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I will try to be brief!

I have no internet connection at home save for my mobile phone data. This makes it difficult to use "normal" remote applications for media players like Kodi because they require a network connection.

I have used the Android app Yatse at school and really liked it. I would love to be able to use a similar media remote app to control my Pi, but it would have to be offline using Bluetooth or an Access Point connection created by my Pi. A Bluetooth remote might be the best option, because if I connect my phone to an Access Point WiFi connection, I will not have an internet connection on my phone, rather inconvenient.

I have a Raspberry Pi 3 and an external hard drive filled with movies and music. My main concern is playing/controlling music, movies/TV shows are secondary. For what it's worth, I also have a HiFiberry attached as an audio output. My goal was to sit my Pi atop my stereo and crank some high quality tunes!

In the past I tried Moode Audio. The Access Point mode worked, but the web based interface was very slow with my large library of music, and the web interface was difficult to control using a phone. Perhaps it is better suited for desktop/laptop or even tablet use. Also, as mentioned before, when I connected to the access point WiFi, I lost internet connection on my phone, so I could not, for example, browse Reddit while listening to music. Furthermore, it seems like it has become a paid service since I tried it (a few months ago).

Ideally, I would love to be able to somehow use Kodi. I liked using it in the past and thought it worked well for me, but controlling it offline has been difficult (impossible) for me.

I should mention that I have minimal experience with Linux, command lines, and the like, so please have patience with me!


Edit: The solution I am using right now:

  1. Install OSMC to my Raspberry Pi's microSD card.
  2. Hook up my USB hard drive, keyboard, and mouse.
  3. Run the setup on my Pi, it basically runs itself.
  4. Install Yatse (android app) on my phone.
  5. Turn on the WiFi hotspot mode on my phone.
  6. Setup OSMC on my Pi to connect to my phone's WiFi using the mouse and keyboard.
  7. Enter the Pi's IP address into the Yatse app, and viola! It works!

If anyone else has troubles with this method, I can provide more detail!

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Turn on your phone's mobile hotspot and configure your Raspberry Pi to connect to it. That way your phone and your Pi both have Internet access through your phone, and they are both networked together.

On your phone (assuming android):

  1. Tap your home button.

  2. Tap your App drawer button.

  3. Find and tap your Settings app.

  4. Tap the search button (magnifying glass).

  5. Type in "Hotspot".

  6. Tap "Mobile Hotspot and Tethering" or something similar.

  7. Turn that on, take note of the network name and password.

Now on the Raspberry Pi, you need to insert your new network at the end of the file located at /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

network={
    ssid="Your SSID Here"
    proto=RSN
    key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
    pairwise=CCMP TKIP
    group=CCMP TKIP
    psk="YourPasswordHere"
}

Make sure you replace "Your SSID Here" with the name of your phone's hotspot and replace "YourPasswordHere" with the password it gives you. You can wrap it in quotation marks, as in the example, if you like.

After that, there is probably a way to get wpa_supplicant or networking to reload properly, but I've never had great success so I just reboot the Pi:

sudo shutdown -r now

Now, if you watch your phone's hotspot settings screen, you should see a Raspberry Pi show up as a connected device. It should also show you the Pi's IP address on that screen.

This is the easiest method for a novice. You can set up a Bluetooth PAN on the Raspberry Pi, but it's more complicated and comes with caveats. The hotspot method is better.

  • Thank you for the response, Jon M. Are you assuming I have some sort of operating software installed on my Pi's microSD card already? Ideally, I would like to have Kodi installed, so should I go ahead and install that on my microSD card before I edit the "/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf" file you mention? Once I have my Pi connected to my phone's hotspot, I should be able to use Kodi remote apps then? Thanks again for your help. I won't be able to try/test this until later tonight, but I can gather as much info as I can now. – RealDiels Jul 24 '17 at 15:17
  • Another question: will having the Pi connected to my phone use a bunch of mobile data? I will monitor it closely either way! – RealDiels Jul 24 '17 at 15:17
  • Kodi is just a program. It needs an operating system. I think it only runs under linux, and Raspbian is the most common linux operating system for Raspberry Pi. The wpa_supplicant.conf file is installed by default in Raspbian. It won't do anything by itself, so you need to install at least Rasbian before you insert those lines. – FlippingBinary Jul 25 '17 at 16:22
  • I don't know how much data Rasbian uses in the background, or Kodi for that matter. It's worth keeping an eye on it. – FlippingBinary Jul 25 '17 at 16:24

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