However, not everyone is so lucky, which is probably why iTunes controller applications are so popular and plentiful.
An iTunes controller is a companion to Apple’s jukebox that allows you to play, pause, skip between tracks and adjust volume using either keyboard shortcuts or buttons in the menu bar. As more people listen to music while surfing the web, with a recent survey by Olswang finding about one in five computer users listen to music on their computers daily, there’s a big market for these apps.
Application launchers like QuickSilver (free), Butler (free), LaunchBar ($19.95) and ClawMenu ($19.95) offer basic iTunes controls via customizable keyboard shortcuts. Firefox users also have the option of installing the FoxyTunes extension, which places a bar along the bottom of the browser with buttons to control iTunes.
There are a ton of options in the realm of dedicated iTunes controllers. I’ll start by breaking down the freeware options (because everybody loves free). But for a small price tag, you can find some really solid apps that can be worth the purchase if you use iTunes as often as I do. More advanced features can include support for system-wide Growl notifications, album art fetching and syncing with Last.fm, so if you can’t live without these extras, you might want to skip to the end of the list.
Not Free Controllers