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[Android] Developing client/server apps

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I recently procured an HTC Desire Z and I was amazed by the sheer amount of applications available for it and decided I wanted to do some development as well. I got quite a nice idea and want to do a little hands-on approach by developing a little app that controls iTunes over the network.

Nothing new or innovation, but it's a good start to get my hands dirty with some development including networking. But, I've done some network coding in the past, but I'm not entirely sure how to approach this, as I require a protocol to be designed. And that's exactly where I could use some help, because my past attempts at doing network level stuff usually turned into a horrible pile or terrible code. The protocol for this little app should be bi-directional: Commands from the Android app to the server, and the server returning bits of information about play lists, artists, albums, player status, progress in song and volume level.

What would be the best way to approach this? I thought about using XML since that's easily parseable(since I'll be using tons of text anyway) and allows easy transmitting of text. What things should I keep in mind here?

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