Mucoce: Low Cost, Convenient iTunes Control App

| In-Depth Review

Mucoce is a Menu bar item that provides an always visible iTunes control center. You can do a lot in a small box: see the artwork, pause/play, select previous or next, rate the song, tweet it, and much more. And it only costs $0.99.

The name “Mucoce” is derived from MUsic COntrol CEnter.

This small app is simple and easy to use. Launching the app places the icon in the menu bar where its always visible and always available. You might think that switching to the iTunes Mini Player, (SHFT+CMD+M) would work nicely, but if you’re using Spaces/Desktops, the mini player can still get lost, even if you’ve elected to have it remain on the top of all other windows. (iTunes -> Preferences -> Adcanced.) Mucoce is always visible in every ion Desktop Space.

Mucoce-1

If iTunes isn’t running, you can start iTunes right from the Menu bar item. However, I left the app running for a few days, and eventually I got a spinning wait cursor and had to quit the app with Activity Monitor. I haven’t yet reproduced that problem.

In the middle of the screen shot above, from top to bottom, to the right of the artwork, we have:

  • Song Name
  • Artist
  • Time played - Song length
  • Previous, pause/play, next
  • Interactive song rating

Along the right side, we have:

  • Quit
  • Preferences
  • About
  • Tweet the song, title and artist.

There are two Preference windows, as follows:

Mucoce pefs

The Hotkeys/keyboard shortcuts refer to a condition in which the Mucoce window isn’t open. When the window is open, there are In-app functions. The up/down cursor keys control the volume. The right/left cursor kets control previous/next song. And, as expected, the space bar pauses/plays.

Long ago, I had Menu bar apps that would display the song name and artist scrolling right in the Menu bar, Times Square fashion. But they were quirky and didn’t keep up with the times and/or Apple’s guidelines for Menu bar items. Mucoce won’t do that either, and that’s a shame on any level.

Right clicking brings up quick menu as follows:

Mucoce-2

I had a obsolete version of Growl running in Lion 10.7.4, so I wasn’t surprised that the app didn’t work with it. Mucoce 1.2.1, however, is ready for OS X Mountain Lion.

During testing, I got a Skype call and the music stopped. I quickly discovered, thanks to TMO’s Dave Hamilton, that that’s a feature (preference) of Skype and nothing to do with this control app.

Wish List

So far, so good. The app starts playing at the top of the current playlist selected in iTunes, but there’s no way to change playlists in Mucoce. So you’ll have to select the desired playlist in iTunes first. Also, there’s no apparent way to change the opacity of the main window. That would be a nice addition.

System Requirements

Mucoce 1.2.1 requires OS X Lion 10.7.0 or later, including Mountain Lion. It’s been localized to English, German, French, Romanian, Russian and Swedish. It’s available in the Mac App Store.

Do I Recommend it?

Yes. If you’ve been looking for better accessibility and control than the iTunes Mini Player, including tweetability, then this is a convenient, tidy (0.9 MB), and inexpensive app that will solve your problem quickly and with style.

Product: Mucoce 1.2.1

Company: hoTodi, Nicklas Korz

List Price: US$0.99

Pros:

Easy to use, lots of functionality, can tweet the current song, access to change the song rating, low cost.

Cons:

Inability to select a specific playlist.

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