I’ve just got a MCE compatible remote control. So I wanted to use it with SMPlayer.
Under Windows it was pretty easy, SMPlayer recognized the buttons as key strokes, so it was just a matter of assigning the remote buttons (Play, Stop, Volume Up and so on) to the proper functions. Now the development version (from r6033) already has those buttons assigned by default for new installations (for old installations you need to load the file default.keys in the shortcut editor).
Under Linux this remote control is already supported by the kernel, it works out of the box, it’s not necessary to use lirc or inputlirc. But there was a problem, some keys like Play, Pause, Stop didn’t work. These keys were grabbed by the desktop (it seems by a component of Gnome) and so they weren’t available by other applications. Fortunately this can be solved easily, in the gnome-control-center: Keyboard -> Sound and Media, just disable all the multimedia shortcuts.