Helium is a so-called UPnP A/V ControlPoint (or as DLNA puts it, a M-DMC). It allows you to browse UPnP/DLNA media servers from your N9 and show or play its contents on a rendering device as well as offering basic playback controls on those devices.
Where do I get it?
How to use
After launching Helium you will see a list of available media servers on your current network. Helium has two views, a “Server view” which you are currently in and a “Player view” which can be reached by clicking on the “Play” button in the bottom tool bar.
If you need to refresh the list of available devices because a device you believe is available but isn’t shown you can use the refresh button in the top bar to force a scan for available devices.
You can simply start browsing the server by tapping on it.
Browsing and playing media
The browse view looks similar to the initial server view. You go deeper into the hierarchy by tapping on the item if it indicates that there’s more to come. You can navigate up the hierarchy by using the tool bar’s back button.
You can refresh the current listing by clicking on the refresh button in the header.
To play back an item on the selected renderer, use a long press. By default this will open a pop-up menu where you can either chose to play the file on the currently selected player (“Play on current device”) or chose another player from a list of currently available players.
If the currently selected renderer does not support an item, Helium will tell you this by adding an exclamation mark to the item’s icon.
The player view does not look very different from the initial server view. You can refresh the list of available devices and switch back to the server view. To select a player tap on it. Helium will then show you extended playback controls as seen in the image.
You can start and stop a playback as well as see its current progress.
If the player supports it (some may not as those actions are optional), you can also pause a playback and seek in the media by tapping on the progress bar.
You can close the extended player view by tapping on the “up arrow” right to the device’s name.
Some details may be fine-tuned. It is possible enable or disable the use of album art and thumbnails which speeds up the display of the media list. It is also possible now to show the device icons.
If you prefer the old way of using long press to play a file on the currently selected renderer, the settings panel has an option to revert to the old behaviour.
It is also possible to start the on-device media sharing every time you launch Helium. This does not show the status icon yet.