Lazy Part 3

Part 3: Talking to the Computer

For my next trick, I'll need an assistant: the USB-UIRT. This is that gadget that's going to receive infrared signals from the remote. I'll also need the Girder software to learn the codes my remote is sending and actually do something with them. For now, I'm just going to be satisfied with proving that my PC is hearing what the remote is saying. Making the software do anything about it is a matter for another day.

I'll only be needing a handful of buttons here. They're all standard play controls and appear on just about any remote.

  • Power (to open or bring focus to the application)
  • Play/Pause
  • Stop
  • Previous Track
  • Next Track
  • Shuffle
  • Repeat

Hardware Installation

Dude. That couldn't have gone much easier. Plug in the UIRT and the Plug and Play dialog finds it. You download the drivers from the USBUIRT site and tell the PnP wizard where to find them. Done.

Software Installation

This was also a cakewalk. Come to think of it, it was much easier than a cakewalk. I've participated in several of those and never walked away with a thing. Here there is no cake, but at least I have something to show for my effort.

Telling Girder About It

Go to File -> Settings, select "Plug-in settings," and check the box next to "USB-UIRT." Restart Girder and you're off & running.

Setting Up Your Remote

Go to Tools -> Add Remote Wizard. Click Next, name the remote, then start programming. It asks you to press any button to make sure it detects a remote at all, then it asks you to press each button that you want to use on the remote. After you finish this, Girder will be able to get signals from your remote.

All of this only took me an hour, and most of that was poking around trying to figure out what else Girder could be used for. I went ahead and picked buttons to use for song rating too. If everything goes smooth, I'll not only be able to skip sucky tracks, but ban them for good measure. Next, I'm going to make Girder listen for the signals from my remote.

Budget update: $143.44, 8 hours.