iRed Lite - Manual
Usage
iRed Lite (iRL) was made for your Mac with a built-in IR port, i.e.
most Intel Macs (iMac, Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, except
the Mac Pro) and the latest iMac G5. (You may have a look at iRed for
a different solution for machines without an IR port)
Together with your Apple Remote (AR), iRed Lite allows you to
control your Mac - in addition to Front Row.
On startup iRed Lite (iRL) will activate your Apple Remote (AR), so
that every press of a button will be routed to iRL.
• Press MENU once on your Apple Remote to bring up the Onscreen Display (OSD)
The OSD (for iTunes, e.g.) shows you what action is to be expected on pressing the respective button on your Apple Remote:
iRed Lite does not interfere with Front Row but adds more
functions to your Apple Remote.
The Features
• Onscreen Display (OSD)
• Fullscreen OSD optional
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• "Remote Layers" to control different applications
• Several example layers provided for iTunes, EyeTV, PowerPoint,
Keynote, Finder, ...
• Automatic activation of remote layers with application
• Audio feedback optional
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• Runs from menu bar - does not occupy space in your Dock
• Easy to be adopted to your special needs
• Build layers by Drag&Drop
• Expert mode vs. Easy mode
• Built-in editor for control actions
• AppleScript, Keystroke and Mouse actions
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1. The active layer is displayed here, hold menu to change.
(more to come)
2. Press center button on your AR will tell iTunes to play/pause
• Recognizes Apple Remote press, hold and double-press
3. Press right button once to proceed to next track
• Handles Apple Remote IDs (see separate manual from Help
menu)
• Automatic deactivation while Front Row is active
iRed Lite 0.9.8
4. Double-press the right button to go to next album
5. Use controls to deactivate the AR, enter Full Screen mode or
open the Editor.
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Fullscreen mode
Keyboard control
To enable fullscreen mode either click "Full Screen" on OSD panel
or choose "Use Full Screen OSD" from iRL's menu.
If you the press menu once, the full screen OSD appears. Press
menu again and the OSD disappears.
All OSD buttons can be controlled by your keyboard, too.
The full screen OSD is meant for your information: "What will
happen if I press the respective button on my Apple Remote
now".
• press SPACE to enter menu mode, RETURN to leave it
• press ESCAPE to close OSD panel or full screen.
• press cursor keys for the respective OSD buttons
• press SHIFT and the cursor keys to perform the double-actions
• press RETURN for center action
You may also use the full screen OSD by mouse:
• click buttons to perform the respective action
• click layer button to enter menu mode (not yet)
• click on an empty space to close the OSD
Menu Mode
If you hold the menu button for a second, iRL will go into menu
mode, i.e. you may now choose a different layer:
• press left/right or up/down to switch layer
• press center or menu to activate selected layer
The currently selected layer may be announced by the built-in
speech synthesizer. So you need not to look at the screen to
change layers!
One of the next versions of iRL will feature a visual menu of all layers and
makes navigating much easier!
Holding down MENU button while in menu mode will deactivate the Apple Remote. Holding down again will activate the Apple Remote again. This way you can quickly choose to enable/
disable iRed Lite, to use Front Row, e.g.
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To open the Editor Window, click "Edit..." on the OSD panel or
choose "Show Editor" from iRL‘s menu.
Editor
These are the main parts of the Editor window:
1. OSD panel as seen before. Here you select the OSD buttons to
be edited. The action "behind" the buttons will not be performed!
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2. Change the appearance of the button, change title, font, font
size or font color.
3. Choose the action behind the button. The three popups are
dedicated to Applications, action groups and actions.
4. Change the displayed layer by this popup menu.
5. Popup menu with more functions: remove selected button,
create/remove layers and open the Character Palette for access to special characters and symbols like arrows.
6. This small disclosure button will put you into Expert Mode
(see below)
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"Layer" section
If you want to change the settings of the layer, click the respective tab or the layer OSD button itself. The lower part will change
to this view:
• With this layer, activate...: If you change this layer by using
menu mode, you may also activate an application at the same
time.
• Direct with Apple Remote ID: directly activate this layer by
pressing menu of the Apple Remote with the respective ID, and
directly perform buttons of this layer, without needing to activate this layer before (please see separate manual from Help
menu)
The Theme popup button is not functional by now. Expect more
designs to be applicable to the OSD soon!
The popup "Go to Layer ..." warps you directly to a layer. Layers
which are bound to a specific Apple Remote ID are labeled with
their ID in the popup list.
Here you can change the name of the layer and some automatic
activation mechanisms:
• Activate layer with application: if the named application becomes active, this layer will automatically become active, too.
Please enter the exact name of the application as it appears in
the Dock, e.g. QuickTime Player
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"Advanced" section (new with V0.9.8)
You may perform multiple actions by pressing one button, or
perform a different action, if the respective button is hold rather
than pressed shortly. This is especially useful for iTunes:
In this example iTunes will skip to the next track when pressing
the right button on the Apple Remote, but it will perform the action "Scratch +10s", to quickly scan a song, if the right button is
hold.
To assign an action to either of both lists, just Drag&Drop an action from the action browser (see next chapter) into place. You
may also select an action in the action browser, then press the "+"
sign below the respective list.
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However, to control other applications you‘ll probably need to
know basics about AppleScript, Apple‘s powerful yet easy to learn
language for scripting applications.
Editor - Expert Mode
Clicking the small triangle on the lower right corner of the OSD
panel, the Editor window expands into expert mode.
There you have the full control on actions, applications and
grouping of actions.
If you are not familiar with AppleScript you may use "keystroke
actions", e.g. send iTunes a "Command-Cursor-Right" to switch
to the next album. These kind of actions are very easy to achieve
with iRed Lite.
iRed Lite features a powerful editor to let you build your own actions to support your individual workflow.
These are the basic elements of the expert's Editor window:
1. Hierarchical browser to organize
your actions by applications and
groups.
2. Popup menu to create different
kinds of actions.
3. Switch between basic infos of selected action and the "editing part"
(see below)
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4. You may export actions/groups/
applications as well as import them
by these buttons.
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Creating a new Action
AppleScript Action
Actions can only be created as part of a group. Please create a
group at your will using the "+" buttons in Applications and
Groups. Renaming groups is simply done by double-clicking and
editing the table entries. Reordering can be done by Drag&Drop,
even between groups.
If you have created an AppleScript action, you‘ll have to enter,
well, AppleScript code.
Choose the tab "Edit Action" as shown below, then enter your
code:
If you try to delete an action which is in use by any OSD button, you will be warned.
If you create a new action the current date and time will be filled
in automatically, as well as the author‘s name. You may set your
own name in iRL‘s preferences. In an upcoming version of iRL all
actions may be shared to and loaded from an online repository
and it‘s a good idea to make yourself visible there if you mind.
Open the popup button "Add Action..." below the actions table
and choose "AppleScript", "Keystroke" or "Mouse" from there - the
other action types are reserved for future versions:
This example is very simple to read and so are many AppleScripts. However, it is somewhat difficult to find out "the right
wordings".
After entering AppleScript code, please click "Check Syntax" and
your code will be analysed. If all is going well, the code is formatted and highlighted.
You may test this action immediately by pressing "Test Action".
The new action is selected immediately to let you edit its name.
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Keystroke Action
Keystroke actions are a very simple means to control applications.
Often it‘s the only way to get things done.
This screenshot shows a typical keystroke example:
front" before they accept keystrokes, some need a little time to
be waited after activation (See popup button).
If you need to activate the target application, you may later reactivate the last application by another option.
At last, some apps behave even more strange, e.g. Flash plugins
in web browsers, or PowerPoint, ... They need a "special key
mode" which can be enabled by the last option.
The popup "Applications" gives you an shortcut to enter application names into the text field to the left. It holds all active applications.
If you need to enter special keys like F-Keys, please use the respective popup menu, as function keys will mostly perform their
dedicated action immediately and iRL has no chance to get the
key code itself.
This panel is to be read from upside down:
Use application iTunes as the target for the keystroke. Now press
"RIGHT" cursor key, together with "Option" key (shown as ⌥ ).
By the way, this keystroke (Option-Right) is the only way to make iTunes
jump to the next album.
There are several more options. Creating keystrokes is sometimes
a prcoess of trial-and-error. Some applications need a "Bring to
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Here is an example for a mouse cursor jump to 1000/600:
Mouse Action (new with V0.9.8)
Mouse actions are really easy to understand and to use. You may
• move the mouse cursor relative to the current position,
• move the mouse to a specific location on the screen
• perform (multiple) mouse clicks with left, middle or right button
• hold and release the mouse buttons
• move the mouse's scroll wheel
There is one caveat with holding down mouse buttons. If you forget to release the mouse button with a complementary action, the
mouse buttons may become unusable to applications. Please note
the hint on the mouse action editor:
The scroll wheel movement goes from -100 to +100, with +5 for
a small move up:
The coordinates represent pixels and are starting at the lower left
of your screen with 0/0 and go up to 1280/1024, e.g., at the upper right corner.
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Adding Actions to OSD Buttons
Now that we have actions we need to assign them to the buttons
of the Apple Remote.
This is fairly easy: Drag&Drop an action from the action list on the
right directly onto the OSD panel.
The button will take the action's name by default, which you may
then change on the left pane.
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You may wonder "for what are the OSD buttons besides the usual
ones?". Well, these buttons are only accessible by mouse by now.
However, there is one hidden feature: the button located at top right ("Announce Track" in this screenshot) is performed when double-clicking the center
"Play" button of the Apple Remote!
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Technical Details
iRed Lite - The Future
iRed Lite stores its library containing your remotes and actions in
XML format.
This manual describes another - beta - version of iRed Lite.
Several features may change over time, some may not work as
expected yet.
You find this file named "archive.xml" in a folder "iRed Lite"
in"Library/Application Support" in your home folder.
Many features are already on my to-do-list, here a quick glance:
The preferences are stored as de.tinb.iRedLite.plist in the usual
place, i.e. "Library/Preferences" in your home folder.
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Copy/Paste actions - done
Online repository for actions, layers, remotes
Undo support - done? No, not fully :(
more action types
templates/themes for buttons/layers
If you interested in a special feature, please contact me:
ired@filewell.com
One last thing: iRed Lite will become shareware soon. My price
tag is about $12 (10 €), which should be affordable and will help
me to drive iRed Lite to an outstanding product.
Have Fun,
Robert Fischer, tin:b Software, March 2007
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