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Get Skip Tunes' play controls back in the menu bar

An update to this great Mac app hides the play controls from the menu bar. Learn how to get them back.

This post is really just an excuse to tell you again about Skip Tunes, an app I covered last year and have used pretty much every day since. If you are a Mac user and a frequent user of iTunes, Spotify, or Rdio, you need this app. It places a small icon in your menu bar, providing quick and easy access track information and play controls.

Play/pause and skip forward buttons in the menu bar, where art thou? Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

I finally got around to updating Skip Tunes this week (unbeknownst to me, the update was released months ago) and discovered that the play/pause and fast forward buttons disappeared from the menu bar. Now, instead of one click to pause or skip to the next track, it took two: one to open the Skip Tunes window from the menu bar and a second to then pause or skip. (Granted, the controls could have been hidden by default in the previous version I have been using, but it's been so long since I installed the app, I can't remember. I just know that I was initially scared that, by updating the app, I had gotten rid of them in the process.)

Thankfully, there is a way in settings to show these controls in the menu bar. To do so, click on the Skip Tunes icon in the menu bar to open the window. Mouse over the album art to show the play controls in this window. Next, click the settings button and choose Preferences.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

From the Preferences window, check the box at the top for Display controls in menu bar. Now, next to the music-note icon for Skip Tunes in the menu bar, you'll see a play/pause button and another to skip to the next track.

If you are new to the app, then I should point out that you can choose the default music app from the settings drop-down menu: iTunes, Rdio, or Spotify. This means that if you have more than one of these apps open, Skip Tunes will let you control the app you selected as the default. Otherwise, it will let you control any of the three if it's the only one running. In related news, Skip Tunes now provides a shuffle button.

Play/pause and skip forward buttons back in their rightful and useful place in the menu bar. Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Lastly, the price has gone up from 99 cents from when I first found it to $2.99. The update for previous users, of course, is free. To get a sense of Skip Tunes in action before making a purchase decision, I submit to you a video from the developer: