iTunes' Visualizer tricks

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A reader who signs him- or herself as simply “Spacey” has a question about iTunes’ Visualizer. The unearthly one writes:

I really like the iTunes Visualizer. I like it so much, in fact, that I hate to turn it off. The problem is that sometimes I have to because I want to see the name of the song that’s playing or turn the volume or down. Are there ways to do this without leaving the Visualizer?

As a matter of face, yes. If you’re determined to space-out, you can do this and quite a few other things without bailing from iTunes’ psychedelic goodness. We’ll start with your particular needs.

From within a running Visualizer you can display the album art, artist, and song information for any playing iTunes track by pressing the I key. When you do, you’ll see this information in the lower-left corner of the Visualizer window. To adjust volume up, press Command-Up Arrow. Volume down is, as you might have guessed, Command-Down Arrow. If you missed those tricks, you might also be unaware of these:

To move to the next track in your playlist, press the Right Arrow key. To go back a track, Left Arrow key. To fast-forward through the currently playing track, press Command-Option-Right Arrow. And yeah, rewind is Command-Option-Left Arrow.

(No big secret here, but other than the I key trick for showing track information, all these keyboard commands work in iTunes even when the Visualizer is off.)

Given it’s visual nature, you shouldn’t be surprised that Visualizer has any number of graphics tricks up its paisley sleeves. You’ll discover a lot of them simply by pressing keys on your Mac’s keyboard. (Don’t forget the number keys!) If you think you’ve found everything hidden under the hood, while Visualizer is running press the /? key at least twice.

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