Originally Posted by pittsoccer33
I use Windows Media Center on my HTPC for audio playback. If I just want to listen to music I need to turn my television on and navigate to the appropriate album/playlist/etc.
I know there are a few mobile apps that will act as a remote control to select and start music without the tv being on. Does anyone have recommendations? Something that could use my Windows based music library and play it with WMP/WMC would be best, but I'm not entirely opposed to having a small footprint piece of software on my computer to act as the server/player.
I have Plex server (but not the front end) installed on my PC and phone. Can that be utilized without installing Plex Home Theater?
I'm pretty sure that with Plex, you have to have a client version of the software (Plex Home Theater in the case of a PC) to be able to playback the media stored on your Plex Server.
Personally, I use iTunes on my PC for handling my music playback and I use the free "Remote" app by Apple to control it with my iPad. It works great and gives me cover art, search capabilities, sorting by artist, album, genre, play lists, shuffle, up next, and so on. However, this solution is restricted to those who use iTunes and have an idevice to use as their remote.
The most highly rated and fully featured remote app for local music and video playback is JRemote. However, to use it, you must run JRiver Media Center on your PC. Also, the JRemote app is iPhone/iPad only. If you are an Android user, you would use the Gizmo app to control your JRiver Media Center PC.
If you are intent with sticking to WMC/WMP, the options for music playback are not that inspiring. MyMediaCenter by Ceton is probably the highest rated app for WMC control, but its feature set is more targeted towards PVR and video playback. There are many others from small 3rd party developers, but most of them don't work reliably and very few have a halfway decent UI. Since I have no personal experience with most of them, I will provide a link to another thread on the topic...
Another option would be to go with an actual desktop remote app like Splashtop 2. This would give you the actual desktop interface used on your HTPC, only using the touch and gesture controls built in to your mobile device.