Earlier this year, we interviewed Mario Guzman in MacStories Weekly about Music Widget, his Apple Music controller utility that recreates the look and feel of the original iTunes Dashboard widget. This week, Guzman is back with a similar music utility for macOS that resembles the original iTunes 10 MiniPlayer.
Called Music MiniPlayer, the utility is a remote control for the Apple Music app, not a music player itself, which is modeled after iTunes 10’s MiniPlayer. In terms of playback controls, Music MiniPlayer is a pixel-perfect recreation of the iTunes 10 mini-player written almost entirely using Core Graphics and Core Animation frameworks to ensure crisp rendering on both Retina and non-Retina displays. .
Music MiniPlayer has the controls you’d expect, including a Play/Pause button, buttons to skip forward and back between tracks, and a volume control slider, all of which control the Apple Music app. The app’s playback controls are also accessible via keyboard shortcuts. To the right of the playback controls is Music MiniPlayer’s track display area, which includes track, artist, and album information for what’s playing in the Music app, as well as a playhead that can be dragged to move the playhead to a specific location. in a song.
To the left of the track information is a small triangular button that opens the playlist tray that slides under the main UI, allowing you to choose from one of your Music app playlists. This is also where you can access the shuffle and repeat buttons, which both work like in the Music app. To the right of the track info is a Snap Back button that reveals the currently playing track in the Music app and places the app window behind the currently active window.
Music MiniPlayer’s user interface adapts to the source of the music you are listening to. If you’re listening to a live streaming source like Apple Music 1, the play/pause button changes to a stop button and the track fader changes to a “LIVE” indicator.
There are also a few settings worth mentioning. The track fader can be switched from the default setting “Time Remaining” to “Duration”. The difference is that when “Time Remaining” is selected, the timestamp on the left side of the scrubber counts down, while the timestamp on the right side counts down, whereas with “Duration”, the duration of running the track on the right side of the scrubber remains fixed. The MiniPlayer settings also allow you to float the player above your other open windows.
I listen to music because I work a lot and I like to have information about available songs without having to switch to the Music app. I often use NepTunes for this purpose, but I like having the option to upgrade to Mario Guzman’s Music MiniPlayer for several reasons. First, I appreciate having quick access to playback controls and my playlists in a compact app that can float on top of other windows. Second, I love the design of the app. It has the advantage of providing the exact information and controls I want in a user interface that doesn’t distract me from what I’m doing.
Plus, there’s the nostalgia factor. I don’t miss iTunes, which was showing its age by the time Music arrived, but I’m also not a huge fan of all that Apple has crammed into the Apple Music MiniPlayer. The features built into the current MiniPlayer defeats the purpose of having a compact view in the first place. Music MiniPlayer’s feature set is much more limited, and that’s okay. If I need something that Music MiniPlayer doesn’t, the Snap Back button is a quick switch to the Music app. With Music MiniPlayer hidden under my menu bar, I have a small slice of Apple’s app history and the commands I want just a click away.
Music MiniPlayer is available for free download from Mario Guzman’s GitHub page.