I don’t usually write about simple shareware applications, but I have to say that the Synergy program is remarkably cool for anyone running Mac OS X and into iTunes as a jukebox. Basically, it offers two functions: it adds a back, play/pause and forward button to the menu bar (they’re low key, no worries about space) and it adds a translucent “what’s playing now” pop-up on your desktop.
The latest version of the program, 0.9.7, adds another neat feature: it can download album covers from Amazon.com so when it displays the next song playing in iTunes, it also includes a small pic of the album cover.
This might not sound like much, but I really like to keep a clean desktop and workspace so I can focus on the specific task at hand, and Synergy lets me completely hide iTunes and still have a high degree of control over my music.
And, for the record, iTunes tells me that I have 113 artists, 231 albums, 2605 songs, for a total of 8:03:09:47 (8 days, that is) taking up 13.41GB of disk space. The collection ranges from the Grateful Dead to Ella Fitzgerald, Bruce Hornsby to the Bee Gees, Elvis to Quincy Jones, the Alan Parsons Project to Herbie Hancock, Michael Franks to Thomas Dolby. And, yes, iTunes is just about always playing on my computer…
As I post this, I’m listening to “Oh, Lady Be Good (alternate take)” sung in her inimitable style by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald on The Gershwin Songbook, Vol. III. Sublime.
Anyway, not much shareware gets me to where I urge others to download and pay just to support the developer, but Synergy is way cool and well worth the paltry $5 lifetime registration fee. Or more. So check it out and see what you think!