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Guide: How To Control Spotify, Pandora, YouTube with Mac’s Media Keys
I don’t live in the US, but I listen to music through Spotify’s web app when I’m writing or just browsing the web. I am using the free ad supported tier as I don’t need to access premium mobile features (podcasts FTW) And it’s better than blatant piracy.
Cool Tip I am using the Hola Unblocker Chrome extension to mask my real location in Spotify’s web player. That’s also how I created the Spotify account.
The reason I don’t use Spotify’s great Mac app is because I get kicked off about every week for “not being in a supported country.” I have to reinstall the app and wait for the cat and mouse game to start again. So in the end I just gave it up up and settled on the web player. I don’t get plugin support, but that’s okay.
One thing i do very miss on the Mac app, you can access Mac’s built-in Play / Pause, Next and Previous keys. When you listen to music on Spotify / Pandora / Rdio on the web, the tab is usually in the background. I hate chasing it every time I have to pause playback.
That’s why I’d like to share with you a simple Mac menu bar utility that lets you control over a dozen web-based music / media player sites with your Mac’s media keys. All you need to do is use a keyboard shortcut to set the current tab as active and just like that, the Mac’s media keys will take over the tab’s playback.back to menu ↑
How to install BeardedSpice
Download the compressed file from the website, use Mac’s built-in archive utility to extract it and drag the extracted app to the Applications folder. The first time you open the app, Mac will issue a standard warning. Just click on Open.
Hi YouTube: BeardedSpice also supports video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo without any performance issues. Scroll to the last section for the full list of supported services.
Now you will see the BeardedSpice logo in the menu bar. As the name suggests, the logo is a beard and mustache.back to menu ↑
How to use and configure BeardedSpice
Now that is BeardedSpice up and running, go to one of the supported web-based media players. Click on the menu bar utility and you will see the media tab.
Click on a web page to activate it. A check mark appears next to the selected site upback to menu ↑
Configure keyboard shortcuts
To make the activation process for web-based players as fast as possible, BeardedSpice supports keyboard shortcuts. The default shortcut to activate BeardedSpice is Cmd + F8. F8 is also useful the Play / Pause key.
But for some reason, I found this shortcut to be buggy. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Fortunately, you can change the keyboard shortcut.
Click on the BeardedSpice utility in the menu bar and go to Preferences. Here, click the space next to Set Active Tab and type the desired shortcut. I have mine set to Cmd + 8 as it is right below the Play / Pause buttonback to menu ↑
Enable / disable supported services
From the same Preferences menu, you can decide which web players you don’t want BeardedSpice interacting with.
Here’s the full list of supported web players:
- 8 numbers
- Amazon Music
- Google Music
- Music unlimited
- Spotify (web)
- Xbox Music
- VK (“My Music” from vk.com)
Where do you plan to use BeardedSpice?
What services do you plan to use BeardedSpice with? Do you wish it supported more players like Netflix.com? Let us know in the comments below.back to menu ↑
How To Control Spotify, Pandora, YouTube with Mac’s Media Keys: benefits
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