Spotlight allows you to play songs from iTunes. Unfortunately, when I pause the song and resume, iTunes goes back to playing what it was playing before I used Spotlight.

  1. Is there any way to fix this behaviour?
  2. Are there any alternative methods of playing an iTunes song which I already know the name of?

iTunes Version: 10
OS X Version: Snow Leopard

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately there’s no ‘fix’ for the described behavior that I’m aware of.

However, there are a lot of free/paid utilities that will not only do what you need, but also improve the experience overall.

I could list you a dozen utilities but instead I will let you do your homework and decide what’s best for you. This list contains an important amount of utilities for iTunes controlling.

I can tell you which ones I use and my experience with them.

1) Coversutra: It’s a very well designed paid application. You can check their website for a more comprehensive summary (and a trial). The developer (Sophia) reads the suggestions and bug reports.

Pros: It’s very good for searching, very good. Think of a spotlight music dedicated. You can easily switch between playlists, songs, artists, etc. All from the menubar. (I activate it with shift + cmd + space. It also has a controller where you can define your keys for showing album art, define song rating, next, prev, pause, etc. The typical controller stuff. You will rarely need the keyboard.

Cons: Although it has been optimized several times and results come extremely fast, scrolling the results is not as fast as one would expect. Sometimes certain actions might need a “click”.

All in all, it’s a product that works fantastically for me.

2) Launchbar: I use Launchbar for everything, and sometimes for music too. Since it has iTunes support, you can easily type the name of a song/artist/list and will happily play it. What it does is create a playlist called Launchbar and whenever you make a selection, it adds the relevant songs to that list, therefore when you pause/play, things work normally. You can also do the same things (pause, play, next) from launchbar.

Pros: It’s also very fast and it does a lot of things (can’t live without it!)

Cons: Might be overkill for a song launcher/iTunes controller only.

  • Thanks, I found a solution, but I may try some of those later just to see how well they work
    – Casebash
    Sep 12, 2010 at 1:09

The solution is quite simple. Quit iTunes before you start using Spotlight to control it. Then it won't have anything else it was playing before to go back to.


Why not just use the search that's built into iTunes to find the song by name? It's much faster than Spotlight, and doesn't have the problem you describe:

alt text

If you have your heart set of continuing to use Spotlight, then my best guess is that when you 'pause' the song, you're actually stopping it. Next time you play a song through Spotlight, open up the iTunes window and see if the button is to pause the playing media, or to stop it.

  • 3
    Spotlight allows me to start playing a song in the background without using the mouse. Swapping to iTunes and back would use many more keystrokes
    – Casebash
    Sep 10, 2010 at 3:58

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