For years, I have told anyone who will listen that one of the first programs to install on a new PC is VLC Media Player. It is a light, user-friendly, open source, small video player that will play pretty much anything that resembles video. Now VLC has the perfect little companion. With VLC Remote (I am talking about the paid version, not VLC Remote Free), you can fully control your VLC player from your iPhone/iPod Touch, and the best thing about it is that it really works, and well!
What I love most about this app is its speed, there is absolutely no delay when pressing the full screen toggle for example on the iPod. By the time you look up from your iPhone/iPod Touch, the video is already in full screen mode. You can choose which file to play with the remote, you can even browse all drives on your PC/Mac, including external drives, which is where I keep all my videos, so good thing for that. The app automatically scans any instances of VLC playing on nearby computers through the wireless network and puts a nice little VLC-style cone next to the computers that have VLC
You can of course add your main computer as the primary computer to use, and you can also define the default directories in which it searches. By the way, did I mention that this app works on PC, Mac, and Linux? Nice! The app also includes full instructions if somehow, you cannot figure out the app on your own. There really is not much more to say about this fantastic app, it sticks to the simplicity of its big brother, VLC Media Player. It does what it is supposed to do, no funny games.
The only thing I feel is lacking is the ability to actually open VLC if it is not already open. I am not sure if this is technically possible, but I have been told by friends and co workers who know more about programming that anything is possible. So, I will say this, if VLC Remote could also open up VLC, then select a file and play it, this would get 6 stars out of 5 for me. However, and this is of course a very crucial question, why do I need a remote to play videos on my PC when I am sitting right in front of it? OK, there is the whole Vista Media Center concept, but let’s be honest, I do not think any0ne considers that a success or thinks it will be around for much longer.
Bottom line is if you use your PC to watch movies from bed or some similar setup, VLC Remote is an amazing little utility and one worth spending serious money on, so it goes without saying that the 99 cents it costs, is a smart investment. If, however you are like me and watch movies on your TV screen or your computer but while you are sitting right in front of it, this app is a cool toy but not one you will use often.