Yahoo widgets for the iTunes fanatic

If you're an iTunes fan who wants to get more from the music service, you might want to try a few of the Yahoo widgets we've compiled here.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
3 min read

If you're a frequent iTunes user, you're probably looking for some helpful tools that will allow you to get more out of the software. If so, you might want to check out Yahoo Widgets. They're simple, fast applications that run on your desktop to provide a little more functionality than you'll find in iTunes itself.

To save you from doing all the footwork yourself, I've compiled a list of some really neat Yahoo widgets that extend the functionality of iTunes. Let's check them out.

Music time

iPhones: If you're wondering what the top songs are on iTunes at any time, iPhones is for you.

iPhones is designed like an iPhone. It displays the top 10 albums and songs, as well as new releases, featured content, and more. When you click on one of those options, you'll be brought to the song's individual listing page in iTunes. There's not much more to the app than that.

iPhones shows off all the top content on iTunes. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

iTunes Alarm Clock: If you want to personalize alarms and reminders with your favorite songs, try out the iTunes Alarm Clock widget.

iTunes Alarm Clock is what you might expect: an alarm clock that uses your music to wake you up or alert you to an event. In the app's preferences, you can set the alarm, choose any song you want from your catalog, and have it play at a specified volume. It's an extremely simple app, but I found it useful.

iTunes Alarm Clock
iTunes Alarm Clock is what you might expect. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

iTunes Bar: iTunes Bar is simple: it adds a taskbar to your desktop, allowing you to control iTunes without opening the application.

When you start using iTunes Bar, the app will display a particular track's artwork. Above that, you'll find a bar that displays the track's singer and name. You can turn the volume up or down, change songs, shuffle tunes, access your playlists, and more. It's like having all the most often used features of iTunes with you when it isn't up. It's highly useful.

iTunes Bar
iTunes Bar gives you control over your favorite songs. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

iTunes Companion: Unless you purchased a track in iTunes, finding the album art for all those other songs can be time-consuming. But with the help of iTunes Companion, all those headaches go away.

iTunes Companion analyzes the song you're playing and automatically finds its album art on Amazon.com. If it can't find the album art, you can search for it yourself and drag-and-drop the image into the widget. That drag-and-drop option worked beautifully, in my experience. The app also features song lyrics. All that content can be quickly downloaded into your iTunes library, making the art and lyrics available anywhere you listen to the song. It's a great app.

iTunes Companion
iTunes Companion is a really helpful app. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

iTunes Remote: If you're having trouble controlling the songs in your iTunes library, iTunes Remote is the tool to use.

Once downloaded, the widget displays a remote that lets you play or pause songs, skip through tracks, or shuffle tunes. There isn't much to it, but thanks to the ability to place it over any window on your computer, you can quickly play the songs you want without much trouble.

iTunes Remote
iTunes Remote helps you sift through songs. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

SongWidget: SongWidget is easily one of the most capable widgets in this roundup. It allows you to do much more than simply control iTunes.

SongWidget recognizes all the tracks you're playing in iTunes. It gives you the option of playing or pausing songs, and skipping to find the song you want. But where SongWidget shines is in all the extras. The app provides a direct link to the track's Amazon MP3 page, customer reviews, and (my favorite feature) YouTube videos of the songs you're listening to. When you click on that option, the video is automatically played in your browser. If you like a particular track, you can even search for the artist on Google. I really liked SongWidget.

SongWidget displays all kinds of useful information. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top three

1. SongWidget: With so many neat features, SongWidget is a must-see.

2. iTunes Companion: iTunes Companion makes finding album art and lyrics much easier.

3. iTunes Alarm Clock: iTunes Alarm Clock is simple and easy to use. I like it a lot.