I prefer to use banshee to listen to music on OS X rather than iTunes.

The fn keys from F7, F8 & F9 have music transport icons (rev, play-pause, skip) and by default map to iTunes.

So if I'm listening to music in banshee and I hit F8 (play/pause), it launches iTunes.

Is it possible to remap these transport keys to my music player of choice?

  • 1
    There has been another question related to this here: superuser.com/questions/31925/… Edit: Remapping doesn't seem to work, obviously, since Apple simply won't allow it.
    – slhck
    Sep 7, 2010 at 12:36
  • "Apple simply won't allow it", sorry but that's crap. It's all just bits and bytes, and BSD bits and bytes at that. This isn't an iphone and it's impossible for Apple to deterministically control the sequence of events that follows a key press. EDIT: But thanks for your comment :-)
    – Rich
    Sep 7, 2010 at 12:47
  • 1
    You're only partially right. There is an API for gathering the information about what keys are pressed, but there's no way for the end user (as far as I can tell) to access this and change which application receives the signal from these keys. It has to be baked into the media application.
    – ghoppe
    Sep 7, 2010 at 14:02
  • @ghoppe I found something called FunctionFlip that lets you selectively swap some the mediakeys for their regular fn equivalents. Essentially this unwires itunes, and should make it easier to trigger Banshee.
    – Rich
    Sep 9, 2010 at 1:23

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, the application has to support the media keys, there's no way I'm aware of for the end-user to remap them. I don't think Banshee supports media keys in OS X.

There is an add-on for Songbird that gives that application on Apple media key support, if you're interested in exploring other playback options.


Another option I just thought of is to use another Keyboard driver with more settings for remapping thee keys. I think that Alessandro Levi Montalcini's excellent USB Driver, USB Overdrive, can remap these keys. I haven't tested it myself, though.

  • Right, cool. So if Songbird can do it, then so can Banshee... I'm gonna make this happen!
    – Rich
    Sep 9, 2010 at 1:14

Try using Shift + option + play / pause / ff / rwd.

Itunes ignores this combination. Works for spotify and clementine.


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