TuneBar 3 Beta

I have written about TuneBar before, most recently TuneBar 2.7, and as you know it is developed by regular reader Tom, who also happens to be my ‘partner in crime’ on a number of design and development projects.

Impressively TuneBar 2.7 is currently siting at number 6 in the Apple downloads list as a staff pick.

I have been keeping an eye on the development of Tunebar 3, and recently have been using the beta, and I must say that it has taken over where 2.7 left off and is looking very very cool!


The above SlimBar is the driver behind TuneBar. It is “incredibly thin, making it seem like a mere extension of your menubar” and really makes controlling your iTunes so much easier than opening up the application window each time.

Another feature that I really like is the way you receive notifications. As a self confessed Growl addict (as many that iChat me with confirm!) I like that option, but the transparent slider is my favourite.


The other neat feature has to be the customization option, which allows you to tinker around with the way it looks and integrates with your own layout.

One of the major new features in TuneBar 3 is the radically improved controller, which is fully customizable. You can choose from several pre-made customizations, download new ones or even make your own! Don’t like the search field? Get rid of it! If you have even a slight experience with HTML like languages you’ll be well on your way to making your own Controllers.


The driving concept behind TuneBar has always been its simplicity and unobtrusive design. Accessible in ways that provides iTunes control and information within mere seconds, TuneBar 3 is going to take your iTunes experience to a whole new level.

A little Sparkle!

Keeping your software up to date is, lets face it, a nightmare. With updates and bug fixes being released left, right and center each day keeping track of what is up to date and what is not is a tedious and time consuming task. However an answer to this problem exists: Sparkle. Sparkle is a simple and seamless way of ensuring your software stays up to date. With Sparkle built right in to TuneBar, you can be sure that your always up to date.

All in all a very cool, slim and effective application that will cost you $12.

System Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)
  • iTunes 7.4 or later
  • PowerPC G4, G5 (867Mhz or faster) or Intel Core CPU
  • 512MB RAM

Interview with Developer

TuneBar 2.7 has been pretty high on the Apple download list recently, how do you explain that

To be honest I was pretty shocked when I saw TuneBar move up so high on the downloads after been further down for so long. I suppose the release of Apple’s new iPod’s and with TuneBar going on a number of different promotional sites (mupromo.com and maczot.com) it has helped raise awareness of TuneBar recently. I would like to say it was pure genius marketing skills, but I would be lying if I said it was.

What plans do you have for TuneBar post Leopard that you can share with us

TuneBar 3 is very much focused on enhancing the user-experience, allowing them to use iTunes in the way that they want. I suppose subsequent version of TuneBar will build on the controller skin engine as well as building further on overall functionality. One of the things I wanted to add in to TuneBar 3.0 but decided to pull from it (but will probably make it in to the 3.1 release) are ghost playlists. Ghost playlists are playlists that can be created in TuneBar itself on the fly without actually creating a full playlist in iTunes.

You are based in the UK. How do you find the developer ‘scene’

Well locally I don’t really know many (if any) developers. I know a few people who hack around in code, but not really doing anything substantial. Its sort of isolated in that way. Then again I live in a small seaside resort so I can’t expect there to be a huge technology industry around here!

Elevator pitch time, what three words would you use to persuade people to buy TuneBar 3

“Customizable Controller Skins”. You can have your iTunes controller in whatever design you please.

12 thoughts on “TuneBar 3 Beta

  1. Dunks

    Just applied to test the beta – looks like and interesting little app and getting high status/praise from apple staff is fantastic.

  2. John

    Ah where did you guys apply for the beta? I’d love to get in on it. I checked the site and it wasn’t obvious.

  3. Chris Marshall Post author

    Am not sure there is a place to apply – but I am sure that Tom will pick up your requests here and get back to you 🙂

  4. John

    Super, if you could point him here that would be great. I think I am an iTunes controller junky. I have bought Synergy, Menuet and CoverSutra.

    Honestly, CoverSutra will be hard to beat for me…but anyone doing custom Growl styles for his app is totally worth supporting!

  5. Tom Hancocks

    I will be getting a link to the beta posted up here tomorrow. Will include more information then.

    @John: I don’t do custom Growl styles, just custom skins and notifications for TuneBar itself. TuneBar has its own internal notification system, Growl is an extra option (and has been since 2.1) for those who wish to not use TuneBar to notify them of Track Changes.

  6. Wayne LeFevre

    Tom, I am really excited about this. I got this app when it was on a MUPromo, (I think?) and really impressed with it. One thing I’m looking forward to seeing is if it stays in the menu bar or not. for some reason mine disappears every once in awhile…??

  7. Tom Hancocks

    The version of TuneBar available in the MUPromo did have a bug in it, which caused this. You will need to download the update (2.7.2) from my website. For some reason the sparkle updater stopped working in 2.7.

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