There are a lot of great apps out there that will alert you to what track is currently playing in iTunes by flashing a notice on your Mac’s desktop; Coversutra and Growltunes, to name just two. But did you know that iTunes has a secret option to display track information on your desktop every time the track changes? It’s true. It’s attractive. And it’s just a terminal command away.
Enabling iTunes track notifications is simplicity itself. Here’s how to do it, although we hear this is Lion-only from the commenters:
1. Open Terminal in Applications > Utilities
2. Cut-and-paste this code into the Terminal window:
defaults write com.apple.dock itunes-notifications -bool TRUE;killall Dock
3. Your dock will close and then reopen.
4. Open iTunes and select a track. Play it, and you should see a track notification pop up in your Dock above the iTunes icon. The notification will display for a few seconds, then fade away.
This is pretty great hidden functionality, and I can only imagine that Apple didn’t make it an official option because they were worried it would be distracting. Personally, though, if you added a couple of play controls and some stars to that pop-up, I’d never need to use something like GrowlTunes again.