Quicksilver and iTunes – A Match Made In Heaven

For years I had been using Sizzlingkeys for controlling iTunes. One of my biggest peeves about iTunes was that I had to stop what I was doing to change a track, apply a rating, turn down the volume – or any number of things. Sizzlingkeys fixed that for me.

And then I discovered Quicksilver. I had both Sizzlingkeys and Quicksilver running simultaneously – it turned out the QS can do pretty much everything that Sizzlingkeys can, and a whole lot more.

Here’s an example: Say I’m writing someone an email about how good the latest NIN album is, but I also want to tell them about how the beginning of every track sounds like a Native Instruments preset – or about how the guitar riff from Survivalism sounds like an extended Hand That Feeds.

Basically, I want to listen to Year Zero.

I could stop writing the email, take my hands off they keyboard, go to iTunes, and search for the album.

Or I could invoke Quicksilver with a key command and search my iTunes library.

What could’ve taken 20 seconds has been reduced to 5 seconds. Insignificant, maybe – but it adds up.

But with the included iTunes integration you can add songs to the Party Shuffle playlist (a feature I never used before Quicksilver), quickly add ratings, mute, search through artist, and a bunch of other functions with custom key commands.

And it even works with Growl!

So, bye-bye Sizzlingkeys. It’s been fun.

And even though it’s great, here are some things that need to be worked on for future versions (or I need to learn how to use them correctly).

No way to skip to the next album: It can just go to the next/previous tracks. I don’t think this is scriptable, but I use this all the time when actually in iTunes.

Growl notification doesn’t display star rating: I don’t want to go into iTunes to see if the currently playing song has no rating (but it shouldn’t).

Doesn’t work for manually managed iPods: I guess the current implementation can’t access the iPod database, which sucks because I listen to music at work off the iPod.

It builds a Quicksilver playlist: I don’t understand why it can’t just play the music directly from the library.

Still, the good outweighs the bad – and if it makes it easier to get closer to your music with iTunes, imagine the other things it has potential for…