Solution to launch Plex Media Player with remote



We used to be able to just hit menu and it would launch Plex Home Theater. Devs have still not added the same function to the rewritten Plex Media Player and have it listed as an upcoming/future feature. So here is the workaround I did to get this functionality back so I can use only the remote and no keyboard necessary.

  • This is working for me with a 2011 Mac mini running Sierra. My remote is a logitech harmony 650 and is programmed with devices Apple mac mini & Apple Plex media player. Regular apple remote should work exactly the same though.
  1. Install BetterTouchTool -
    Has a 45 day trial and is cheap to purchase. Allow it to use the mac accessibility for control of computer. Mac system preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Accessibility. Then restart BTT. Then in the black bar on the far right there is a down triangle looking thing, click that and select “Apple Remote (legacy support)” and pick your remote type (newer aluminum or older white).

  2. Add a new Global trigger: Select Global on left pane, then “+ add new apple remote trigger”. Select “Menu, holding” and assign your preferred key, in my case F5. This key will tie to Spark later which will launch and quit the PMP app.

  3. Add new application and select PMP. Because BTT now hijacks all IR it seems, no longer will Plex control work so you have to now map the button presses to keyboard control. See the screenshot for the mapping I used. Holding the center button gives me the debug/info overlay. The nice thing here is you can add more than what I have by using the other button long presses.

  4. Install Spark : - I don’t think this works on High Sierra though as it’s old and 32bit. I’ll have to find another solution, BTT can open and quit apps but not with the same button press that Spark allows.

  5. Add a new hotkey in Spark to launch and quit PMP. Use the same key you chose in step 2, F5 in my case.

Now you should be able to just press and hold Menu on the remote to launch PMP. Doing the same thing will also exit PMP. The other button presses should work for all the major navigation. You could also add “H” to get back to the home screen, etc. I may play around with using the long button presses for some of the other documented keys.


Edit/Update: There is a newer 64-bit version of Spark but have not tried it yet (3.0b11).