Add a remote to your old Mac


Apple RemoteYou’ve seen that stylish little white Apple Remote, but your Mac doesn’t have an infrared (“IR”) sensor. What are your options?

Twisted Melon has come out with a product called Manta TR1 — an USB IR receiver which works with Apple Remotes (and other remotes if you so desire). Source: via EverythingUSB. The Manta TR1 is a simple black box with red plastic over the IR sensor. At $15.95, it seems like a pretty good deal.  It does not come with a remote, so you’ll have to get one of those separately.

I have outfitted my G4 Mac mini with a Keyspan Digital Media Remote.  It is one of the older models from Keyspan and you can still find them on for about $25. The Keyspan Digital Media Remote comes with an USB IR receiver and a remote. The Keyspan remote works well, is very thin and can be placed in the IR receiver when you are not using it.  Keyspan has replaced the Digital Media Remote with a more expensive Express Remote priced at $59.

If for some reason you hate IR remotes and want to go the RF route, Keyspan has a solution; however it works with Front Row Macs only. According to, it will work with Macs running Front Row using Enabler. I’m a big fan of RF since you don’t need to actually point to your machine. The Keyspan RF Remote costs $28.99 on

There is more convoluted method to getting RF control of your Mac (or other devices for that matter). You will need a universal remote not made by Harmony, Home Theater Master, or Kameleon; an IR receiver on your Mac and an Internal RF Adapter.  I’ve heard about the Wireless RF Remote Control Extender on the Daily Giz Wiz Podcast. You place an IR-to-RF transmitter by your electronics. You then place a transmitter in place of an AAA or AA battery in your remote. This should allow you to control your machine from 100 feet away. You can find this device over at for $59.



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Jerry Knight

Try whatever button you use for “Menu”; that’s how it works on Front Row with an all Apple system.


I’m using the Remote Wonder II on my G5 tower Dual 2 GHz, but I can’t figure out how to step back using the remote, when I’m in MediaCentral or Front Row (Leopard OS edition). It’s all well and good, so long as I only want to go forward and quit the program all together, but how on earth do I program a button to take a step back. I’ve tried just about everything. Can you help?!

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Is it possible to use a different remote to control the computer or iPod dock?


Can’t one just add a “no brand” USB-IR-receiver you can get at a lot of computer or electronics stores. I’ve seen one at a local store. It was just like a Bluetooth dongle, or a memory stick. nothing more than a stick with an IR-unit at the other end.

Shouldn’t that be enough to work with stuff like Remote Buddy and so on?


The ATI Remote Wonder II is an RF remote with a USB receiver. I got my Remote Wonder bundled with an All in Wonder video card for a PC but ATI also sells the Remote Wonder separately. On the ATI web site there is an OS X driver/configuration application for use of this remote on OS X.

I’ve been using the Remote Wonder to control my 1.5GHz PPC Mac Mini for about 18 months now without any problems. I have the remote set up to launch iTunes, Apple DVD, and Media Central. This remote also acts as a mouse using a direction pad.

Mark Fleser

You’re also forgetting Remote Buddy which not only supports the Apple remote but pretty much every other remote out there, including the Nintendo Wii remote. In the current release it only supports the buttons but in the next release it will support mouse movement provided you have some sort of sensor bar, there is a company that is producing a wireless sensor bar that you can get for about 20 bucks. The developer hopes to have the next version out soon, I’ve talked to him today. The Wiimote uses BlueTooth so if your computer has that built in you don’t need any additional hardware.


Anyone know whether the Apple remote works with a Keyspan DMR receiver?


I wonder if this would allow me to finaly upload data from my Polar HRM to the MAC…


How about a sony ericsson cellphone being used as a bluetooth remote, this way you never need to attach anything to your mac and you never have to look on your desk for said remote (it will be in your pocket).


The Griffin’s AirClick USB can control Front Row. Front Row Enabler allows you to install Front Row 1.3 on any Mac running Mac OS X 10.4.5 or above.


I’m assuming that none of these solutions then allow the use of Front Row?

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