little mac additions (or addictions?)

Cory Blog, Customizations, Mac, Software

GimmeSomeTune Info Window
GimmeSomeTune Info Window

iTunes 8 Genius addition has been out for a little while now and so far, good things. Why didn’t they think of a built in playlist generator earlier? Seems like a no brainer. Alas, it’s genius-pun intended. Spot on for my listening tastes. But since I’ve had an itunes listening surg as of late and wanting the playlist generator to adapt more to my styles, I have seen the need to rate more of my music. There are many “easy” ways of doing just that, but here’s my solution. GimmeSomeTune

From their website, GimmeSomeTune is “the only iTunes extension you’ll ever need. With its unique set of features, GimmeSomeTune is the perfect companion for your music collection in iTunes, on your iPod and your iPhone.” You can fetch artwork, fetch lyrics, view your current playing song info, and rate songs on the fly. It supports Last.fm, hotkeys (shortcuts), iChat, Apple Remote, provides a mini-controller, and is highly customizable. All to boot, it’s free.

While playing a Genius playlist, a small info pops up for about 4 seconds in the bottom left hand corner of my 15″ Macbook Pro screen (user defined). (Here come in the hotkeys) If I can’t remember what I’m listening to at any time, I press control+option+z. Why “Z”? Why not? The window shows for another non-annoying 4 seconds. “Hey I like that song by Wilco. I should rate it.” Typically, I would Cmd+Tab over to itunes, right click on the current playing song, scroll down to rating, then submit my number of stars. Over and over and over again per song, this is quite the task. With GimmeSomeTune, I go to preferences and enter my own choice for hotkeys per rating. Since Mac or any machine uses hundereds of preset hotkeys globally throughout the system, the selection maybe limited. The good news- the program will tell you if your choice of hotkey is unavailable. Currently, I am utilizing control+option+cmd+”0-5″ for my rating. Easy. I feel like a Genius now.

Another little Mac addition is a program called Lab Tick… If you own a shiny new Macbook or MBP, you probably love, love, love the backlit keyboard. But you may not love it in weird lighting environments. Like me, just earlier today. I figured there HAS to be a way to manually control the backlighting. Pressing F5 and F6 (when the backlighting is not already initiated) does nothing. Solution quickly resolved. I came across Lab Tick. It sits in the menu bar (say next to your battery icon or the gimmesometune icon) and you can control it with a little scroll as pictured left. You can also set hotkeys. I am using cmd+D (dim) cmd+B (brighten) and cmd+O (on/off). Now, I own the power!

If you have a Mac Addition or Mac Addiction, leave a comment below. I would love to hear your input.