Product Type: Apple remote controls
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An Apple for the Teacher?
Member Name: Nar2
Advantages: Small, compact battery-installed remote control great for Apple Macs
Disadvantages: Apple Macs with infra red sensor only; limited,works only with iTunes, silly prices from some stores
Sadly for me when my Apple Macbook is the all black model, the remote control is only available in white but on account that it takes a CR01 watch battery which is available from most watch shops, I was impressed that there is a battery already installed in the remote control and from the moment it was taken out of the packaging (Apple go to great strengths to produce classy and out of the ordinary packaging but they forgot to put a case for this control as that would have added to the appeal, perhaps) and peeling off a few wrappers that protect the body, the remote control can be used instantly.
And instantly is something I've done each time I want to display any movies I've made for my lessons, or simply listen to music through iTunes. My pupils are in awe when I can stand behind them, shoot the control at the Mac and up comes the iTunes display - well, until I let them into my little secret zapper. There are however a couple of downsides;
For a start it's about the size of a lighter such as the pound shop types you can find or ones under the label "Tokai," but a lot flatter with some thickness to its width so it means it can get lost over time even if it is white and clearly not a lighter! Half the time I wish there was a voice beep function where the remote control could sense when the computer is switched on just to be able to find the ruddy thing! Whilst the controls are very easy to use and are marked out well, similarly marking a control wheel to iPod wheels in general, the remote control will only function with iTunes. This is quite annoying as I have several videos with other formats not necessarily kept or stored in iTunes and as such this remote control will not hone in on anything other than information stored in iTunes. The control cannot change sound settings or play settings either, so you need to program your iTunes first before the remote control can play the settings saved on the Mac. Of the controls that do exist, the Menu button is quite self-explanatory from an Mac owner point of you, honing in on acting as a main menu button that can search and seek through albums, artists, songs, compilations, even typical iTunes featured playlists such as Genres, Playlists, Composers and Audio books before going deeper into the sub categories. The Menu button also serves as a handy Back button that can be selected even when music or videos are already being heard or viewed without interruption. Then there's the simple back and forward buttons that do as they usually do on other music devices (or the forward and rewind icon labelled buttons); the volume control however also acts as an up and down menu shift, and honing in on the main lists of artists, the more you keep your finger on the button, the faster the line of artists or songs from the list will go, so in terms of instant access and delivery, this remote control is a very handy piece of kit to have if your Mac is the main point of music contact both visually and aurally.
For all that it has several weaknesses, the Apple remote control is a handy accessory to have, particularly for music teachers or teachers who use visual displays aided by music or moving video images through the iTunes menu function - however it must be stressed that although this remote control can be used generally for most Apple systems, your desired computer must have an infra-red contact before the remote control can be used - older MACs lack this for example which will make the remote control redundant. Whilst is slim and particularly eye catching (if not for students with sticky fingers) the paintwork, although gleaming and shiny doesn't last long and despite its plastic coated feel of its paintwork, Apple could offer more protection here as this remote control is not protected enough from sustaining scratches. More accessibility could be added to this remote control on its buttons such as a glow in the dark feature that Apple go to the bother of putting on their Mighty Mouse products, so why not here? In terms of shooting from across the classroom however and that can be from up to 20 feet away, the Apple remote control still works even if it is scanned across a wall bouncing its invisible ray to the infra red sensor on my Mac. Over more expensive options for visual entertainment, Apple Mac's remote control takes some beating - but it really needs a lot more accessibility built in to access other Mac programs before it really needs some justification. Thanks for reading. İNar2 2009
Summary: A novel remote control for iTunes on an Apple Mac - but it could be better!
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