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On High Sierra I was able to control the playback of iTunes using arbitrary keys of an external keyboard (one without any Media control keys) using SizzlingKeys.

But SizzlingKeys is a 32-bit app and no longer works on Catalina.

What is the best SizzlingKeys replacement, allowing me to assign arbitrary global keys as hotkeys, allowing me to start/stop playback regardless whether the Music app is in the foreground or not?

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Global hotkeys controlling Music even when in the background can be achieved by using a combination of MacMediaForwarder and Karabiner-Elements:

This can also be used to map the global volume control to arbitrary global hotkeys which I find very useful when using an external keyboard. (This does not require MacMediaKeyForwarder.)

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