As the resident Mac360 Value Vixen™ it is my sworn duty to seek out and retrieve the best Mac software for the value minded Mac user. Under normal conditions I won’t dip my mouse into beta software, but the combination of usefulness and free is hard to beat.
Besides, TunesArt is almost at version .9, so it’s close, to version 1.0, right? What TunesArt does so well is what iTunes doesn’t do so well, which makes it a good companion to your favorite Mac music player.
Cover Art, Notifications, And Lyrics, Oh My!
When we think of iTunes on our Macs we think of music and the frustration of finding and collecting album art; the cover art for our music collections.
After all, doesn’t iTunes’ Cover Flow technology look rather anemic when you don’t have art for all the music you’ve collected?
TunesArt brings you a bunch of features you didn’t know were possible, but will find so delightful that you’ll tell your friends what you found (even though I brought it to your attention and didn’t ask for one iota of attribution).
You get cover art. Cover art which displays on your Mac’s desktop (not some crummy little window in iTunes). Information—track name, artist, rating, etc.—is customizable and displays below the cover art.
There’s also a built-in notification in the Menubar. Forget opening iTunes, use the TunesArt fast search. Power users and geeky Macophiles will go ga ga over the keyboard shortcuts, while the rest of us bask in point and click.
Lyrics? Did I mention lyrics? Gather lyrics from LyricWiki and save them, matched to each music track, then have them pop up when the song plays. If only we could take our Macs into the shower.
TunesArt is easy to configure and set up. Once you launch it, a musical note appears in your Mac’s Menubar. Click it for Preferences. Set TunesArt to launch on login, or launch iTunes, and get lyrics if your music doesn’t have it (and save it to the current track).
TunesArt is about album or cover art, yes, and with plenty of controls to display your art collection on your Mac’s desktop. But there’s more.
Ratings, Growls, And Playlists, Oh My!
Sure, there are Notifications and sliders to change background opacity, and limit the time the art is displayed. There are keyboard shortcuts for the power conscious Mac user.
If you’re into Last.fm, which recommends music based on what you listen to, there’s a spot where you enter your Last.fm account info, and listen to music over the internet. But there’s more.
Ratings for each song can be made right from your Mac’s desktop, which updates the ratings in iTunes (whether it’s running or not). Your iTunes’ playlists are a click or keystroke away.
And TunesArt resides in your Mac’s Menubar. It can be always visible, always hidden, or simply hidden if iTunes is running. And, you can control which menu items to display—Title, Album, Rating, Duration, Artist.
What else could you ask for in TunesArt besides a low price? Say hello to my little friend, amigo. TunesArt is free, just the way the music gods intended.