12/16/16
9:21 am

Control iTunes With the MiniPlayer

If you want to see what song is playing and have some basic iTunes controls on the screen, but don't want to have the huge iTunes window compete for screen space, then try using the iTunes MiniPlayer. This special window is part of iTunes and provides information and controls in a small window that you can keep on top of other windows while you use your Mac.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Recently I've been asked a few times about playing music in iTunes and how to kind of balance having this big iTunes window open while you're doing other apps because people want to see what song is playing. You see it up here. They want to see lyrics. All sorts of things like that.

For the longest time, maybe since the very beginning, iTunes has had something called the Mini Player. That's exactly what this is for.

So you're using iTunes. You're playing music like I am here. You can go to Window, MiniPlayer and it brings up this little mini window here that has a lot of the information and controls that you need just for listening to music.

So you've got here the song, the artist, you've got how far the track is in, you've got volume control, pause, all sorts of things. You can even expand it here to show you things like what's up next in your music playing list or however you've set it up you can see your history of things that's been played. You can even see lyrics if lyrics are available for the song that you're using.

This little list here can be closed like that. You also have other options in here. Click the three dots. It's a very powerful little window. As a matter of fact you can take just about everything you need to listen to music.
You can close it easily by hitting the little X button there.

But the cool thing about the MiniPlayer is that it doesn't take up much space. You can put it off here to the side. You can close the main window there and you can have this present here while you run say other apps for doing different things. So here I'm running Mail and I can run Safari and I've got this little MiniPlayer here and out of the way.

Now it's still easy to hide that little MiniPlayer. Sometimes you want it to always remain on top. You can do that as well. Just go to iTunes Preferences and in there you have the option, under Advanced, to keep the MiniPlayer on top of all the other windows. When you selected that notice that if I moved Safari over the MiniPlayer is always at the top there. So it's always going to remain at the top. You can move it somewhere out of the way like the bottom left hand corner.

You can even, if you want, shrink it a little bit. You've got this little control here and you can shrink it down to a mini MiniPlayer and have that there at the very bottom just with playback controls. If you move the cursor over it you can see you have controls. If you move the cursor away from it it will scroll the artist's song, all of that.

So it's a great way to feel like you still have control over your music playing without iTunes taking up any space on your screen.

Comments: One Response to “Control iTunes With the MiniPlayer”

    AlanH
    12/22/16 @ 2:29 pm

    Great tip, Gary (as usual)!

    In case others are wondering why ‘MiniPlayer’ is greyed-out in their ‘Window’ drop-down, it’s only selectable if iTunes is NOT in full-screen mode.

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