6 Useful Apps to Control iTunes From the Menu Bar in Mac

Since iTunes is the default player on Mac OS, many choose to use it for their music needs. If you’re one of those who uses iTunes to listen to music, you may be looking for easier ways to control it while doing other things on your Mac. Yes, you can control iTunes from its interface and also from the Dock (right-click the iTunes icon), but this is not ideal for many users.

Some users like to hide their Dock or just prefer to control their apps from the menu bar. Others like to use iTunes in full screen mode. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it can often make controlling iTunes more of an inconvenience. Why? Well, you’ll have to keep switching back to the “desktop” with iTunes on it in order to skip back/forward, search for songs, rate a song, etc.

As you can see, it just makes sense and makes things easier if you instead control iTunes from your Mac’s menu bar. There are quite a few iTunes controllers available for download, ranging from simple to more advanced. Below we’ll take a look at the top Mac apps available that will allow you to control iTunes from the menu bar.

Skip Tunes for Mac - Control iTunes, Spotify, and Rdio from the menu bar.

Skip Tunes is a retina-optimized app that lets you control iTunes, Spotify and Rdio all from the menu bar. It includes customizable keyboard shortcuts, track notifications, album artwork, social sharing (Facebook and Twitter) and the ability to rate tracks. One cool feature that it offers is the ability to show/hide controls in your menu bar, meaning you won’t have to open the app to skip back/forward or to pause the music.

Download | $2.99

Nimblify - Lightning fast iTunes controller.

As the successor of Significator, Nimblify is a beautiful, lightning fast iTunes controller. Nimblify has keyboard shortcuts, notifications, a thorough search feature and more. Album artwork can be displayed beautifully if you choose, along with song lyrics that display over the album artwork.

Download | $2.99

Muzzy - A tiny and gorgeous iTunes companion that lives in the menu bar.

Muzzy is a simple yet gorgeous iTunes companion that lets you view album artwork along with information about the current track. One of the cool features that Muzzy has is “sliding lyrics.” When it notices a track with lyrics, a new panel will slide down from the bottom of the app window and display those lyrics.

Muzzy also has Last.fm integration, which allows you to scrobble your songs. In case you’re wondering (since there aren’t any visible control buttons), you can skip back/forward between songs by clicking on a track’s artwork (click on the left or right side).

Download | Free

BarTunes allows you to control iTunes from your Mac's menu bar.

BarTunes is a simple iTunes controller for your menu bar; nothing too fancy. With it, you can navigate through your songs, view album artwork, view song information and add ratings to your songs.

Download | Free

SmashTunes is a Mac application that lets you control iTunes or Spotify from the menu bar.

SmashTunes is a another simple application that looks like a mix of BarTunes and Skip Tunes, minus the Rdio support. It lets you control iTunes or Spotify from the menu bar and via keyboard shortcuts. It displays the currently playing song right on your menu bar along with other information that you choose (like artist, album, duration, rating).

Download | $2.99

Music Control - Powerful and simple multi-app audio control for Pandora Radio, iTunes, Spotify, and Rdio.

Music Control lets you control iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and Pandora from your menu bar. You can easily switch between supported music players with the Dock that’s included with the application. You can also search (across all music players) for your favorite artists and get real-time results.

There’s also a useful internal favorites feature; you can “heart” a song and then access it later by clicking on the heart icon on Music Control’s Dock. With album artwork, Growl notifications and customizable keyboard shortcuts, you can’t help but fall in love with this app.

Download | $4.99

Now it’s your turn to let us know which method you prefer. How do you control iTunes on your Mac? Do you use the Dock, the iTunes interface, a menu bar application or another method?

Let us know in the comments.

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