Since yesterday, a new Behaviour for Plex (v0.7.6 or later required) is available via the Online Updater. It joins the new Behaviours for Boxee and XBMC, both of which have already been included with Remote Buddy 1.11.5.

A new generation of Behaviours for Boxee, Plex and XBMC

In the past, the Behaviours used keystrokes to control the three media center applications. While usually this is a robust way to control this type of application, it turned out to not be suitable here for a number of reasons. For example Boxee's onscreen keyboard can't be controlled at all via cursor (or any other) key presses. Likewise at least some of the functionality that is part of the three media center apps isn't available via keystrokes. That of course is perfectly reasonable. Yet, users that need that functionality - or who have a different idea of what the key bindings (keymap.xml) should look like - heavily customize them. That often moves functionality from the default keys to other keys and renders pre-defined keystroke actions in the Behaviours defunct. The amount of different keyboard layouts in the world doesn't exactly help, either.

To avoid all of these problems, the new Behaviours no longer use keystrokes to control Boxee, Plex and XBMC. Instead, the new Behaviours formulate and send button and action events directly to the media centers' built-in UDP event server. Essentially this means that media center actions can now be triggered directly by Remote Buddy. And the new Behaviours make plenty of use of these new possibilities. They all ship with a big set of actions and sensible default button mappings for the Apple Remote as well as for remotes with more buttons (like the PS3 BD Remote).

Q & A

I'd like to use this opportunity to provide answers to common questions regarding the use of Boxee/Plex/XBMC with Remote Buddy.

Q: I was told that I can't use Remote Buddy and Boxee/Plex/XBMC together or that when Remote Buddy is installed, these apps can't get access to the Apple® IR receiver.

This isn't and never has been the case. Remote Buddy's unique Apple® IR Receiver driver is implemented in a way that makes it fully transparent to all applications supporting the Apple® Remote on their own. They can get an exclusive lock on the IR receiver even while Remote Buddy is running. And while Remote Buddy of course will be the first recipient of Apple® Remote button events while it is running, these button events can be easily passed through to any application listening for Apple® Remote events using Remote Buddy's Virtual Remote. The next question gives an example on how this can be used.

Q: I'd like to use the Harmony remote mode of Plex.

The Harmony Remote mode of Plex relies on its own, built-in support for the Apple® IR Receiver. It needs to receive native Apple® Remote events to function. Using Remote Buddy's Virtual Remote, events coming from the Apple® IR Receiver can easily be passed through to Plex. You do neither have to enable support for multiple remotes nor do you have to set up logical remotes for this to work. In fact, a few simple clicks in Remote Buddy's preferences is all it takes - all of which are explained in the commented gallery below.

Q: I read that I need to do a lot of configuration with Remote Buddy.

Remote Buddy ships with sensible default settings and has great support for Boxee, Plex and XBMC out of the box. No configuration is needed. But if you want to, it's of course possible and easy to do.

Q: Where can I find documentation on Remote Buddy?

Select "Help" from Remote Buddy's pulldown menu to view the documentation.

Q: My Mac® doesn't have an IR receiver, but it has Bluetooth™. Can you recommend a remote with many buttons?

You can find a complete list of supported remote controls on Remote Buddy's website. If you are looking for an inexpensive Bluetooth™ remote control with many buttons that is supported by Remote Buddy, the Sony® PS3 BD Remote (as pictured on the "Supported Hardware" page of the Remote Buddy website) is a good choice. Please note that due to the way that Bluetooth™ works, Bluetooth™ remotes draw more power than traditional remotes that use infrared (IR) or proprietary radio frequency (RF) protocols as means of communication. To save power, be sure to enable Remote Buddy's power saving options for Bluetooth™ remotes. More info on what options are recommended for the BD Remote can be found in the Remote Buddy FAQ.

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