How To Enable Hidden iTunes Notifications On Mac OS X
Turns out there an iTunes Dock setting for the Mac, hidden deep inside the new Lion OS. Once activated, the Dock will produce a pop-up notification of which iTunes track is currently playing. Although you can program Growl, a useful little utility, to show similar notifications, you may prefer having the native one found in Lion.
The feature is only available to those running the latest Lion OS X 10.7. It just need to be activated. After following a few simple steps, a window will appear above the iTunes icon on your Dock each time a new track starts, displaying the artist and song title. The notification window will automatically remove itself after a few seconds.
Here’s how to activate it now:
Step 1: Quit iTunes.
Step 2: Open Terminal (Found in Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities).
Step 3: Copy and paste the following command:
defaults write com.apple.dock itunes-notifications -bool TRUE;killall Dock
Step 4 (Optional): You can customize it even further by adding the iTunes icon inside the popup along with the song info. Just add the following command:
defaults write com.apple.dock notification-always-show-image -bool TRUE;killall Dock
Step 5: Open iTunes and give it a try!
I’d like to think that I’m familiar with every song in my iTunes library, but decided to try the feature anyway. At first I thought it would be distracting, but found it unobtrusive and actually pretty cool! I think I may go ahead and keep it for a while. The process is completely reversible, anyway. If for any reason you’d like to deactivate the feature, simply follow these steps:
defaults delete com.apple.dock notification-always-show-image;killall Dock
Keir Thomas discovered this handy little feature and shared it on Mac OS X Hints. He mentions that when he found the tweak, it came bundled with options allowing you to change the size (height and width) of the notification window. Apple could have been working on a new notification system to use with OS X applications but may not have been ready to make it official.
Bookmark this page, or save the instructions nearby in case you’d like to experiment with the hidden tweak.