Meanwhile, over in the Linuxverse, the next release of Ubuntu looks set to try something pretty radical – ditching the top-of-screen Menu bar in favour of a type-what-you-need HUD panel. Rather like Spotlight for menu items, mixed with some Alfred and some Siri.
If you use online streaming service Spotify, you’ll know that the client software required for controlling it is pretty good.
It’s simple to use, and not too cluttered with controls and extras. Since I started paying £5/month for Spotify’s advert-free Unlimited service, I’ve been listening to it for many hours on end, and found only one problem: I have to switch back to Spotify to control it.
Now it’s true that Spotify can be controlled with your Mac’s existing dedicated iTunes buttons – F7 for previous track, F8 for play/pause, and F9 for next track. But this only works well if iTunes isn’t running at the same time. If both apps are open, they both respond to these commands, and audio chaos ensues.
Spotify Menubar is a simple free utility that solves this problem by allowing you to set up your own system-wide keyboard shortcuts for Spotify, so you can avoid the conflict with iTunes and still have easy keyboard access to your favorite songs.
It would be nice if Spotify Menubar had some clickable controls of its own, which would better justify its position on the Menu Bar in the first place. But for those of us who spend hours a day with our heads inside Spotify playlists, it’s a useful little widget to have around nonetheless.