Snow Leopard thaws to the Apple Remote, thanks to Remote Buddy Author - Plex Blog

Snow Leopard thaws to the Apple Remote, thanks to Remote Buddy Author

| 23 Oct 2009 | by 32 Comments

One of our biggest disappointments with Snow Leopard was the fact that third party support for the Apple Remote was changed (or broken), and applications like Plex, EyeTV and VLC were on the receiving end. Apart from one person who posted “Plex works perfectly on Snow Leopard for me!” (who either used the keyboard exclusively, or suffered from extreme overoptimism) our forums and twittersphere filled with complaints about the new behavior, which rendered the Apple Remote practically unusable for Plex.

Our friend Evan Schoenberg looked into the issue, and ended up filing a bug with Apple, who replied “this is a known issue, which is currently being investigated by engineering“. We had high hopes for 10.6.1, but unfortunately it didn’t help. There are rumors that 10.6.2 may contain a fix, but also rumors that the change in behavior was intentional.

Over the months, we’ve also gotten to know Felix Schwarz, the author of Remote Buddy, the popular and powerful remote control solution for the Mac. He has been extremely helpful to us, reviewing our remote code, suggesting improvements, and sending us sample code. He is, without a doubt, the foremost expert on the Apple Remote outside of Apple.

After investigating the problem, he decided a few weeks ago to provide a solution himself, in the form of a free alternative driver for the IR receiver which would provide reliable exclusive access to the Apple Remote across Leopard and Snow Leopard. In addition, he’s made available an Objective-C class which makes adding Apple Remote support to an application trivially simple.

The driver itself comes in the form of a preference pane, easy to install from the web site. Once installed, you’ll be able to use Plex perfectly in Snow Leopard with the Apple Remote, with no annoying loss of exclusive access that you may have observed under Leopard.

I can’t emphasis how great this development is, and how grateful we should all be to Felix. Please consider purchasing Remote Buddy, at around $30 it’s a great deal and an extremely powerful solution for those who like to customize the way the Apple Remote works with their Mac.

We are currently testing the integration of Felix’s code into Plex (many thanks to Evan for working on this!), and this is one of the reasons why 0.8.3 is taking a bit longer than expected.

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32 Comments so far

  1. Tim Savage October 23rd, 2009 8:27 am

    Well done Felix & the Plex developers for befriending a genius!! Will be upgrading now and buying Remote Buddy

  2. Gord October 23rd, 2009 8:39 am

    Awesome! Makes me happy that I bought the beta of Remote Buddy years ago.

  3. pereza1 October 23rd, 2009 8:43 am

    great news!!! woohoo!!! once 8.3 is certified for SL, i’ll upgrade :)

  4. Grayson October 23rd, 2009 8:55 am

    Thats great news! Big thanks to Felix!

  5. rezzo October 23rd, 2009 10:09 am

    Awesome news and waiting 0.8.3, thanks!

  6. Luis October 23rd, 2009 10:09 am

    I have Remote Buddy and is a great software. I’m very happy with him. It is easy to use when you understand his interface. In fact, I’m using it every day for every application.

    (Sorry for my mistakes… i’m learning English

  7. Mickey October 23rd, 2009 10:10 am

    Thank a lot Felix and the Plex crew!

  8. Ed October 23rd, 2009 10:10 am

    I own Remote Buddy and it’s great – I use it from my remote and my iPhone and it’s worked very well! I recommend it if you want to be able to control any app with your remote.

  9. Jonas October 23rd, 2009 10:13 am

    This is amazing, working perfect! You guys rock.

  10. Hjalti October 23rd, 2009 10:37 am


  11. someone October 23rd, 2009 11:24 am

    Didn’t update my MacMini yet to SL because of the remote problem. So many thanks to all people working on this!

  12. Keane16 October 23rd, 2009 12:08 pm

    Excellent news. I’ve got a Plexless iMac at the moment. As soon as 0.8.3 drops I’m there!

  13. xain09 October 23rd, 2009 9:12 pm

    Great news!

  14. Gustav Axelsson October 23rd, 2009 9:16 pm

    Thank you Felix! A minor issue though, F8 (play/pause) still launches iTunes in 10.6.1 even if another application (for example Spotify) is open.
    It would be perfect if, in a future update, Candelair could also fix that bug in Apples implementation. (Not sure it is within the scope of the Candelair though.)

  15. Laterix October 23rd, 2009 9:27 pm

    Thank you Felix! We all really appriciate your work and your will to help open source Project even though you could have implemented this just for your commercial appilcation. I will look into remote buddy and consider buying it. Thanks!

  16. osplo October 23rd, 2009 9:27 pm

    Does Plex work with the Harmony remote under Snow Leopard? Maybe I do not need to wait to upgrade…

  17. Eric October 23rd, 2009 10:37 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Remote Buddy and its extreme extensibility. Thanks for the support, Felix!

  18. lukejr October 24th, 2009 2:34 am

    Great news, Remote Buddy is a great little app I purchased it a while back. Great to see a solution. Looking forward to Plex 0.8.3

  19. Nudgenudge October 24th, 2009 8:58 am

    I just got my new Mac mini yesterday, and learnt the remote issues by launching iTunes each time I navigated.
    So thank you Felix for this!

  20. Nudgenudge October 24th, 2009 9:15 am

    I received my new Mac mini yesterday, and got 2 issues with Plex: the sound dropping, and the remote.
    Now with this program, a reboot, and a work-around for the sound, everything works perfectly: no more Front Row/iTunes popping up.

    Thank you Felix for this program.

  21. name required October 24th, 2009 1:22 pm

    one less reason for me not to buy one of the new SL mini’s as an upgrade to my 1.83ghz leopard one.

    what is the status with the new metal apple remote with the two extra buttons – will that “just work” or will it need to be fixed, or will something need to be programmed to support the extra buttons or what?

  22. colin October 24th, 2009 3:17 pm

    Oh how I love remote buddy. One of the best pieces of software I have ever purchased

  23. Rozzy October 24th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Oh man, thank you so much for this. It has definitely been the biggest problem to come up in snow leopard for me so far

  24. RobM October 25th, 2009 10:25 am

    “what is the status with the new metal apple remote with the two extra buttons ”

    Which two extra buttons are those, “name required”? All I can see on the new remote are the buttons the old one always had but located in slightly different locations.

    Either way, old or new remote I’m delighted to see another fix for SL & Plex appear!

  25. Mart October 25th, 2009 10:59 am

    Sofa Control + SL works fine too. Remote buddy seems alot cooler though.

  26. Matt October 26th, 2009 6:14 am

    With this, I installed Snow Leopard on my Mac Minis. Works as advertised.

  27. Mark October 26th, 2009 5:06 pm

    Apple Remote… Stupid IR. Why can’t they make it Bluetooth, for Christ’s sake? My $3500 Mac Pro doesn’t have IR, only Bluetooth.

  28. Claude October 26th, 2009 11:01 pm

    Finally i have a working media center again!!! :D Thanks guys for this great work!!!

  29. Navid October 28th, 2009 6:55 am

    Sofa Control + 10.5 + candelair gives me kernel panic at boot !!!

  30. Felix Schwarz October 29th, 2009 1:43 am

    @ Navid:

    There was a rare, Leopard-only issue (with about 0.07% of users affected) in v1.0 of Candelair. This issue has now been identified, addressed and fixed.

    I have posted a more lengthy analysis and explanation of what caused the issue over in the Plex 0.8.3 thread comments (at the time of writing, it still seems to be in the approval queue).

    To remove the old version from your system:

    1) Boot into single user mode by following the instructions at

    2) when you arrive at the “:/ root#” prompt, type in
    rm -Ri /System/Library/Extensions/RBIOKitHelper.kext
    and confirm the deletion of the files located at and within /System/Library/Extensions/RBIOKitHelper.kext.

    3) when done, type in

    4) Your Mac will now reboot. Let is start up normally without pressing any keys during startup.

    5) When reinstalling the Candelair driver, please be sure you’re at 1.0.2 (driver version 1.7.2) or later. You can find both version numbers by pressing on the “About” button in the Candelair preference pane.

    Best regards,
    Felix Schwarz

  31. Gorim October 31st, 2009 11:02 am

    You brought me back to life.

    Ton of tanks, my friends.

  32. Mike November 1st, 2009 10:48 am

    I’ve heard there are some wildlife groups trying to get Apple to do more stuff with the actual S.L.’s lol. I don’t know- people are saying it’s good PR for Apple- they should jump on that.

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