Your Universal Remote Control Center
Snapstream Firefly PC Remote Control Review
Previous section Next section Previous page Next page Up level
Up level
The following page was printed from

LM Remote KeyMap
Enlarge this screenshot.
An alternate solution.
If the Firefly’s drivers sound like they’re not nearly up to par compared to an otherwise good hardware design, that’s because they aren’t. With dated application support and a seeming inability to fix minor bugs (such as [Mute] controlling “Volume Down” and [Volume Up] controlling “Volume Down” in the default Windows Media Player profile), SnapStream’s telegraphed disinterest in maintaining the Firefly is disheartening.

Conveniently, though, the Firefly employs a standardized X-10 interface driver for the RF receiver, much like the ATI Remote Wonder (read our review). This has resulted in a particular user taking it upon himself to improve the situation by writing his own keymapping utility for the Firefly, as well as several other popular PC remote controls. LM Remote KeyMap, as it’s called, replaces the Beyond Media Basic portion of the FireFly’s drivers with a new utility that offers complete customization of every key on the Firefly. LM Remote is strictly a remote command interpreter, so there’s no fancy front-end HTPC interface, but if what you want is control over a diverse range of applications then this tool offers a level of customization and operational ease unmatched by the Firefly’s original software.

Rather than jumping back and forth between SnapStream’s two hidden utilities to create or edit profiles, LM Remote will automatically grab any running application’s window information and then allow you to quickly assign a wide range of functions to any key using a graphical interface. Keystrokes, application commands, launch programs, volume controls, mouse mode, or even a pop-up on-screen menu where multiple commands can be assigned to a single key.

SnapStream Firefly PC Remote Control
Enlarge this photo.
The standard version of LM Remote is free to use, although to access mouse mode or the on-screen menu feature you must purchase the full version by making a donation to the author. Other third-party methods of working with the FireFly are also available, for example EventGhost.

Final conclusion...
Despite computers being such versatile devices, it’s interesting how many PC remote controls are extremely inflexible in nature and make it difficult, if not impossible, to customize them for use with other applications. As far as the Firefly’s profile-based system goes it’s one of the easier official methods of customizing a PC remote – at least in comparison to ATI’s compiled C++ plugins – but it’s still a long way from being a practical solution for the average consumer.

As for the Firefly’s hardware and keypad layout, SnapStream has managed to come up with a winning design. If you’re a technically adept user and plan on using the Firefly with SnapStream’s Beyond Media HTPC front-end, or if you intend to co-install it with Girder or the LM Remote plugin, then the Firefly is a comfortable and attractively priced RF remote with an excellent array of hard buttons. But for all other home users looking for an easy plug-and-play PC remote control solution, it’s difficult to recommend the Firefly due to its out-of-date software support... even if it is possible for owners to manually correct those shortcomings themselves.

- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)

SnapStream Media Firefly
PC Remote Control Data Box
Price:$49.99 USD
Contact:   SnapStream Media
Get it at:
Find it with:
CNET Shopper

Previous PagePrevious page
Continue to featuresNext Page

Hosting Services by ipHouse