Tracks is a Mac app worth $2.99 in the Mac App Store that controls iTunes from the Menu Bar. When launched, it automatically starts iTunes in the background and adds a play icon to the Menu Bar, clicking which opens a search bar that allows you to query your iTunes library. Of course, this isn’t why you’re paying $2.99 for the app. Tracks has excellent and fully customizable universal shortcuts for controlling iTunes. You can play/pause, move to the next or previous track, increase/decrease volume and rating and open the current song in iTunes. It gives you Growl notifications when a new song is played or changed, and allows you to connect with your Last.fm account.
Download, install and launch the app. Tracks adds icons to both the Dock and the Menu Bar; however, you can choose to remove the Dock icon from the app’s preferences. Click the icon in the Menu Bar, and a search bar will appear. The magnifying glass has a small pull down menu that you can use to confine your search to Albums, Artists or Songs. A cog wheel icon at the right end of this search bar lets you access the app’s preferences. To search your iTunes library, type in a song name, and the app will present instantaneous results. Clicking a search result will play it. You can choose to also include results from the iTunes Music Store by clicking the Also display iTunes Music Store results for “your search query”…
Unlike most apps for controlling iTunes, functions are handled solely via keyboard shortcuts. The default shortcut for play/pause is Shift+Space Bar. To edit shortcuts, visit the app’s preferences.
The General tab lets you launch Tracks at login, change the Menu Bar icon, remove the icon from Dock (restarting the app is required), enable or disable auto launch of iTunes when Tracks starts, enable Growl notifications, click a song in the search result to play it and limit the number of items that can appear in search results.
The Shortcuts tab is for editing existing shortcuts or recording ones that are supported but do no have a default value set for them. Click the Click to record shortcut field and type in your new shortcut. The Last.fm tab is, obviously, for connecting your Last.fm account.
Tracks is definitely on the pricey side of those apps that control iTunes. You can’t access your playlists from either shortcuts or by searching them from the search bar, and that is a major drawback of the app. Overall, it works without any problems, but you may want to think about the cost before you hit Buy App.