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Limiting your Apple Remote

Every so often my coworkers, in the course of other business correspondence, slip in an Apple-related question of their own. For example, Coworker A tagged on this little gem to a recent communique:

We used to have an issue where wed be using the Apple Remote to run Apple TV and then, all of a sudden, iTunes on my wifes MacBook would start playing. Any sort of fix?

I can recommend a couple of fixes. The first is to simply not use the Apple Remote with your Apple TV. I happen to know that you have at least one iOS device in your possession and because you do, you can put Apples free Remote app to good use. As long as your iOS device and Apple TV are on the same network, that iOS device is all you need to control Apples set top box. Plus, it has the added advantage that it will interact only with the Apple TVyour other Apple devices will remain blissfully ignorant of its presence.

With this app you can choose content directly from your iTunes library without all the pointing and clicking you have to do with Apples hardware remote. And if you prefer to use the Apple TVs interface as it was intended, the Remote app has a touch mode where you can swipe to move around the interface and tap when you want to activate a highlighted itemlaunch one of the apps on the home screen or play a selected bit of media.

My favorite thing about the app is that it allows you to use the iOS devices keyboard for text entry. I know youre a busy guy (and, occasionally, impatient) and I cant imagine that you have a lot of tolerance for hunting and pecking around the Apple TVs virtual keypad, clicking in letter by interminable letter.

If, however, youre of the opinion that, By gum, I have this thing and Ill be ding-danged if I wont use it then allow me to show you the Mountain Lion method for disabling that remote for your wifes laptop.

Launch System Preferences and click on the Security & Privacy preference. Click the Lock icon at the bottom of the screen and enter an administrators user name and password and click Unlock. Click the Advanced button at the bottom of the window. In the sheet that appears, enable the Disable Remote Control Infrared Receiver option and click OK. The laptop will no longer respond to any IR remote.

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