SizzlingKeys, created by the developers over at Yellow Mug, is an app for Macs that gives users full control over iTunes’ functions from any application through a series of customizable keyboard shortcuts.
The basic/free version of the app can play/pause your music, jump to previous or next tracks, adjust iTunes’ volume, show/hide iTunes, display your playlists and search through your entire iTunes library. You can also configure shortcuts to alter your rating for any give song on the fly. As songs change or if the music plays/pauses a small translucent “floater” window appears over all other open apps to with the title of your current song.
There are other preferences to fine-tune your settings but this is essentially what the basic version of the apps lets you control.
I have tried numerous apps similar apps—Synergy, Bowtie, Alfred, etc.—and to be honest, there’s no huge difference in terms of functionality between them and the basic version of SizzlingKeys. However, moving up to the pro version for a mere $1.99 unlocks additional goodies that make this app really stand out from the others.
As far as I know, none of he others will let you fast forward incrementally through songs, engage and disable shuffle or loop, and I use these features multiple times, everyday.
Going “pro” also allows you to control the system volume levels but that doesn’t really add much value given that the standard volume keys are always readily accessible.
SizzingKeys is easily a 5-star app for me but—FAIR WARNING—having this app set to launch at startup may make you want to chuck your Mac from your roof.
For a while there, was I whining about how PAINFULLY sluggish the app was. I could press any of the commands a number of times with no reaction from the app only switch to iTunes to take care of it myself, and have rapid-fire the commands I had previously tapped. Frustrating.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was only misbehaving since upgrading to Mountain Lion, and that other apps had started being sluggish too. Then I realized that most of these sluggish apps were all set as startup/login items in my system preferences. Suppressing these apps at startup and launching them right after made them as good as new! Including SizzlingKeys!
(BTW, I use Startupizer 2 to manage my startup items now. S’awesome. Be sure to check it out too.)
I’ve been using it for almost a week without issue. It’s back to the near-instant responsiveness. Back to my “highly recommended” list.
Go grab it!