iTunes Media Key Fix

September 29th, 2011 by ben Leave a reply »

The version on this page is outdated. Updated for iTunes 10.5+ here.

Here’s the deal: iTunes refuses to support global media hotkeys. When you’re writing your research paper and you want to pause the song for a bathroom break, you can’t use that convenient play/pause button on your media keyboard or stereo bluetooth headset (I love that button on my Moto S9-HD). You have to open the iTunes window and move your mouse all the way to the on-screen button. Not being sarcastic; I have 3 monitors.

There used to be a cool dll that you could drop into the iTunes plugins folder and remedy everything. No more — iTunes 10.4 broke the plugin, as I was first to note in the comments.

iTunes 10.4.1 came out and claimed to fix “a problem where the media keys on some third-party keyboards work inconsistently with iTunes.” Riiight.

We can discuss the politics of Apple hating on PC users as much as we want, but some of us need our working play/pause buttons.

Drop into your Startup folder (in the Start Menu) and restart/relogin. It’s a compiled AutoIt3 script, which some antivirus programs don’t like. Deal with it.

Download (Windows EXE file) – this version for iTunes 10.4 is outdated!

Size: 294KB



Drop and forget. Simple and painless. It only works with the play/pause button [and now prev/next]. Because that’s the only button I ever use. Like, who ever uses the stop button?

Why I am posting this when I really should be writing my college application essays, I’m not quite sure.

Moral of the story: don’t “update” things that are working fine.

Bugfix 1. (9-29-2011) If another window title starts with iTunes (such as a browser on this web page) the play/pause key may not function. Fixed. Tested and uploaded. What am I doing with my life at 2am…

Bugfix 2. (9-30-2011) If the iTunes search box (on the top right) is focused the play/pause key may not function.

Update. (10-06-2011) Previous and next buttons added. Remove the old hk.exe before dragging this one into the startup folder.

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  1. Beebs says:

    Any chance you could make it so the next/previous track also work with this?

  2. Helepolis says:

    Next and previous would be sexy! 

  3. Benji says:

    Added next and previous; sexy is… well.

  4. Veronis says:

    Kaspersky, Panda, Microsoft Security Essentials, and Avira all agree that this app is virus free.

    This is confirmed working on Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with a Logitech G510 keyboard (play/pause, next, previous), even if iTunes 10.4.1 is in the background, whether I’m in a web browser, other program, or a full-screen game, e.g. FPS/MMO.

    Also, Benji is the man.

  5. merictez says:

    any chance we can get this working with itunes 10.6? because i’ve done everything you told me to but still havent got it to work

  6. Ben says:

    Sure, I’ll take care of it. I’m currently running right now and I have the media key fix working. It should still work on 10.6, and I’ll release it once I test it successfully.

  7. Dan says:

    damn it! I can’t get anything to fix these buttons! they always used to work with my crappy Packard Bell keyboard, but ever since I forked out £100 for a Razer Blackwidow ultimate, they just don’t work :/
    I’ve got this installed but it doesn’t work for me :( For some reason it makes the stop button work but the play button and track skip still don’t! wtf 

  8. Dan says:

    my bad! just noticed the new one! silly me :P

  9. Ben says:

    Hehe, alright, I’ll make it more obvious that there’s a new version.

    You have a really nice keyboard :o 

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