Review of RovioDirect Freeware App for WowWee RovioPosted by Peter Redmer on Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Another new application for controlling your WowWee Rovio has hit the scene. Developer and community member Andreas, of ewe-software, has created his own application called RovioDirect. RovioDirect is designed to be used on Windows based PC's, and is an excellent substitute for the web-based application - it even adds several features.
Getting Started with RovioDirect
First, you'll have to download the application from here, then install it on your PC. Once installed, double click the icon to run the application. The first time the app runs, you'll be met with a configuration file editor. This might look a little daunting if you're not used to editing configuration files directly, but don't sweat it. All you really have to do here is change the IP address of the Rovio, and potentially the port (if you changed it in your original configuration.) If you need to brush up on configuring Rovio, check out this article.
One more thing before you get going. You'll have to set Rovio to use VLC encoding for its stream, which is not the default setting. Head to the Rovio setup menu and change the setting shown above before continuing.
Using RovioDirect is quite simple. Once the app is configured, fire it up and it should synchronize and connect to your Rovio. If it does not, make sure that your firewall is configured to allow access to Rovio. You should not need to download any additional software or drivers.
Movement is accomplished using the WASD keys, which should be familiar to anyone who is or has been a PC/Mac gamer - Q and E are used to turn. The 1,2, and 3 keys control Rovio's head tilt. You can see a full list of keyboard commands here.
Some New Features
RovioDirect adds some cool functionality that is not available in the web client that you should definitely try out. First, shown in the photo above, you can see that RovioDirect has a fullscreen mode. This mode is easily accessible via the menu, and you can return to regular view with a double-click.
Sound is enabled in RovioDirect, which is great - and you gain the ability to play custom sounds remotely through the Rovio's speaker. You can finally terrorize your dog with barking sounds from the comfort of your desk at work, or freak out household members with random noises if you want. You can also use custom sounds as well as record something and play it back through the Rovio.
You can also adjust the sensitivity of the microphone if you are in a quiet (or overly loud) room. I personally experienced some crazy loud feedback when running in normal mode, so I immediately set the sensitivity to medium. I would personally recommend turning down your speakers the first time you run the app for this reason.
Give RovioDirect a Try
Head on over to the Downloads area to snag the app and give it a try. There's already a thread started in the forums for you to post your questions - let Andreas know how you like his app and any suggestions you have for improvement!