Improve iTunes with GimmeSomeTunes – part 2 [Mac only]

In the previous article about GimmeSomeTunes, we’ve seen how convenient it is to have this app along with iTunes. As long as your computer is connected to the net, GimmeSomeTunes will automatically fetch the lyric and cover art for the currently playing song.

But that is not its only ability. There are other features that will make your song playing via iTunes more enjoyable.

The shortcuts

Imagine this situation: You are in the middle of your work and the tune in the background is changing into that song that you’ve got bored with and you want to skip it. Or your most favorite song has reached the end and you want to listen to it again. What to do?

You could easily switch to iTunes, change the song, and switch back to whatever you are doing. But keep repeating this seemingly simple process over and over again will become an annoying activity.

It would be nice if there are some shortcut keys for you to use to control your tunes on the fly without having to go back and forth between applications.

GimmeSomeTunes gives you that ability. If you open the Preferences from the menubar,

GimmeSomeTune - Preferences.png

and choose the “Hotkeys” menu, you’ll see a bunch of pre-defined shortcut keys for various functions. There are three shortcut groups:

  • Basic Hotkeys – to control basic function of the app such as showing or hiding the info window, iTunes, lyric window, and the preferences itself.
  • Player Hotkeys – to control iTunes with commands like Play, Pause, Volume up and down, fast forward, rewind, and skip.
  • Rating Hotkeys – to give ratings to currently playing songs.

GimmeSomeTune - Hotkeys

Don’t forget to check the “Use Hotkeys” option to activate these shortcuts.

Even though these hotkeys are pre-defined, you could change them to whatever combination you are comfortable with. Just click on the “X” mark within each shortcut field to delete the old one and assign the new one.

The displays

GimmeSomeTunes also provide users with customizable display of lyric and song info.

The lyric window will appear when you use the shortcut: Command + Option + Control + L. This window is move-able and resize-able just like other ordinary application windows.

GimmeSomeTunes - Lyrics window

But different from the dynamic lyric window, the info window will – by default – stubbornly reside in the lower part of the desktop and won’t budge from its position.

GimmeSomeTunes - Song Info

To move it, you have to make the window “drag-able”. Use this shortcut: Command + Option + Enter; and you’ll be able to move the window. (You could also choose “Make Dragable” from the menubar icon.

There are further customization options available from the Preferences window. Choose the Appearance menu to access them.

GimmeSomeTunes - Preferences - Appearance
You could:

  • Choose what song infos that you want to display in the info window. From song title, artist name, album, etc. You could also choose to display none of these elements if you want to show only the album art.
  • Decide how long the info window will appear, from never to never fade out.
  • Set the window color and transparency
  • Set the window alignment (position)
  • Choose what font to use on the info window and on the lyric display.

To further customize GimmeSomeTunes, you could tinker with more menus available on the Preferences window. There are options to display song info in the iChat window, show mini-controller on the menubar, use Apple Remote Control, and use GimmeSomeTunes with your Last.fm account.

I have nothing but good comments for this app. It has turn my song listening into a totally new and fun experience.

Have you tried GimmeSomeTunes? Do you know other alternatives? Share using the comment below.