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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock Apps
There's a hidden setting for the Dock that will show pop-up notifications of which iTunes track is playing, a little like Growl.

First, quit iTunes if it's open, then open a Terminal window and type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock itunes-notifications -bool TRUE;killall Dock

Then start iTunes and try playing a track. Neat, eh? The pop-up fades away after a few seconds. To add the iTunes icon to the pop-up window, type the following into a Terminal window:

defaults write com.apple.dock notification-always-show-image -bool TRUE;killall Dock

To deactivate the pop-up at a later date, quit iTunes again, then open a Terminal window and type the following two lines:

defaults delete com.apple.dock itunes-notifications
defaults delete com.apple.dock notification-always-show-image;killall Dock


My theory is that these pop-ups hint at either a forthcoming notification system (maybe in OS X 10.8), or it's a legacy of a notification system that Apple decided to abandon. But it's easily to imagine a similar system working with Mail, showing notifications of incoming mail. In addition to the preference keys mentioned above, I found various other keys relating to the height and length of the pop-up bubble. Whoever designed this clearly intended it to be tweakable.

I'm Keir Thomas, the author of a new book of over 300 Mac OS X Lion tips.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. It's an interesting effect, perhaps better suited to a large screen iMac than a small laptop screen.]
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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock | 27 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: JYF on Nov 18, '11 08:31:35AM

Very cool!



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: LiviuMica on Nov 18, '11 08:51:46AM

this is a great option/tweak ... thanks a lot ... seems like the grawl but only for the tunes :P ..... nice one



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: cybergoober on Nov 18, '11 09:08:54AM

Quite cool, indeed.
It would be sweet if it could display the current track's artwork.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: lowbatteries on Nov 18, '11 10:40:40AM

This is a really neat tip. I found I could do this with iTunes running, no problem.

It would be cool if iOS's notification system let you know the current song like this.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: parraccourci on Nov 18, '11 12:22:49PM

This feature rocks!

Note: The iTunes icon will automatically appear if the dock is hidden (if you are in a fullscreen app for example).



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: daybrother on Nov 18, '11 03:31:28PM

Doesn't work under Snow Leopard on my Macbook™.

Sigh.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: Brethil on Nov 18, '11 03:59:54PM

Very cool, I'm wondering, if this option is present, it would be logical to find it in other apps, just like the hint above suggests. Has anyone tried to do so?



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: cybergoober on Nov 19, '11 04:50:15AM

Pretty slick tip.

Would be nice if it could display album art instead of just the iTunes icon.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: Steveseg on Nov 19, '11 09:07:15AM

This is a great hint! I tried to get this to work for new emails by substituting 'mail' for 'iTunes' and running the command but it did not work.(I realize I must seem like a simpleton) How about posting the real solution Keir?



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: rcheung28 on Nov 20, '11 09:22:23AM

Awesome! It worked for me too. Would be great if it can show the song's album art!!



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: uurf on Nov 21, '11 12:54:30PM

I don't suppose there is a key to show album artwork rather than the iTunes icon, is there?



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: TazaV on Nov 21, '11 03:05:48PM

This is a very nice tweak but is there any way to make it bigger? It's pretty small on my 15" MBP.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: cybergoober on Nov 22, '11 11:29:51AM

Somewhat of a work-around for having the notification show album artwork is to install DockArt.
While the iTunes icon is displaying the artwork of the current track via DockArt, the pop-up notification seems to respect the change.

A few caveats:
When first playing a track, the notification seems to still show just the iTunes icon (I'm guessing because the icon doesn't change quickly enough for the notification to catch it).
Also, if you have your library, or a playlist with multiple albums/artists, set to shuffle it will display the iTunes icon for the first track, then the previous cover art for subsequent tracks.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: Jasoco on Nov 22, '11 12:44:35PM

Interesting. But I already use Bowtie with Growl for the "Music Video" style popup. I'd turn that off if it had album art. Strange that it doesn't. But it's cool looking and hopefully a sign of a coming built-in notifications system.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: nekomatic on Nov 22, '11 01:19:53PM

Doesn't seem to work under 10.6 for me either...



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: cbinsf on Nov 22, '11 09:18:44PM

The display time is about right for me, but the appearance and disappearance parts occur too quickly for me. Is there any way to make it do a slow fade-in and a slow fade-out?



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: veke on Nov 23, '11 02:18:33AM

If you use the DockArt plugin from http://www.splook.com/Software/DockArt.html the album art will show most of the time. It looks pretty neat.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: uurf on Nov 28, '11 01:18:51PM
It looks like Dockart is one album cover behind (the popup shows the art for the previous track). but not too shabby for a bundle from 10.4 days.

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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: gjw on Mar 09, '12 05:19:16AM

DockArt has been actively supported since it was first released 7 years ago. I'm not aware of any situation in which it will be lagging behind iTunes in terms of what image it's showing. Can you contact me directly and we'll try to figure out why it's misbehaving on your machine?



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: vincent860524 on Nov 29, '11 01:23:06AM

I'm surprised Apple didn't include this in preferences. Maybe just a beta?

---
iMac 21.5 inch, 3.6GHz Core i5 (BTO), Mid 2010.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: vincent860524 on Nov 29, '11 02:20:11AM

After turning on the dock notifications, I got a Library couldn't be saved error (-54). Restarting iTunes solves the problem. Not sure if it has something to do with this tweak.

---
iMac 21.5 inch, 3.6GHz Core i5 (BTO), Mid 2010.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: anic297 on Dec 21, '11 06:11:12AM

Not sure, indeed. The error -54 means "Permissions error on file open". I can't see how it could ever be related to this hint.



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: Softcox on May 23, '12 03:27:43AM

This definitely seems to cause the -54 error for me. Disabled notifications and no more of these errors!



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: Rigido on Feb 12, '12 03:42:26AM

This hint + DockArt is what I was searching for years!
Does someone know if it is possible to change the dock icon title too?
I mean, it is great the pop-up when the song changes but sometimes you're doing something else and you miss it.
It would be great to move over the dock icon and read "Artist - Title" instead of "iTunes"....



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: TazaV on Jul 30, '12 10:37:13AM

Has anybody found a way to get this to work in Mountain Lion?



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: rick snagwell on Aug 01, '12 07:19:44PM

i know! i hate it. help us!



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10.7: Get iTunes pop-up notifications in the dock
Authored by: icondaemon on Sep 20, '12 09:20:39AM
This change to the .plist file causes weird behavior in Lion 10.7.5 (released 9/19/2012) and iTunes 10.7.

When any new track starts, the pop-up notification for that track does not appear and the Dock process CRASHES, blipping the screen and restarting the Dock.

Removing the entries from the .plist file stops the odd behavior. Putting them back causes the odd behavior.

---
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels! - Samuel Butler


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