EPISODE 4: Opening and Closing Applications

We now know how to pair our Harmony one with Plex, Boxee and Remote Buddy. We also know all about Remote Buddy keymaps and how we can define a mapping between a key on the Harmony and a Remote Buddy action.

So what?

Well with actions we can control multiple apps on our HTPC. Remote Buddy provide us with a library of "actions" for applications such as Plex, Boxee, iTunes, Safari and so on.

In the previous episode we have mapped the button "Boxee" and "Plex" to "Activate Boxee Behavior" and "Activate Plex  Behavior". Remember?

This is fine to open new applications. But we don't need both applications open at the same time. We want to close "Boxee" when "Plex" opens and vice versa. To do this we need a custom action.

Creating a Custom Action

1. Open the Remote Buddy menu and select "Behavior Construction Kit" option. Then select "Action Factory" as you see in the following picture.

2. Each action have a name and belong to a group. To add an action click on the "+" button in the bottom left corner as you see in the picture. In the group write "Mini Harmony" column. In the title write "Open Boxee".

3. Since we want the action to be globally accessible we select "Action globally available". This way we  can use the action in the Global keymap.

4. We will now define the steps that the action will take to achieve its goal. Select "Implementation".

5. To add a step click on the "+" sign and select "Behavior Action" as you see in the picture. We need this type of action because we want to reuse one already defined in the RB library.

6. Select "Execute Behavior Action" followed by "Behaviors" and finely select the action "Quit currently controlled application". This action basically closes whatever app is controlling at the moment. If it is "Plex" it closes "Plex", if it is "Boxee" it closes "Boxee", etc.

7. Click the "+" followed by  "Behavior Action" once again. Then select "Behaviors" followed by "Activate Boxee Behavior". This one you should already know what it does. If not check the previous episode.

8. After defining all the steps described for the "Open Boxee" action, our screen looks like the the one pictured bellow:

9. Now we will map this new action to the "Boxee" button on the Harmony that we have defined in a previous eposide. So go to Remote Buddy "Preferences" and open the "Mapping" window. There select the Global keymap.

If you have followed the last episode you should find something like it is shown in the following picture.

10. We will change the "Activate Boxee Behavior" action to the one we just defined. So bring up the action menu browse down to "Miscellaneous" and select "Open Boxee [Mini Harmony" as you see in the picture bellow.

11. Repeat the steps above to do the same for "Plex" 

An that is it. We now have RB opening and closing both "Boxee" and "Plex accordingly with a click of a button in the Harmony One. You can do the same with any other app with a behavior/keymap defined in RB.

Defining new Keymaps/Behaviors 

Say for instance we want to start an app for which there is no Keymap/"Behavior" yet defined. Without it we can not for sure control the app.

That is certainly the case of Kylo, the internet browser used by Mini Harmony to satisfy the needs of the couch potatoes in the house.

After installing Kylo we notice that RB does not show it in the "Mappings" window. So we need to add a brand new keymap.

For the purpose of this tutorial we will use Kylo as an example.

1. So please download and install Kylo if you haven't done already.

2. Open ...