Now Playing Layout

To provide intuitive and highly functional functional operation, the Now Playing panel delivers its capabilities by grouping them into areas of common functionality. These areas are detailed in the following diagram.

[image_frame title=”The Now Playing Panel” alt=”The Now Playing Panel”][/image_frame]

Player Controls

The player controls are presented in the Mac Tool Bar, providing the means to control playback of music on the current iTunes server. In addition, the player controls provide the means to display the Aloof main popup panel and access common Aloof application information.

To bring up the main panel, just hold your cursor over the Aloof player controls in Mac menu bar. After a slight delay to prevent inadvertent display, the main Aloof interface is popped up, displaying the Now Playing panel. The panel is dismissed when the mouse is clicked outside of the Aloof interface.

Performing a right-click on the player controls provides a context menu to access to information about Aloof as well as quit the application.

[image_frame title=”The Now Playing Context Menu” alt=”The Now Playing Context Menu”][/image_frame]

Besides presenting the method to access Aloof, the player controls are used to control song playback. Following the common music playback metaphor, the player controls provide the following functions

[fancy_list style=”arrow_list]

  • Toggle song playing – pause state
  • Play the next song
  • Rewind to the start of the song/play the previous song


Playback control is also provide by customizable global hot-keys.

Current Song Information

This section of Now Playing provides information on the current song playing, including song title, song artist and album title. In addition the current rating of the song and album art are presented.

[image_frame title=”The Now Playing Song Information” alt=”The Now Playing Song Information”][/image_frame]

Double clicking either the song title, artist name or album name in the Now Playing title section will perform a search on the current artists name and switch to a display those results. This provide a rapid method to find more songs related to the curent song.

The rating of the song is displayed using a standard five start display. The current rating of the song is also set by this control, providing a rapid method to rate songs as they playback via Aloof. Combining Aloof’s rating easy and iTunes smart playlists functionality provides an intuitive and automatic method to listen to your music as outlined in Mining your music with Aloof.

Besides the common song information displayed n Now Playing, Aloof also provides access detailed information via the Song Info button. Pressing this button will display an Additional Song Information panel that contains further song information. This panel displays for a few seconds and is then automatically hidden.

At the bottom of the album art song playback progress is displayed for the current song. Besides showing current playback progress, this indicator is also used to set the playback position for the current song. Clicking the progress indicator will change the current playback position for the song.


The Now Playing panel also provides access to playback controls that affect playback operation, but are seldom used. These controls are accessed by pressing the Dashboard button on the Aloof toolbar located at the bottom of the panel. When the Dashboard button is pressed, the Album Art display is modified to reveal the dashboard controls.

[image_frame title=”The Now Playing Dashboard” alt=”The Now Playing Dashboard”][/image_frame]

The Dashboard provides access to the following controls:

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  • Repeat mode – set to None, Album/Playlist, or single song
  • Shuffle mode
  • Playback progress
  • Run iTunes Genius on the current song
  • Set the volume on iTunes


Aloof Controls

The toolbar the bottom of the Aloof interface provides access to the various Aloof operations and controls what activity is displayed. This toolbar is always displayed, no matter what activity Aloof is performing.

[image_frame title=”The Aloof Toolbar” alt=”The Aloof Toolbar”][/image_frame]

The toolbar contains the following actions:

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  • Anchor – When set, the anchor prevents hiding of the Aloof interface when another application is click on.
  • Dashboard – used to hide and show the Now Playing dashboard. This button is only displayed when in Now Playing mode.
  • Now Playing – displays the Now Playing panel
  • Up Next – displays the Up Next panel
  • Playlists – displays the Playlist browse panel
  • Search – displays the Search panel
  • Settings – displays the Settings panel


Disclaimer: iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. This program makes no claim to be either authorized or approved by Apple, Inc.