Feeds
75%

Hercules Tunes Explorer remote control for iTunes

WinAmp, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player too

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Remote's display allows you to navigate your way through iTunes' library, playlists and standard listings like podcasts, internet radio and the app's Party Shuffle feature. That said, they appear on the remote even if you've disabled any or all of these in iTunes itself. You scroll through the display using the side-mounted scrollwheel, pushing the control in to make a selection. Push the Menu button on the front to go back a step.

With a track playing, the scrollwheel cycles through the song's ID3 tags, shown in the top two lines of the display. Pushing the scrollwheel in calls up a screen that allows you to rate each the song, with the rating almost immediately written back to the original track and iTunes' library file.

Likewise, selecting any of the equaliser or repeat-mode settings modifies iTunes' playback accordingly. Ditto adjusting the volume, though while the volume reduction key was fine, the volume up button on the sample unit took a lot of hard presses to get it to register.

hercules tunes explorer

In other respects, the system proved very responsive, loading new albums and songs into the dedicated playlist the software slots into iTunes, and skipping back and forward along the tracklist nice and quickly. If I have a complaint here, it's that the remote is slow to recover from sleep.

Tunes Explorer has a slightly cheap feel about it, but then it is an inexpensive product - just £40/€49.90. A bigger problem for me is the tiny screen. It's not bad, but it is very small, particularly if you're used to a big iPod display - even the Nano's screen dwarfs this one. It's not a read-out you can scan at a glance, and folk with weak eyesight will find themselves squinting at it.

But Tunes Explorer integrates well with iTunes and does exactly what it promises it can do. Logitech's Wireless Music System, which I reviewed earlier this year, operates with an iPod rather than iTunes, but essentially delivers the same result: a remote for your digital music. But Logitech's product is more than twice the price of the Tunes Explorer. Griffin Technology's AirClick is cheaper, but it has no screen.

Verdict

Hercules' Tunes Explorer may be aesthetically challenged - it's no iPod, that's for sure - but it gives you not only full control of your music playback but also allows you to browse your entire music library away from your computer. If only the screen wasn't so pokey... ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

75%

Hercules Tunes Explorer remote control for iTunes

Control your computer's music player remotely on this tiny-screened gadget...
Price: £40/€49.90 RRP

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?