Use iTunes Album Artwork Screensaver As A Party Jukebox [OS X Tips]

iTunes Album Artwork

One of the trickier things about creating a playlist for any party is making sure you have the right music for the people you’ve invited. Sometimes, though, you might want to give this nerve wracking process a miss, and let the guests at your house choose the music.

Here’s how to do just that, using nothing more than your Mac and the iTunes Album Artwork screensaver.

First up, launch System Preferences from the Dock or the Apple Menu. Click on the Desktop & Screensaver icon to go to that preference pane. Scroll down the left-hand column until you see the iTunes Artwork screensaver. Click on it, and then click on Screen Saver Options… to set the number of rows and a delay. Click on OK.

If you’ve set your Hot Corners… to have one of them start your screensaver, do that now. If not, wait the amount of time you have your screensaver set to. Once the iTunes Artwork screensaver starts, you can now move your mouse around without waking up your Mac. You can click on any of the albums showing up on the screensaver to play that song. VoilĂ –you have a guest-controlled jukebox for your party.

You’ll need to clear the Up Next playlist in iTunes for this to work if you’re using iTunes 11.

  • FriarNurgle

    I have a box full of CDs and even some writable dvds filled with music backed up from when I ditched my old PC and switched to Mac a couple of years ago. Never actually went through the hassle of ripping them onto my macs. Streaming music has replaced the need to have digital copies or hard copies for that matter. Guess I’ll miss out on the fancy screen saver though.

  • bdkennedy

    Excellent tip! I had no idea.

  • Sunfixer

    This is cool! However it also pulls up my audiobooks. Any way to make it pull from a specific playlist?

  • roblef

    I have a box full of CDs and even some writable dvds filled with music backed up from when I ditched my old PC and switched to Mac a couple of years ago. Never actually went through the hassle of ripping them onto my macs. Streaming music has replaced the need to have digital copies or hard copies for that matter. Guess I’ll miss out on the fancy screen saver though.

    I totally hear you. I haven’t played songs from my Mac in a long time, but recently started doing so as I just hooked up my Mac Mini to a TV set — kind of fun. Glad you liked the tip.

  • Robyn85

    Hi

    Anyone have a problem where the Itunes artwork screensaver shows 1 cover or none at all? All of my music except 1 song is from iTunes, and after upgrading to iTunes 11 my artwork screensaver shows only 1 cover of the 1 song that is not an iTunes purchase. Everything worked fine before. I tryed all suggested steps:

    deleting the xml file and reimporting it, redownloading all the songs, relink the itunes library and nothing works – it’s either that 1 cover or none at all.

    I also read about a weird bug that the cover artwork isn’t showing in iTunes Muci folder on the computer but when i copy the file to other folder like Download – tada! the artwork shows fine

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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