Tubemote brings its remote controls to other sites

Tubemote, the Web-based remote control for YouTube, has a new system in place for third parties to make their own sites and services remote control-ready.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
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"We just released an API!" are usually words that make my brain glaze over like a Krispy Kreme doughnut. But in the case of Tubemote, which now has its own API, there's some very neat stuff going on behind the scenes that turns the Web-based remote control service into a full-fledged remote control platform for other sites.

Tubemote's primary function is letting people utilize a cell phone or spare computer as a way to control YouTube video playback on another machine. The service acts as an intermediary, letting the person who's in control do a search of YouTube's videos, then begin playing them to another machine or to anyone accessing that publishing URL.

Since we first covered it back in August, the site's moved on to include taking viewers to whatever URL they plug in, as well as offering up a built-in Google search box that only shows a viewer the result he clicked on.

The new API expands on this idea of going beyond just videos, by letting developers and site owners build remote control functionality into their Web apps and services. Some of the examples for how this can be useful are things like:

  • Basic scrolling up and down of a Web page--something users would be able to do with their phone (or other Web-enabled device)
  • Creating and sorting music playlists and seeing the results in real time
  • Controlling presentations
  • Controlling video games

The company also envisions it as an alternate control system for Google and Apple TV set-top boxes.

In my mind, a more ideal solution to all this would be a browser extension to enable these features on just about any site--regardless of whether or not the creators are willing to add these coded functions. That would open it up to a far higher number of products and services, though it would undoubtedly also take away some of the appeal of just having this work out of the box, and with just the person's Tubemote URL.

Besides the API, the company has just added support for playback of 1080p video, so if you're viewing on a machine that can handle that resolution and the processing requirements (like, say, a TV that's hooked up to a laptop), you can see Web videos in their full glory.