How To: Enable native ‘Now Playing’ iTunes Dock notifications on your Mac

How To: Enable native ‘Now Playing’ iTunes Dock notifications on your Mac

If you’re a Mac owner, the chances already know bout a cool notification software called Growl, an application that will display system messages and application alerts in a stylish window.

It’s been possible to use Growl to show which tracks are ‘Now Playing’ whilst using iTunes but in many cases it requires utilising different Mac OS X applications and software (Quicksilver or Synergy). But did you know that Apple has built-in the same functionality into the Mac by default?

Whilst it isn’t an easy toggle or quick setting switch, this great tip highlighted by the guys over Mac OS X Hints will show you how to enable this neat little feature within a couple of seconds.

The trick works on Macs running Apple’s latest Mac OS X Lion (10.7) operating system.

All you have to do is copy and paste two commands into your Terminal window (to open Terminal, simply open your Applications folder or dock icon and navigate to Utilities):

Make sure you quit iTunes if it’s open, open a Terminal window and enter the following:

defaults write itunes-notifications -bool TRUE;killall Dock

Once you have done this, play a track and you will notice a new popup at the bottom of the screen that shows you which track is now playing. However, you might notice that the iTunes icon is not present in the popup.

To add the icon, simply enter the following into your Terminal window:

defaults write notification-always-show-image -bool TRUE;killall Dock

Mac OS X Hints also provides an easy way to disable the notifications should you decide you prefer to use Quicksilver or Synergy’s built-in Growl support for iTunes. Open up your Terminal window once again and enter the following two commands:

defaults delete itunes-notifications
defaults delete notification-always-show-image;killall Dock

Many of you will already have Growl notifying you which tracks you are playing but if you don’t, this neat little trick will help deliver little reminders without any hassle.

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