MCRemote tips & tricks

I often get questions about connection problems when using MCRemote. The rule of thumb is that MCRemote can not read what it can not receive.

Most of the problems are related to the local network. Check the following:

Switch off authentication in MC

A known problem is when Authentication for the Library in MC is switched on. If you do not really need it switch it off for now (I’m working on a solution for the problem).

Authentication

Did you enable the webservice in MC?

Before MC Remote can connect to MC the web service must be started. In MC do the following:

Go to the ‘Media Network’ plugin click the options button. Check that the ‘Use Media Network to share this library and enable DLNA’ is enabled. After confirmation of the settings you should see some activity going on in the ‘Activity log’. As soon as MC Remote is started there should be a lot of activity going on here. To filter out all other connections you can select the server in the ‘Server summary drop down box’.

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Can I connect to the server MC is running on?

Try and enter the following url in the browser of your phone:

http://<IpAddressOfTheServer>:52199/MCWS/V1/

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What you see here is a description of the web service MCRemote is relying on. Tapping the different links in the page should give you control over MC (Pause, Play, Next, Previous, etc).

If you can not connect to the service and you don’t see the page above then there is something blocking the connection to the server. There are many reasons why the connection fails and possibly more than one at the same time, so if one suggestions does not help move on to the next leaving the previous suggestion active too:

  • The firewall on the server is blocking port 52199. Try and disable the firewall temporarily to eliminate this cause during testing. Afterwards you can add a rule to the firewall allowing the connection.
  • Virus scanner or Adware on the server is blocking the connection. Try and disable the anti virus and adware software temporarily to eliminate this cause. Look in the description of the software how to allow connection for the port (default 52199).
  • Many routers have restrictions on wireless connections as a means for protecting your local network. These restrictions could block the remote. Possible restrictions are:
    • Network access list which only allows certain MAC Addresses to connect. In that case disable the list temporarily to eliminate the cause during testing. If this is the cause, add the MAC Address of the phone to the list.
    • Blocking of ports other than the standard ones. For instance, most routers allow port 80 which is the standard for Http traffic. All non standard ports are refused. You can use port forwarding or enabling of the default port 52199 of the MC service. In case you choose for port forwarding you should give your phone a fixed IP Address. When you rely on DHCP it is possible the router returns a different IP Address each time the phone connects to the wireless network.
  • Network congestion could be a cause. When you have a lot going on at your local network (many DLNA devices, Bit Torrent downloaders, Skype, VoIP, etc.) it can be that the network is congested meaning that there is not enough bandwidth left for other tasks.
    • Try and disable as many network activity as possible during testing. Stop bit torrent software completely. Disable bit torrents in NAS equipment during testing. Bit torrents also take a lot of upload bandwidth even when no download is in progress.
    • Many routers have a so called QoS (Quality of Service) setting page where you can give certain activities more/less bandwidth to prevent other tasks from getting to little. MC’s traffic will probably be in the ‘Other connections’ since port 52199 is not a standard port.

How do I find the IP Address of the server?

Start a ‘Command box’.

Type (Windows button)+’R’. The ‘Run’ dialog should appear. Type ‘cmd’ and click the Ok button.

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type ‘ipconfig /all’ (without the single quotes) and press the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard.

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The IP Address will be listed for your network connection.

Alternatively in Windows 7 you can also get the IP Address using the Control Panel like below (your network connection will probably have another name then ‘Local Area Connection 2’.

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J River Media Center Remote control from Windows Phone 7

14 Sept 2011: MC Remote wins MarketRace competition at Macaw (www.macaw.nl).

A week ago (about the 7th September) MC Remote Pro was published by Macaw on the Marketplace. Since then more the 700 people downloaded the App. I was joining in a competition at Macaw’s called the MarketRace. MC Remote won the competition. I would like to thank all that have contributed to the success I had with MC Remote. Especially the people at J River (Jim Hillegas, Matt Ashland and others) for their support. Thanks all.

I’ve retreated MC Remote from the Marketplace. The PRO Version will be published soon for free by Macaw (www.macaw.nl).

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Although I don’t even have a Windows Phone (yet) I’ve started developing a Remote Control for Media Center Versions 14 and up based on the Web Service in Media Center. Above and below you can see some Images caught from the Emulator.

The project is hosted on SourceForge and can be found here.

The App has reached maturity. This is the functionality until now:

  • Settings for connecting to the server are stored in IsolatedStorage (meaning that with each start the settings can be retrieved from the memory of the phone)
  • Routines for reaching the server are working as expected
  • The App retrieves current playing info from the server and displays it. It also retrieves the image from the server (with some nice mirror reflection)
  • Buttons for Previous, Play/Pause, Stop and Next are working. Took the Layout from the Thunderstorm skin from MC)
  • Zones can be toggled and show information / search etc. accordingly
  • Added Page transition animations (see video)
  • Added Application bar (at the bottom) with menus
  • Restyled the App. Panorama view interfered with the sliders
  • Playlists are shown and can be played (as new or as next to play)
  • The Search panel is working. Play (as next) too.
  • In the Search panel multiple items can be selected and played (as new or as next).
  • Implemented the View page. From here MC can be controlled. The view can be set to Normal, Mini, Display, Theater or Cover.
  • Styled the navigation buttons using the MC Logo (cool). The images are a bit edgy.
  • Click and hold on a button now automatically repeats the action until released.
  • Planning for 2 versions.
    • Lite Free version with play control, Playlists and search (with only 1 item selectable).
    • Pro Paid version with all above and search with multiple selection and the new View Page.

Wishlist

Wish

Status

Support Zones Implemented
Support Search for Artist/Album/Song Implemented
Support for Access Keys Missing info
Support for LAN, WAN access and WOL Missing info

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