iTunes 11 has a nifty MiniPlayer that lets you quickly access music controls and queue up more tunes on OS X. The point of the MiniPlayer is that it stays out of your way, but also readily available anywhere on your Mac’s screen.
Since we don’t have desktop-like widget functionality in iOS, something like a MiniPlayer can’t float between apps. But thanks to jailbreaking, you can get a slick, iTunes-inspired MiniPlayer on your jailbroken iPhone or iPad.
The tweak is called MiniPlayer, and version 2.0 was released in Cydia today with a complete redesign. As you can see, the look of the player itself is very Apple-like. By default, MiniPlayer sits off to the side of your iOS device’s screen, patiently waiting to be invoked by a swipe gesture or tap. Once you’re done, you can leave it floating on the screen or swipe it away again.
A 10-inch iPad makes more use of a tweak like this than an iPhone. When you have widgets hovering next to apps, it’s best to have more screen real estate. That’s not to say MiniPlayer doesn’t look good on the iPhone; I just can’t ever see myself using it.
In the Settings app, you can select to hide MiniPlayer from the lockscreen (which makes sense given that music controls are already present there) and the bar can be hidden whenever music is paused. Other than that, what you see is pretty much what you get. Tapping the album artwork opens the app that is providing the music, which is nice. I tested it with the default Music app, Spotify, and Instacast. Everything went smoothly, but songs that are being streamed may take a moment to gather artwork.
If the idea of an iTunes MiniPlayer on the iPhone or iPad is appealing to you, this is the best option out there. I’d like to see more actual iTunes features in future updates, like playlist queuing and search.
MiniPlayer costs $2 in Cydia.