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SmartStop: Automatically Stop iTunes Playback When Headphones Are Unplugged [Mac]

If you habitually listen to music both at work or when you’re home, then you would be familiar with the constant irritation of having to stop the music or taking your headphones off when someone comes to talk to you. While taking your headphones off is by far the easiest solution there is, if you have loud music blaring out, it is likely you still wont be able to have a proper conversation. Your only option in this case is to pause/stop the music. While taking your headphones off or pausing music is probably the default reaction of most people when they are suddenly engaged in conversation when listening to music, an alternative reaction can be to unplug your headphones, provided you have SmartStop installed. This Mac app is simple and exists only to mimic the iPod’s behavior when headphones are unplugged from it, i.e., it stops the playback. Replug your headset, and the music will resume where it was left off.

The app isn’t full of any extensive functions, and merely adds a small icon to the system menu bar. You can enable the app to start up at system login, to automatically stop playing music when headphones are unplugged, and to resume playback when they are replugged.


The app icon changes to reflect headphone connectivity. When the connectors are joined, the app detects that headphones are plugged in, and will play music in iTunes like normal.

SmartStop plugged in

When only a single connector is visible, the app detects that headphones are unplugged and stops playing music in iTunes.

SmartStop Unplugged

This app is equally useful if you are prone to unplugging your headphones and forgetting to stop your music before that. Imagine you were listening to disturbingly loud Goth metal, and unplugged your headphones for any reason without stopping the music. The loudness alone might cause a casualty, and since the app is light, having it around can’t hurt. For an alternative, Breakaway is a more feature rich app that was covered earlier last year that supported this same functionality, in addition to many others.

Get SmartStop From Mac App Store

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