Update: Changed the script to make the formatting better and include the album art of the track. Thanks to Freek in the comments below for a couple of ideas. The track info is copied directly from his comments, and I didn’t yet get a chance to reformat that — maybe soon…
Haven’t posted anything useful here for a while so I thought I’d put something together today and post it — something that I’ve wanted for a while. Occasionally when I want to zone out at work I just put iTunes in random, hide it, and go. Unfortunately, I end up wasting time flipping iTunes open and then hiding it again when I can’t remember a track name or artist or album. I’ve been meaning to put together something to use in Quicksilver to enable being able to take a peek at what is playing, namely using the OSX system extension Growl. Download this:
PlasticWare Downloadable ::
Growl Track Info (Oct. 21, 2007)
Download (~3,645 bytes) :: growl_track_info.zip
I can’t remember why I have Growl on my system, that is, what application or system version first installed it, so if you don’t have Growl, you can find it here: http://growl.info/. Basically, if you aren’t familiar with it, Growl allows for (sometimes annoying) pop-up bubbles that can notify you of things going on with applications that are currently not in the foreground (for example, when an upload completes in Transmit, or when you get an incoming message in Adium or iChat).Once you’ve installed Growl (or check to see if it exists in your System Prefs), download the script linked above, unzip it, and place it in your iTunes scripts folder (/Users/~YourUserName/Library/iTunes/Scripts). Now, if you restart iTunes, the script should show up in your iTunes applescript menu, and you can choose the script and see that it triggers the Growl pop-up — which really isn’t terribly interesting since you are already staring at iTunes anyway.
Now, assuming that you have Quicksilver installed on your system, you can add a custom trigger as seen below.
To add the trigger, open Quicksilver and go to Catalog. Select Modules and make sure that you have the iTunes module showing there. If not, you need to enable the iTunes module. Click the circle arrow thing on the bottom right to rescan your catalog – you may notice that the count for the iTunes applescripts increases by 1. Next, select Triggers, and then select Custom Triggers. Find the little plus sign button at the middle bottom and choose HotKey. This will slide open a Quicksilver selector thing, whatever it’s called. You can now type part of “growl track info” the same way as you would normally using Quicksilver, and select the Applescript “Growl Track Info.scpt” where it shows up in the list; it will default to Run as the action, which is fine. Now double click the line in the Trigger column on the right and set up your hotkey for On Press (my friends make fun of me for choosing something like Control-Option-Command-Shift-I so I can just mash the bottom left of the keyboard and one other letter and not interfere with other application keystrokes, but if you do that I won’t make fun of you). You should now be able to hide iTunes and use the Quicksilver trigger to see whats playing in iTunes, as well as control iTunes with the rest of the iTunes module available for Quicksilver, and free up whatever corner of your screen you were keeping the mini player before.