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Is there any way I can enable at least the media keys (play/pause and volume) from my Microsoft keyboard on OS X Snow Leopard?

They used to work perfectly on Leopard using Microsoft's IntelliType, but on Snow Leopard - although Microsoft says it is compatible - I get random kernel panics whenever it is installed, so I just can't use it.

  • Hear hear!! I've finally given up on the latest IntelliType drivers and went back to my Macally bluetooth keyboard. They caused 3 panics already today. – Scott K. Jul 27 '10 at 17:32
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Which keyboard are you using? Apparently the media keys are considered a standard part of the USB HID spec, so they should 'just work'. I'm using a Wireless Comfort Keyboard 5000, which uses a 2.4Ghz connection to a USB dongle. For most keys everything works as expected, but the Windows key is mapped to the Command key, so it's in the wrong place for a Mac. A friend of mine pointed me to DoubleCommand which seems to be very stable on Snow Leopard so far. Another possibility is ControllerMate, which should let you assign functions to the non-standard keys. I haven't tried that yet with the dedicated keys on my keyboard.

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This isn't really an answer to your question, but you can use QuickSilver to create global hotkey mappings to iTunes. For example, I have CTRL+⌘+K setup to Play/Pause iTunes, no matter what application is active.

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