAlertU
  6. From the iAlertU home page: iAlertU is the first of its kind alarm system for your Apple MacBook computer. Basically iAlertU is a car alarm for your Apple Mac. iAlertU uses the built in sudden motion sensor (SMS) device to detect movement of your Apple MacBook and triggers an audible and visual alarm. The alarm can also be triggered by keyboard and mouse/trackpad movement (and AC adapter changes or screen closings). The alarm is designed to continue sounding even after the Apple MacBook screen has been closed. iAlertU is activated and deactivated using the infrared remote control included with every Apple MacBook computer. User adjustable settings let you decide which type of alarm triggers you would like to use, the duration of the alarm, and motion sensor sensitivity. iAlertU also features functionality to utilize the built in iSight camera to photograph the would be thief and soon will be able to email the photo to a user specified email address.

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  7. Aurora
  8. Aurora is a free Alarm Clock for your Mac that lets you wake up to your favorite iTunes playlist or any TV or radio channel from EyeTV. What makes it great is that you can use your Apple Remote to hit the “Snooze button” without having to get out of bed. Ahh the glory of Snooze.


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    Other features include a Sleep Timer and the ability to wake your Mac from sleep or from a powered-off state. Aurora is available in English, German, French, Italian, Japanese and Chinese. Download Aurora here and sleep later than you should.

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  9. Tip: Put your Mac to sleep w/ the Apple Remote
  10. I’ll be the first to admit it – I went many, many months owning a MacBook Pro and had no idea I could put it to sleep with the Apple Remote. Just hold down the Play button. That’s right, just hold it down, and your Mac goes to sleep. Duh.

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Home » Mac » 5 ways to get the most out of your Apple Remote

4 thoughts on “5 ways to get the most out of your Apple Remote”

  1. Thanks for the list – interesting.

    Re: Item #8 – you hold down the play/pause button, not the menu button, to put your mac to sleep.

  2. Free Nature Photography Wallpaper

    I have been looking everywhere for an alarm to wake me up. Soo downloading it! Thanks!

  3. A simple way to get your favorite internet radio stations into Front Row is to just create an iTunes playlist and add radio stations to it. Then you can access it like a normal playlist in Front Row.

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