How-To Geek

Mac: How To Control Spotify and iTunes From the Dock

With a quick download, you can now control either iTunes or Spotify straight from your dock, while the music player runs in the background. Keep reading to see how they work, and where you can download them for free.

These Automator applications, created by the author, were a simple solution to control music programs running in the background without opening the window of the application itself. In addition to checking out the apps, tell us in the comments about your favorite apps and tricks to make Spotify and iTunes better!


Download DockPlay for Spotify or for iTunes

Downloading and installing DockPlay for either program couldn’t be easier. Simply download either version (for iTunes or Spotify) from the author’s site, drop the unzipped files in your Applications folder, and then slide them into your dock. Voila! Installed.

Keep in mind, that the downloads page we’re linking to is a work-safe link, although the rest of the site has some NSFW content. Browse at your own risk!

How To Use DockPlay

With the iTunes or Spotify application open and in the background, simply click to run the different workflows that control the program.

  • If you’ve been playing any playlist, or you have one selected, the Play button will play and pause Spotify or iTunes.
  • If you’ve got any playlist selected, the “Next” application will skip to the next track.
  • If you’ve got any playlist selected, the “Previous” application will rewind, and then go to the previous track.

Simple, right? That’s all there is to it—easy peasy.

Have your own favorite apps and custom solutions to make iTunes or Spotify better? Let us hear about them in the comments below!


DockPlay is a simple Automator workflow created by the author. Address any problems you might have with it directly to him, at

Eric Z Goodnight is an Illustrator and Graphics Geek who hopes to make Photoshop more accessible to How-To Geek readers. When he’s not headbanging to heavy metal or geeking out over manga, he’s often off screen printing T-Shirts.

  • Published 08/15/11

Comments (7)

  1. Hatryst

    Right click on icon, select what you want to do (play/pause/etc.).
    It doesn’t get easier than that, does it? ;)

  2. Eric Z Goodnight

    @Hatryst: Well, this article is more about a specific problem I had to solve, that I wanted to share with readers. I hated waiting on the contextual menu to load, so this was the best solution for me.

  3. Chappers

    Or there’s the buttons on the keyboard, if you’re using one of the newer Apple ones.

  4. Hatryst

    Of course its a really handy one, I was mentioning the case when you DON’T want to have a lot of icons in your dock.

  5. Confuzzler

    Could I use this with Object Dock? (I’m running Vista). :)

  6. E

    downloads are for Mac only?

  7. Diggerjohn111

    if they had this for P.C.s I would be interested, but I didn’t join the Mac Cult.

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