Controlling App or Website with Your Mac’s Media Keys


Published On: , by NewAdMacSoft

Have you ever hit your MacBook’s play/pause key to pause a YouTube video, just to get an iTunes launch instead? Then you are probably interested in a technique to enable the media keys on your device to control the site or app you actually wish to control, not the one selected by the operating system. Fortunately, there is a tool for that purpose, which is called BeardedSpice.

BeardedSpice: Regaining Control of Mac Media Keys

BeardedSpice is a free utility that performs a valuable function on your device. Namely, it allows you to take back control of the media keys from iTunes. For instance, when watching a video on YouTube, you can use the play/pause and other keys and they will perform their appropriate functions.

To run the BeardedSpice, launch it from the Applications folder. It runs in the menu bar and requires no setup. BeardedSpice tries to define which app or Safari tab you want it to control by default and then it starts working. This initial functioning is called Smart Mode. In case there is a video playing in a tab, BeardedSpice controls that tab. If no media is currently playing, the app will run on the frontmost tab.

Fine-Tuning the BeardedSpice

No need to tweak any settings, they are all here

BeardedSpice controls a few apps (among them VLC, iTunes, Spotify, Vox, and Downcast), several browsers, and lots of sites. If you never play any media stuff on a frequently visited site, it is convenient to toggle it off in the preferences.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The app’s purpose consists in using your media keys to control media files, but it is also possible to tune any keys to perform that function. Suppose the keyboard you are currently using has no media keys at all, or you wish to keep such keys for iTunes only and intend to create new shortcuts for everything else. BeardedSpice has a solution in its preferences.

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Using BeardedSpice with non-Apple keyboards is possible as well

It is equally possible to tune shortcuts to tell the app which items you want it to control. You hit the shortcut key when the needed tab is open, and the necessary shortcut is created: no ambiguity, even if multiple tabs are open.

The app just works by default, which is a great convenience as it is. But, with a correct setup (which actually consumes minimum effort), it is able to make your operation with media stuff virtually smooth. By the way, via the BeardedSpice, you can even control iTunes. Not being in any way a kind of updated Control Center (for instance, it can not reinstall apps), the BeardedSpice still can perform important organizing functions for user’s benefit.