For the last couple of months my favorite application on my Desire Z has been without question been the Official XBMC Remote by Team-XBMC, which makes running a solid media server a dream.
Very stable & easy to set up
Clean & intuitive interface
Connects via WiFi for a cable free solution.
Can feel a bit basic in parts
Doesn’t quite beat the feel of an actual physical remote control
Cannot remote start the media server
RATING: 4.7 Stars
UPDATED: August 28, 2011
CURRENT VERSION: 0.8 7-beta1
REQUIRES ANDROID: 1.5 and up
CATEGORY: Media & Video
INSTALLS: 100,000 – 500,000
CONTENT RATING: Everyone
Before you get started you’ll need to install XBMC on your computer of choice (Mac, Windows or Linux, its all good!) which is a simple matter of downloading the relevant files to your computer (http://xbmc.org/download/), installing them & then pointing the program to where your media files are kept, which is a very pain free affair but if you get into trouble there is a wiki & a forum full of wonderful geeky people (http://xbmc.org/support/).
The XMBC Remote App takes most of the headache out of controlling your new media server by giving you a nice & simple interface that actually uses the cover images of your media to help you choose what you want to watch or listen to. There is also a straight up remote control option that works very well & there is a now playing screen that gives you a screenshot of the playing media & also a seek bar that you can use to, err, seek to a different point in your song / movie / tv show.
The app is also full of clever little bits that make the whole experience feel very polished, for example if you get a phone call while using the remote you will get a prompt on the screen telling you who is calling & if you answer the call it pauses the playing media auto-magically. Official XBMC Remote can also display received text messages on the screen if that sort of thing floats your boat & it can also be set up so that it disables your key-guard when in use which is mega helpful when your in the middle of a film & your screen has timed out
If the thought of having a slick media server on the cheap appeals to you then I really cannot recommend XBMC & the companion Android app high enough. From install to execution it works very well & without needing any advanced input from the user, which is a major plus
Review by: Milt