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Use LaunchBar 4 to control iTunes Apps
LaunchBar 4 is just out in beta, and I've already found some really cool ways to leverage it. Here's one. While LaunchBar 4 can scan your iTunes Music Library, giving you access to your tunes and your playlists (as well as letting you browse by artist, album, etc.), it doesn't offer any way to control iTunes from the keyboard. AppleScript to the rescue. Just make a script file out of this:
tell application "iTunes"
end tell
And store it in your Scripts folder. I've saved it as itunesplaypause.scpt, and I've gotten LaunchBar to recognize it by typing ITP (type this, then scroll until you find the script, and press Return). Now, by typing ITP and pressing Return, I can play or pause iTunes.

You can make lots more scripts like this to extend your iTunes controls via LaunchBar. Open ScriptEditor and look at the iTunes dictionary.

[robg adds: There seems to be quite a fight brewing in the "launcher/do-it-all" utility category, with stalwart DragThing nearing a 5.1 release, a new LaunchBar, Butler (previously AnotherLauncher), and newcomer QuickSilver all going more or less head to head. Everyone seems to have their favorites, and it's sort of like arguing religion or politics when trying to sell someone on your launcher's benefits versus theirs! Personally, I use a combination of DragThing and Butler as my current fave team.]
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Use LaunchBar 4 to control iTunes | 12 comments | Create New Account
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try iMote instead
Authored by: Severian on Apr 05, '04 11:35:10AM

For easy keyboard control of iTunes, check out iMote. It's free and works great. -- scroll down to see iMote

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Use LaunchBar 4 to control iTunes
Authored by: whenders0n on Apr 05, '04 02:15:58PM

Note: new version of Quicksilver not only allows you to browse your iTunes library, but to play - not just songs, but albums and artists! Launchbar's new feature simply begs this functionality.


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Use LaunchBar 4 to control iTunes
Authored by: on Apr 05, '04 04:03:00PM

Butler can do the same thing. I have given short keys to all of my popular scripts and placed them in the menu bar. I can either click on the script in the menu bar or just use the short key. I have ben doing this for some time now.



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Use LaunchBar 4 to control iTunes
Authored by: William McCallum on Apr 05, '04 04:15:57PM

The programs Rob mentions (Launchbar, Quicksilver, Drag Thing, Butler) fall into at least two quite different categories, those that are primarily aimed at mouse people and those that are primarily aimed at keyboard people. Some try to do both, but none do both well. People keep saying "Oh, you can do X far better with Y than with Z" without recognizing that Y does it through the keyboard and Z does it with the mouse. Neither is better, it depends what you want. There are good reasons for preferring either; repetitive stress syndrom makes you mouse-averse, lack of touch typing skill makes you keyboard-averse, for example.

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Use LaunchBar 4 to control iTunes
Authored by: asan102 on Apr 05, '04 08:02:44PM

I'm not sure what you mean, but I can't think of any flaws in Butler's implementation of either keyboard or mouse support.

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Authored by: DaveJello on Apr 05, '04 08:13:26PM

Not to get into the "mine's better than yours" thing at all, because clearly everyone has different preferences, but I just have to post a comment here because after I read this post this morning I downloaded both Butler and Quicksilver.

I was impressed with Butler, especially the cool iTunes transition/info window that pops up, and figured as an afterthought that I'd give QS a shot.

Ten minutes later I was hooked - Quicksilver is a very impressive tool that while similar to Butler has some cool features that I appreciate. For instance, drag n' drop an item off the search window into an email. Very cool. The appearance of phone numbers and addresses is a little friendlier, and I like the easy way to select many different choices of actions to do with a result. And the author's commitment to open source/freeware - wow, it really means a lot with an app as cool as this one.

Anyway, these apps have improved many times over since I last downloaded something like this (long time ago). These won't be going into the trash anytime soon.

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Quicksilver is my favorite
Authored by: claylikethemud on Apr 05, '04 09:14:20PM

I've been using Quicksilver for a few months now, and am very, very impressed. It's fast, you can do most everything from the keyboard with it, its plugin architecture makes it very extensible, and it has a huge number of useful built-in features. For example, I used to quit LaunchBar by accident and then get frustrated when Command-Space did nothing; Quicksilver has a "delay quit" option that fixed that for me. There are also three "launch modes": window, menu, and bezel, each with their own benefits, a slick, well-organized interface and preferences panel, excellent Finder and Safari (and now iLife) integration, and dozens of other neat options--and Quicksilver isn't even done yet!

For me, Launchbar has been replaced.

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Quicksilver is my favorite
Authored by: aranor on Apr 06, '04 01:29:31PM

I agree. Quicksilver is by far the best. And with the new ß21 (that's beta 21) iTunes control is even better. It comes with built-in scripts for controlling iTunes and if it scans the iTunes music library in its catalog you can browse the library by song, album, artist, or genre (or playlist) and play anything you want. Yes, LaunchBar 4 lets you browse, but it only lets you play one song at a time. Quicksilver lets you select a whole album (or artist or what have you) and it will create a playlist for the selection and play it all.

Quicksilver is my new iTunes interface.

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Quicksilver is my favorite
Authored by: b3uk on Apr 06, '04 05:29:04PM
I use Synergy to control iTunes. Best $5 I ever spent..

"Do it now. Today will be yesterday tomorrow"
- Talking Moose

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Quicksilver is my favorite
Authored by: joon on Apr 07, '04 05:48:53AM

Almost replaced my copy of Launchbar also but version 4 renewed my interest. QuickSilver is great but a bit complicated & unpredictable. Search prediction seems more reliable in LB. If I need extra features from LB then I could create Applescripts & pass strings through it.

Another big thing for me is that I like to dock the bar in the lower right hand corner. (fits law) Something i can't do with QuickSilver.

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Quicksilver is my favorite
Authored by: Han Solo on Apr 07, '04 08:52:01PM
I presume you mean Fitts's Law. I'm not certain I see the relevance here, as my perception of the attractiveness of utilities like QuickSilver and LaunchBar for most users is that they don't have to take their hands off the keyboard to launch apps, open files, etc. Moving the mouse — whether to an "easy" infinite depth target or not — isn't an issue. Or at least that's how I tend to use them.

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Use LaunchBar 4 to control iTunes
Authored by: omnivector on Apr 06, '04 11:49:05AM

i've been using this for iTunes:

simple, direct. option-space pauses, option-left goes to previous, option-right goes to next.. that's all i've wanted.

- Tristan

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