There are a lot of apps that show which song iTunes playins in different fancy pop-ups (using Growl i guess) but I need only a song name in menu bar and nothing else.

There are NowPlaying and emcee but they are non-free. Then, there are free apps like CoverSutra but those don’t do what I want exactly.

Is there free app which shows name of the song that VLC or iTunes plays in menu bar?

  • 3
    In Lion, you can enable iTunes track notifications in the Dock: defaults write com.apple.dock itunes-notifications -bool true; killall iTunes. These don’t show up in the menu bar though, and they only pop up when a new track starts playing (or when you change a track’s rating from within iTunes). It’s not exactly what you’re looking for but it’s kind of nice. Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 14:39
  • That can be useful for somebody else. Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 14:51

7 Answers 7


Try the following freeware/open source tool: QuickTunes.


Elderly, but may work fine still.

  • It's GPL so I can also look at code. Nice. Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 15:30
  • 1
    Though I like the customization this tool offers, it didn't work that well for me. I always needed to start it 2 or 3 times before it actually opens and it seems it was preventing iTunes from closing after that. I ended up removing it and installing iTunesPlay instead, which seems to work fine.
    – laurent
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 19:15

My minimalistic solution involves using GeekTool to display a geeklet like the one I made on top of the menu bar. It runs an AppleScript every 10 seconds and will unobtrusively display nothing when iTunes is not running or not playing, otherwise just show the current track's name.

enter image description here

Advantages: you can resize, position and format the text of the geeklet as you wish (e.g. put it in the very center of the menu bar – something the freeware programs discussed here can't do), as well as have it display additional info such as album, artist, etc. by editing the AppleScript. See here for ideas.

Disadvantages: The geeklet's position is fixed. When your front application uses a lot of space on the left-hand side of the menu bar, the geeklet will be shown on top of the rightmost menu items. This problem is, of course, more relevant for small display sizes.

  • That's not exactly what I wanted, but thanks anyway. Now I know about nice new tool! Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 15:20

I've just found Tune Buddy which does exactly what I wanted:

Tune Buddy screenshot

I'll check other apps latter, thank everybody who answered…

  • If this answers your question completely, please select this as the best answer so your question will show a green check in the questions list
    – fanaugen
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 15:12
  • @gentmatt, ah, thanks for the info, I wasn't aware of that
    – fanaugen
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 15:17
  • I'll select the best answer. My answer is just an option it may be useful for somebody. I like stuffe's answer the most so I'll accept it as best. Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 15:28
  • 1
    The app seems abandoned or sold to a third party, I can't download it from that site. I was able to find a simple v1.4 and a more featured v1.8 (with Spotify support)
    – fregante
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 23:59

Simple iTunes is a simple iTunes menu bar application which displays current track (Song - Artist) playing in iTunes in menu bar.

https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/47609/simple-itunes https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4958098?start=0&tstart=0

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here


You Control: Tunes

...is free, but requires an email address to receive a serial.

  • access the whole iTunes library via the menubar
  • access playlists via the menubar
  • see the current song in the menubar
  • see player controls in the menubar
  • notifications
  • change rating on the fly

enter image description here enter image description here

  • What's the menu thingy to the left of the paw print? (I'm assuming the paw print is TigerLaunch.)
    – Cajunluke
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 20:45
  • @CajunLuke That symbol represents a hand on the touchpad. This icon belongs to BetterTouchTool. The paw is from Growl.
    – gentmatt
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 20:50

After having been on iTunesMenu for years I decided it was best to move on, considering the crashes.

So I found SmashTunes: nice and simple, plus it drops the radio station name (which is usually extremely long and just as useless)

SmashTunes screenshot

Edit: now I prefer Tune Buddy, suggested in an answer above.


It may not be exactly what you want, but the best I can suggest is Vox which is free and displays the player controls in the menubar, which you can click on to get the currently playing song (and the current playlist). Like so:

enter image description here


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .