Hack 94. Control Your Media Player with Firefox
Use the FoxyTunes plug-in as a remote control for your media player without leaving Firefox.
If you are like me, you spend a good deal of the day looking at a web browser window. I like to keep my web browser window almost completely maximized when I can, which means that other apps, such as my media player, end up being minimized or rolled up to some degree. To switch tracks you need to set up key bindings, or you are left unshading or unminimizing the media player just to skip a track. With the FoxyTunes Firefox plug-in, this is no longer the caseyou can control your media player directly from your Firefox window.
To get FoxyTunes, click Tools Extensions in your Firefox window to go to the extensions manager. Then click on Get More Extensions to go to the main Firefox extensions page. From there you can search for FoxyTunesalthough I often find it is directly linked to on the main page. The Foxy-Tunes extensions page will provide an install link. Click on the link to install the FoxyTunes plug-in and then restart Firefox.
When Firefox restarts, you will see a new set of controls in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen (see Figure 5-1). Most of the buttons have the familiar audio control icons for play, pause, and so on and each has a description that will pop up if you hover over the button. The first button, which looks like two music notes, is of immediate interest because this is where you configure FoxyTunes for your player. FoxyTunes supports a wide range of media players on multiple platforms, so you can use this on Windows or Mac OS X as well. Click the music notes button, click Player Select, and choose your media player from the list. Under Linux, Foxy-Tunes supports amaroK, Beep, Juk, Music Player Daemon, Noatun, Rhythmbox, and XMMS.
Figure 5-1. FoxyTunes toolbar
After your media player is selected, click the Play button to launch the player if it isn't loaded yet or to tell it to start playing. While a file is playing, hover your mouse over the single music note icon to display track information. If you would prefer FoxyTunes to be in a different location on your Firefox window, click one of the corners of the interface and drag it to a different location. If you want to hide most of the interface, click the triangle on the far right of the controls. Click the triangle on the far left side to toggle the track display on or off.