iTunes 12: Pressing the Spacebar Does Not Play or Pause Music

One of the basic playback controls in iTunes has always been the spacebar: press it to either play or pause music. This works in your Music library, in a playlist, when you’ve selected a CD, and also for playing videos, podcasts or audiobooks.

But in iTunes 12, I’m finding that this doesn’t work all the time. I’d not had this problem – ever – in iTunes 11 or earlier, and today I realized what is preventing the spacebar from controlling playback. It’s this:

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It seems that if you accidentally press Command-F, and iTunes highlights its search field, and you need to back out of that field. There are two ways to do this: press the Tab key, or click in the iTunes window, on a different library, or on a playlist if the Playlists sidebar is visible. You can also press Command-L to return to whatever track you’re currently playing. If Command-L moves you to another location in your library, pressing that shortcut is enough to get out of the search field.

14 thoughts on “iTunes 12: Pressing the Spacebar Does Not Play or Pause Music

  1. Were I psychotic enough to be running iTunes 12, I’d employ some of Bill Cheeseman’s most excellent software to deal with the problem.

    For example, a UI Actions applescript to automatically get you out of the search field after 60 seconds, or whatever you think appropriate, if no non-space text was present in the field.

    (I use Cheeseman’s software to correct a bunch of poor UI decisions in various apps and the OS.)

  2. Were I psychotic enough to be running iTunes 12, I’d employ some of Bill Cheeseman’s most excellent software to deal with the problem.

    For example, a UI Actions applescript to automatically get you out of the search field after 60 seconds, or whatever you think appropriate, if no non-space text was present in the field.

    (I use Cheeseman’s software to correct a bunch of poor UI decisions in various apps and the OS.)

  3. I’ve never fallen into the “Jobs would never allow this camp”, especially as I can easily remember some of the questionable decisions made under Jobs. But, I have to say, and I really don’t know why this is the case, that recently Apple does seem to be making questionable decisions, particularly with their software. The “Loop” music icon is gone and I can only access it via the menu if it is off. And unfortunately, iTunes 12 seems to have turned off loop. I’ve always had it enabled. Had iTunes jump into full screen mode just yesterday for something and I always have full screen mode turned off.

    not sure why any of this is happening when I’ve never had any such problems in the past. I’m sure they have some vision of things. Just wished it didn’t seem to go counter to my vision of things as much as it seems these days. Not enough for me to throw the computer across the room, but enough to make me wonder.

    Joe

  4. I’ve never fallen into the “Jobs would never allow this camp”, especially as I can easily remember some of the questionable decisions made under Jobs. But, I have to say, and I really don’t know why this is the case, that recently Apple does seem to be making questionable decisions, particularly with their software. The “Loop” music icon is gone and I can only access it via the menu if it is off. And unfortunately, iTunes 12 seems to have turned off loop. I’ve always had it enabled. Had iTunes jump into full screen mode just yesterday for something and I always have full screen mode turned off.

    not sure why any of this is happening when I’ve never had any such problems in the past. I’m sure they have some vision of things. Just wished it didn’t seem to go counter to my vision of things as much as it seems these days. Not enough for me to throw the computer across the room, but enough to make me wonder.

    Joe

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