Picture of iTunes Wireless Remote - Packrat Style!

I bought a set of these wireless headphones because I was tired of being tethered to my laptop workstation with regular headphones. Oh what freedom! I like to listen to my iTunes library on shuffle and sometimes I'll push back my chair and get my groove on when some block rocking beats come on.

This is all fine and dandy until the next track is track 11 from my "Learn French Overnight" CD or my pzizz nap track. I have to shuffle over to my computer, Cmd-tab to iTunes, move the mouse to the next button and press it. By now the moment has passed and I plunk my sorry behind back in my chair

Then it hit me like a flash! I have the junk err.. materials to make something to keep the party going

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Step 1: Gather Tools and Obtain Materials

Picture of Gather Tools and Obtain Materials
Tools Needed:

- Wire cutters

- Wire strippers

- Screwdriver to open mouse case

- Soldering Iron

I had these items in my junk box, your mileage may vary...

- Retrofit wireless garage door opener. I have this because it was a retrofit on my 30 year old garage door opener that gave up the ghost last year. The new one has it built in.

- USB mouse

- Some two conductor wire

- Solder

Maybe not so obvious:
A computer with music files, an app to play that music, and a spare USB port

Step 2: Hack the wireless garage door opener

Picture of Hack the wireless garage door opener
I can't speak for all remotes and receivers out there, but my receiver has a relay that opens when it receives signal from the remote.

My opener only has one button configured for use, but thats ok for this use.

It also has two nice terminals to screw down the wires to.

Strip two wires from your conductor wire and screw them down to the terminals.

Close up the case and move on to the next step
blue-cat4 years ago
This idea is really inspired. Loving the use of the garage door opener.

I'm sorry to be a killjoy but all you need to do is buy a wireless mouse that has extra buttons. You can then allocate the extra buttons to Next and Previous in iTunes or whatever.

I've got a Logitech MX Revolution and love chilling in the garden listening to my music through the window and if a "bad" song comes on I just aim it at the window and hit the side button et voila! next track.

You also learn to love them for internet and normal itunes use.
I was really smart and used my sony ericsson phone and a bluetooth dongle to do the moves, I always fire media player up straight away so I know it's first on the bar and the phones have a desktop controller with a handy button for swapping window without moving the mouse too far, switch to media player mode and leave it like that and just change tracks on my phone... Also great in ICT class when you know the person doing a slideshow is on the computer with bluetooth... go back and forth between slides really fast and trip out the it teacher....
i would just make a playlist with all your music and shuffle that
teknoman8 years ago
Another option would be to build the computer remote project. sorry, but i don't know the link but its somewhere here on instructables. if u build that you could use an old infrared remote. this way you can pause/ rewind/ fast-foreward/ play/ stop/ and switch between songs.
Marcos8 years ago
I have to admit I like this, in spite of its flaws. Part of the reason is your sense of humor and writing style, which is similar to mine, but I digress. Wouldn't be easier to: - create a Smart Playlist in iTunes? ;-) - get a new Mac with a remote of it's own? Maybe, but it's more fun to make your own. How about a Command key on the other button? ;-)
xsmurf Marcos8 years ago
- Use LIRC or something similar.
packrathacker (author)  xsmurf8 years ago
I've actually built a LIRC interface, but it requires line of sight, and I would need a serial to USB dongle to use it on my Mac. I still use the LIRC on my PC however. If anyone is interested I have a python script that listens to a WinLIRC server and controls iTunes (Next, Prev, Play/Pause, Shuffle On/Off etc) Windows only though. Hey! Maybe thats an instructable for another time.
packrathacker (author)  Marcos8 years ago
I have heard of smart playlists but I like when the 'puter queues up a track in shuffle mode that I haven't heard in awhile. Thanks for the kudos. (Still saving for that new iMac :) )