9 Different Ways to Control iTunes

One of the great things about iTunes is the range of third-party software developed to make playing and browsing songs easier. Whether a tiny widget sitting in your menu bar or a gorgeous display of high quality album art on your desktop – there’s an iTunes controller to match every taste.

A number of the applications mentioned are free, and we’re covering both desktop and mobile device software (not solely for iPhones, you’ll be pleased to know!). If you use iTunes on a regular basis I would definitely recommend giving a few of these tools a try. They simplify the process of skipping through tracks, and can make digital music even more enjoyable.

Desktop Controllers

You Control

You Control

You Control

You Control resides in the OS X Menu Bar and offers a quick way to move between and rate tracks. Clicking the menu displays all the current track information, along with several menus for selecting artists, playlists, or recently played music.

Price: Free
Developer: You Software
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) or 10.5 (Leopard)

SizzlingKeys

SizzlingKeys

SizzlingKeys

Having recently reviewed SizzlingKeys, we felt it deserved a place in this list. It’s great for selecting songs to play, as well as providing a pleasant visual feedback of what you’re listening to.

Price: $4.95
Developer: Yellow Mug
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later, iTunes 8.1.x

CoverSutra

CoverSutra

CoverSutra

Along with having a great name, CoverSutra offers a decent range of features. It comes at a hefty price for a simple iTunes controller but has a stunning interface and integrates well with Last.fm. Worth checking out if you’re happy to spend a little money.

Price: $19.95
Developer: Sophiestication
Requires: Mac OS X Leopard

Bowtie

Bowtie

Bowtie

Bowtie is a fairly new application that allows you to control iTunes with shortcuts, submit your songs to Last.fm, and experiment with a huge range of (gorgeously designed) themes. Interestingly, all the theming is done via JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

Price: Free
Developer: Matt Patenaude & Laurent Baumann
Requires: Requires Mac OS X 10.5 or greater

Synergy

Synergy

Synergy Classic

Synergy offers a combination approach, displaying both menu bar navigation controls and a desktop display of album art. It would seem that development hasn’t been active for a while, and Synergy doesn’t offer a huge amount more than various free controllers.

Price: 5€
Developer: WinCent
Requires: Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) or later

ByteController

ByteController

ByteController

ByteController is a the simplest of all the apps on show, giving you three buttons in your menu bar: previous song, next song and play/pause. Holding either of these buttons will fast forward or rewind. Very straight forward, but it may be perfect for your needs.

Price: Free
Developer: Bytetastic
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or greater

TuneBar 3

TuneBar 3

TuneBar

TuneBar is a fantastic app with stunning skins, Growl integration, and the option for menu bar widgets. With a theme that looks like this, how you can resist giving it a try?

Price: $12
Developer: Tom Hancocks
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5+ (Leopard)

Mobile Controllers

iTunes Remote App

iTunes Remote App

iTunes Remote App

Remote is a free application that turns iPod touch and iPhone into a remote control for iTunes and Apple TV. You can browse your entire music library, and use your mobile device as an incredibly advanced Wi-Fi remote control.

Price: Free
Developer: Apple
Requires: iPod Touch/iPhone

Salling Clicker Software

Salling Clicker Software

Salling Clicker

Salling Clicker lets you control popular applications from a mobile phone or handheld computer – not only iTunes, but a range of other software as well. It works with over 300 devices and operates via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Price: $23.95
Developer: Salling Software
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or greater, and a supported device

Conclusion

I hope that you have a new-found knowledge of desktop iTunes controllers, and have received a taste for what’s available on a mobile device. It’s easy to swap between applications in this niche so I would definitely recommend giving a few different controllers a try.

Please feel free to share any other mobile or desktop iTunes controllers that you’re a fan of. I’m sure there are a few stunning ones lurking around that we haven’t covered!