Cupertino (CA) - The latest iTunes 7.7 beta released last week indicates that Apple plans to offer a free iPhone/iPod touch application called Remote. The software is believed to turn the iPhone or iPod touch into a Wi-Fi control device for iTunes media that are stored on a Mac or PC desktop.
First evidence that Apple is taking advantage of such a long-expected feature surfaced in the Read Me file of the iTunes 7.7 beta installer. "Use iTunes 7.7 to sync music, video, and more with iPhone 3G, and download applications from the iTunes Store exclusively designed for iPhone and iPod touch with software version 2.0 or later. Also use the new Remote application for iPhone or iPod touch to control iTunes playback from anywhere in your home- a free download from the App Store."
A sign that Apple planned such a feature can be found in a patent application that was filed back in 2005. The filing described a "portable multimedia player (such as the iPod, manufactured by Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.) used to wirelessly access and control a media server (such as a personal computer running iTunes software) that is streaming digital media by way of a wireless interface to a media unit (such as a stereo/speakers in the case of streaming digital audio)."
According to the patent, "metadata associated with the media files" such as song name, artist, etc. will be transferred wireless to the media device (iPhone or iPod touch) to display detailed information on iPhone’s screen about remote media.
Apple said iTunes 7.7 will be required to take advantage of the upcoming iPhone 2.0 software update features. Besides the Remote application, the latest iTunes beta also revealed MobileMe support and a new "Applications" tab in iTunes that is used to choose between syncing "All" or "selected" applications with the iPhone or iPod touch.
Apple also shipped the iPhone 2.0 SDK beta 8 and said that the company now accepts applications to be included in its AppStore.