I have a set of earphones with full inline controls (mic, play/pause, vol up/down) but they only seem to work with iTunes (and I'm not sure the mic works at all).

How can I make them work with VLC/Spotify?

  • lifehacker.com/5651055/… I haven't tested this but it's a good place to start.
    – Tony
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 20:22
  • 1
    For the record the Play/Pause on the Apple Remote and the function keys on the keyboard work fine with VLC (10.8 Mountain Lion, MacBook Pro with Retina display). The problem is only when using the controls on the Apple EarPods. Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 16:27
  • unfortunately if the mic isn't causing the right response from Spotify, it must have only been programmed to work with iTunes. did they work on Windows, or is there any other reason for you to expect them to work? Commented Apr 1, 2013 at 21:16

4 Answers 4


I just wrote a simple Mac app to solve this problem. Give it a try.

(Tested on Mac OS X EI and Sierra. Not working for 10.12.4.)

  • 1
    Works on Sierra as well, in case you wanted to know :)
    – Blizz
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 9:03
  • Yes! Thank you. The icon is annoying (wish the app would run invisibly), but app works perfectly.
    – kavun
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 13:35
  • Doesn't seem to work on Mojave
    – Chucky
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 13:17

It's an old question, but I've founded a partial solution to remove the automatic launch of iTunes: http://www.thebitguru.com/projects/iTunesPatch

More info and source code here: https://github.com/thebitguru/play-button-itunes-patch

It's better than nothing


There is a small app that remaps bluetooth headset controls to media keys (those on the keyboard). Fixes this bug on Yosemite with Spotify, VLC, Amazon Cloud Player.



Don't how it went, but some have played around with the earphones driver on mac, to try to make it work with Spotify:

You must log in to answer this question.

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