Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

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Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby sirandar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:02 pm

A Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Update Sept 2016 Erlend continues to support MMremote and the stability, interface and list handling is now pretty much perfect. If Erland was able to make this app play local files on Android, it MMA would be superfluous. I still use Monkeymote for Apple when I want a bigger screen and am just cherry picking tracks. It has been polished by its dev too, and it is hard to find fault with it except it is missing mediamonkey specific features.

UPDATE Oct 16 2013 Been using Erlend Dahl's MMremote for Android for a year now and except of an occasional glitch when wifi signal is lost, it works great and as advertised ..... the new letter lists work very well for scrolling through lists of albums and artists

UPDATE May 14 2013: Erlend Dahl has worked all the issues worked out of MMremote, plus added some polishing and new functions. It is by far the best choice for Android perhaps best overall.

UPDATE: This review has been updated to reflect continued testing and new Android Products (IPad review is unchanged):
Summary of Update:
1) Media Monkey Remote by Erlend Dahl has issues that make the program useful only for searching tracks and controlling play. Large lists of artists and albums cause huge slowdowns or crashes when scrolling and there has been no updates for quite a while. I am unable to recommend this program until this is fixed. Tested on 2 phones.

2) At the request of Melloware the author of Monkeytunes I tested the combination of Monkey Tunes and Hyperfine Remote which together costs 15$ (which is too much). The free android interface that could be used in place of Hyperfine works but has issues displaying album art so I cannot recommend it. Overall Monkeytines/Hyperfine works very well and does what it claims to do very smoothly. The downside is that it handles Now Playing and selecting tracks very strangely. There is no way to access the Play Queue in a way that you can move tracks up and down and Now Playing displays the whole currently playing album instead of the Play Queue. This isn't too bad. The only real problem is that browsing for a track and playing it erases the Play Queue and loads up the entire album of the track chosen. There is no way to queue up tracks from different albums.

One very good feature of Hyperfine is that you can see ratings while browsing the Library

For cherry picking tracks from the library it is excellent though. THis is probably the best current solution for Android until Erlend updates and fixes his app


OLD REVIEW

Since I suffered trying out various solutions for remote control of Media Monkey, I will share what I learned. I have tried out quite a few over the years but I will only look at current solutions. This is not a review of streaming solutions as that seems like overkill and heroics to me.

My old solution for remote control was the very simple ATI Remote Wonder matched with Melloware’s Intelliremote. It was rudimentary as it only controlled playing and advancing tracks and volume well, but it always worked even through walls and in the end that is the most important thing of all. Up until this year it was the only solution I would bother with. Now there are quite a few.

Hardware:
I would never buy a fancy remote that costs $$$ but it turns out that an IPAD and almost any Android phone can control Media Monkey very well over WiFi. So if you have one of these already there is almost no reason not to use them as remotes. Which is better is a matter of taste. IPADs have great range and amazing battery life plus the interfaces with Media Monkey are pretty and very easy to use. IPADs also have a greater WiFi range than any Android phone I have had. However the same thing that makes the IPAD easier to use (its large screen size) also limits its flexibility as a remote. An Android phone fits in your pocket and an IPAD doesn’t. In true Apple fashion, the interface between the IPAD has less functionality than the Android Interface and requires a huge amount of overhead and services just to run (at least 6) while Android needs only one to do considerably more. The Android interface and hardware has more functionality but has one issue. After using your phone all day at work or on the go you often have only ¼ or less battery left so the first thing you do when you get home is charge it so no remote for 2 hours.
Overall as a remote, Android wins but just by a hair.

Software:
There are quite a few choices now but I will only review Media Monkey Remote for Android by Erland Dahl and MonkeyMote by Obsidium Software (MonkeyTunes by Melloware is very similar to Monkeymote as the both use flavours of Apple Remote for the interface)

Monkeymote for IPAD / Monkeytunes for IPAD: Works great once you suffer installing all the Itunes crap from Apple but beware, Itunes has a habit of trashing Media Monkey libraries. The MonkeyMote interface is basically Apple Remote, and that is missing a lot of basic functionality. Even simple things like searching for 5 star tracks from a given artist, is impossible. In the Apple Remote interface you cant even see which tracks are 5 star until you actually play them or click the details button for each track separately. For cherry picking tracks without any information about them it does work very well. For Monkeymote, lyric and cover art support works well. Both display perfectly with the exception that albums from different artist with the same album name will get mixed up. The simple solution is to change the names of duplicate album slightly = “Greatest Hits” to “Greatest Hits of Fleetwood Mac”

Media Monkey Remote for Android:
Media Monkey Remote is a very well written piece of software considering it just came out of nowhere. Some people on Google Play seem to have issues with it but it worked perfectly for me once I set the permissions in my firewall. This brings me to another consideration, both Media Monkey Remote and MonkeyMote require firewall bypass privileges and Media Monkey Remote wants to phone home to check for updates. If you don’t want to trust Erland Dahl and Obsidium Software you can’t really use this software.

Media Monkey Remote has quite a bit more useful functionality than the Apple offerings. You can see ratings in the library view and you can search for them using the search function. This is a very big advantage over the Apple offering as when using them you have no way of knowing how much you like a track until you actually play it or click on the details button for each track separately. Another critical benefit of Media Monkey Remote is that it can control Windows System Volume and/or Media Monkey Volume. The Apple offerings only allow control of the Media Monkey volume, which is a problem if you turned down the Windows system volume when you were sitting at the computer …. You are out of luck and have to go to your computer to manually reset the volume.

All issues with scrolling lists have been addressed with a update

If you donate to Erland you also get quite a few other useful features that allow you to control your computer, but they make me worry a little about security.

For me both Media Monkey Remote and MonkeyMote have been extremely reliable and stable. Using them both at the same time can result in weird results.

On the software side Android wins hands down and makes the Apple offering look like a pretty toy. I wish Erland would take a crack at writing a IPAD app.
Last edited by sirandar on Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:01 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby Melloware » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:31 am

I know I am biased but I think my MonkeyTunes blows both of these away and gives you the option of everyone in your family access whether they have Android, iPhone, Windows RT Surface, Nokia Symbian devices etc. It supports them all and the interface on the Apple Remote and on Android ReTune are simply stellar....

And there are 3 different Android remotes to choose from an all work perfectly with MonkeyTunes.

I am a bit disappointed it isn't mentioned in your review at all? Was there a reason you didn't even try MonkeyTunes?

http://melloware.com/monkeytunes/
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Melloware Inc.
MonkeyTunes - DACP Server for MediaMonkey
Intelliremote - Take Back Control of your HTPC!
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby sirandar » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:18 pm

Melloware wrote:I know I am biased but I think my MonkeyTunes blows both of these away and gives you the option of everyone in your family access whether they have Android, iPhone, Windows RT Surface, Nokia Symbian devices etc. It supports them all and the interface on the Apple Remote and on Android ReTune are simply stellar....

And there are 3 different Android remotes to choose from an all work perfectly with MonkeyTunes.

I am a bit disappointed it isn't mentioned in your review at all? Was there a reason you didn't even try MonkeyTunes?

http://melloware.com/monkeytunes/


OK fair is fair ..... I will take another look at Monkeytunes for Android. I used Monkeytunes for Android almost when if first came out but it had consistent connection issues, but in hindsight it may have been my Wifi setup. I have solid stable Wifi so it deserves a retest on Android. I will update my review after testing.

As for Monkeytunes for Ipad .... I basically reviewed Monkeymote and Monkeytunes together because they both use Apple Remote. Are there any major differences between the two you can tell me of .... I will put them in my review.
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby sirandar » Tue May 14, 2013 11:31 am

UPDATE May 14 2013: MMremote has all the issues worked out plus some polishing and new functions added. It is by far the best choice for Android perhaps best overall.
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby Darryl_Gittins » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:22 pm

I've been using Monkeytunes for a couple of years and it's rock solid. Well worth the $15. 5 stars.
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby sirandar » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:36 pm

Updated Original Post by OP
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby rayzolight » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:18 am

Been using MMReomte on my HTC One and it's been flawless.

Wondering if anyone has been running MMRemote on a 7" or 10" android tablet? if so, how does it look?
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby windcrest77 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:04 pm

For me Monkey Mote blows them all away... I've tried them all and had various problems with all of them including Monkey Mote. The latest version of Monkey Mote has fixed some connectivity issues, and is rock solid now. For me Monkey Mote loads a 10,000 song Auto Playlist in seconds, none of the other remotes were able to do this reliably and would hang after 5,000 songs or so got to the UI. I now have a dedicated iPad mounted to my kitchen wall to control a dedicated media server (laptop) hooked to my DAC and stereo receiver. I use wake on lan to wake up the laptop, that wakes up the NAS and a switch that powers up the stereo system, after everything gets booted the first song plays and I can control a playlist from the kitchen or anywhere. Remote solutions for Media Monkey are much better than using DLNA ecause I can USB stream the data to my dedicated DAC then to the stereo receiver at highest quality and bit rates. Most stereo receivers DLNA clients poop out and start down grading sampling above 700kbps which is the average bitrate of typical flac files ripped from CD. Monkey mote works with JRiver player too and on android clients. Try it out!
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby kalowski » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:47 am

For me it's MMRemote all the way. I noticed, however, that the website has been down for a while. Is it all gone? Worried if I ever need to download the server again. :(
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Re: Review of Remote Control Solutions for Media Monkey

Postby pushpull » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:01 pm

kalowski wrote:I noticed, however, that the website has been down for a while. Is it all gone? Worried if I ever need to download the server again. :(


Well, the website is back up so you can put your fears to rest!
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