Learning on the MX-900 is exceedingly quick, requiring far less than a second to recognize each code. Although most changes in MX-900 Editor require a second “Save” step to actually commit the change, with the learning mode’s “Continue” button option the software will automatically save successful learns and step from one button to the next without additional mouse clicks. This makes capturing a large number of commands under a single device much quicker.
I’m pleased to see that Universal Remote has made some efficiency improvements since I last looked at the software, as it now automatically advances to the next LCD page when one is finished learning. However some further refinements could still be made. The software will not skip LCD buttons that have no labels set (ie. unused keys), nor will it automatically jump between hard button and LCD sections. Additionally, while there is some text feedback on the learning process both in the software and on the remote’s screen, neither provides any sort of audio cue as to whether a code has learned correctly or failed. It’s hard to catch the quarter-second flash of “Good” on either display when a code is captured, and consequently it’s easy to continue pressing the source button for just a little bit too long and have the software store the same code twice on different keys.
In addition to the code database and code learning capabilities, MX-900 Editor also features a method of importing codes from other remote control files. Using the “Universal Browser” it’s possible to extract individual commands from MXF and MXD files (MX-700, MX-800, MX-850), MXA files (MX-950), RCC files (MX-3000), MXT (TX-1000), MSF files (MRF-400 basestation) and CCF files (original Pronto). It’s also possible to import or export complete devices in the MX-900’s native file format.
After a file has been selected to browse, the software displays a tree view of devices and pages along with a preview of the original page and, once a button has been chosen, a list of stored commands. Simply drag-and-drop a command from the Universal Browser window to the MX-900 button of your choice. The target key will have its label changed to a shortened version of the original key’s name (even if you didn’t want it to). Additionally, once a file has been opened in the Universal Browser it will smartly remain open throughout multiple editing sessions, until a new one is selected.
Just as we were going to press, Universal Remote updated their universal browser to support industry standard format Pronto IR hex codes. This means that something as simple as wanting to insert a discrete power hex code for a device will no longer require users to download and install ProntoEdit, create a new file with buttons containing those codes, and then import the resultant CCF file into MX-900 Editor. Instead, simply paste the learned hex code in the window then drag-and-drop from the target-shaped button. This greatly enhances the universal browser’s convenience factor, however some further enhancements to deal with other popular remote control file formats such as Pronto PCF and XCF files, as well as RTI CML files, would be welcomed. Also, if it doesn’t like a particular command – for instance if it’s a Pronto database code or a link to another button – there is currently nothing to indicate this until you try to drag-and-drop the command and nothing happens.