MacMost Now 126: Using Your Mac and Wii Together

Gary Rosenzweig looks at how to view music, photos and video from your Mac on your Wii using Wii Transfer. You can also use your Wii Remote with your Mac as a wireless mouse.

Video Transcript
Hi. This is Gary from MacMostNow. Today I'm going to show you two ways that you can use your Wii with your MAC. Now, if you're interested in sharing photos, movies, and music onto your Wii, the program for you is called "Wii Transfer" and you can find it at riverfold.com. Now, this program, what it will do is take your photos from your iphoto library, it will take your music from itunes, it will take special moies that you select, and actually make them available for your Wii that's on the same network, for you to be able to view them. Let's go and take a look.
So, Wii Transfer is just an application you download and run. When you run it, it's going to create a little web server on your MAC. It'll give you the IP address, right here, of that web server, and you turn it on. Now, once you do that, you'll be able to access things via your internet connection on your Wii. So you've got several options here. One is music and you can select it to share all of your music in itunes. also pictures, all of your pictures in iphoto. You can also select movies. Now, movies are a little different. What you need to do is drag and drop movie files, like mp4 files or m4v files into this window and it will convert them into flash videos. Because, you see, the Wii doesn't actually have a media player to play back just any type of video. It can only play back video through the web browser which uses flash. So it can play back flash video. What Wii Transfer does it converts all this video into a format that this Wii web browser can play. So after you've set things up the way you want, you go back to sharing here, you note the IP address of your MAC, Then you go over to the Wii, and enter that in.
So here we are on our Wii. Now what we need to do with this, is we need to go ahead and select the internet channel. This uses a version of the Opera web browser that runs inside the Wii. The Opera web browser is capable of playing back flash.
Now what you need to do is you need to enter in a web address. Now the web address should be what you saw earlier on your MAC, inside the Wii Transfer program. So here is what it looks like on your Wii. Wii Transfer is basically a series of web pages. You can choose between movies, music, photos, and bookmarks. Lets look at music. It'll go ahead and list, by artist or album, all the stuff in your itunes library. It'll play it for you using it's own little player. Keep in mind this is not some sort of Wii interface or something from your MAC, this is what the Wii Transfer server kind of gives to you. You can go back and look at pictures and view by events or albums. Kind of the same type of thing that you see in iphoto. You can also go and look at movies. Now these are the movies you selected to convert. Here's an episode of MacMost that I selected to convert. The video quality isn't that great, but the Wii has an older version of flash with an older video player in it. One of the cool things you also have is access to all of your bookmarks from Safari or Firefox. So, this gives you a shortcut for entering urls into the Wii browser. You don't have to type them all in using the Wii remote, you can actually just access bookmarks using Wii Transfer. So when you click on one of these bookmarks, you'll actually just jump right onto a regular page inside the Opera browser in the Wii.
You can do two other things with the Wii Transfer program. One is that you can grab your Miis, or your avatars, from your Wii. You have to do that by using your Wii remote. You actually transfer them to the remote using the Wii's interface for doing that, then you can transfer them from the remote using the Wii Transfer. You can do the same thing with saved games, so you can save a library of saved games if you wish.
Now, since Wii Transfer is just creating a little web server, you can actually access this from anything. You can potentially access this from another MAC or a PC or any internet enabled device. It's not just for Wiis.
So where Wii Transfer wins, is it's a way to get some of your media onto your Wii. Well, not really onto your Wii. It stays on your MAC and you actually play it through your Wii. Where it loses is it doesn't really act as a true media browser except for maybe photos and music. The video stuff, you are basically converting it for playback on the web. So, it's not a great solution, and it's nowhere near as good as the solutions for the Xbox360, but the Xbox360 has media players in it. The Wii does not. Still, it's only nineteen bucks so if you don't have any other way to playback media in your living room from your MAC, like an Apple TV or Xbox360, this might be a good option for you.
Another cool thing you can do with your Wii, or your Wii remote with your MAC, is use this thing to control your mouse. So let's go take a look at an open source piece of software called darwiin-remote. (sourceforge.net/projects/darwiin-remote) So what you do with this is you actually go ahead and find your Wii remote by pressing the "1" and "2" buttons while the "Wiimote" program is running. What it will do is find it and add it as a Bluetooth device. This is actually really hard to do. It took me tons and tons of tries and tweaking to finally get the Wii remote to connect. Once you do get it to connect though all you need to do is to turn on the Motion Sensors and then you can basically see, through all those lines, all the motion of the WiiMote. If I hold it steady, all the lines are straight. If I move it in one direction, obviously blue, green, there's red. There's a lot of different things you can do. And the cool thing is turning mouse mode on. Then, the cool thing is to be able to go ahead and control the mouse using the WiiMote. So I find the best thing to do is just hold it steady, rotate right to go right, left to go left. Tilt up to go up, down to go down. IT takes a little getting used to, but once you do, but once you do you can actually control it and it becomes this kind of wireless airmouse that you can use. Might be kind of neat for presentations. There are also lots of customizable functions so you can set all the buttons to do all sorts of different things. So, for just going through slide shows, you may not even need to use the motion sensors. You can just use the forward buttons, the backwards button, home buttons, and things like that.
So go ahead and check out those two alternatives if you are both a Wii player and a MAC user. Until next time, This is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMostNow.

Comments: 4 Responses to “MacMost Now 126: Using Your Mac and Wii Together”

    Daniel
    8/27/08 @ 8:50 pm

    This show was interesting. After sinking money into a Wii, for $19 more you can have a poor man’s Apple TV. Not bad really, especially if you don’t have an HD TV to run an Apple TV.

    Robert Howell
    8/28/08 @ 3:22 am

    I’m waiting for someone to tell me how to use my ps3 with my macbook pro.

      digitalguru709
      1/10/10 @ 11:30 am

      use “Playback” by yazoft. AMAZING!!

    8/28/08 @ 9:30 am

    Robert: Look into Nullriver’s MediaLink software. That should do it for you. Unfortunately I don’t have a PS3 to try it myself.

Comments Closed.