You just got your shiny Google Music beta invite and you are eager to use it, but you don't like the idea of having to have your browser (or an extra tab) open to stream music on your Mac? We can relate. We created a simple guide to show you how to turn Google Music into a Dashboard widget on your Mac, allowing you to close your browser and still enjoy your streaming music collection.
Dashboard is a great feature often overlooked in OS X. In combination with Safari you can create a Web clip of nearly any site, allowing you to interact with a section of the site outside of your browser.This guide can be used for a number of sites and similar services, the process is the same no matter what site.
The first thing you will need to do is open Safari, navigate to the Google Music site and login.
Next, go to File > Open in Dashboard... in the menu bar.
You should then see box that highlights a small section of the page you are viewing. Click anywhere on the screen to make the box editable. You will see anchor points all the way around the box, click and drag those points until it covers the entire page. Once the entire page is selected, click on Add in the upper right-hand corner.
Dashboard will open with your new Google Music Web clip.
When you hover your mouse over the widget you will see a small button with an "i" in the middle of it in the bottom-right corner. Click on this button, we need to make some changes to the settings of the widget.
After you click on the "i" button, you will see a small settings screen similar to the one above. Make sure you uncheck the box labeled "Only play audio in Dashboard." If this box were to remain checked, once you leave Dashboard the music being streamed would stop. Unchecking the box allows Dashboard and Google Music to continue streaming your favorite tunes.
You can also change the appearance of the widget, as well as adjust the size by clicking on the Edit button on this same screen. Doing so will allow you to move the viewable portion of the page around (click and drag the page), as well as make the widget as big or small as you wish (click and drag the bottom-right corner). When adjusting the size of your widget keep in mind, due to this being a widget you won't be given scrolling capabilities when viewing the widget.
The screenshots used for this tutorial were of the Widget on an 11-inch MacBook Air. The screen real estate is small, but we were able to make the widget work. Play around with the size of the widget and what area is viewable within that space to find the perfect setup for yourself.