Review: Menuet

Menuet is a small but featureful iTunes controller (April 27th, 2006)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Specere

Price: $12.95 (single)-$29.95 (4 user) - Discounted

The Good

  • good price and discount, growl and support.

The Bad

  • Growl support could use improvement.

There are hundreds of iTunes remotes, controllers, and such. Some free, some shareware. After a long time user of Synergy, I felt it was a slight con to have to pay an extra $10 simply for Growl Support. So I searched around, and found Menuet. It offers themes, growl support, key combinations and a really nice and small menu bar icon (good!).

Installation consists of simply double clicking the application, and it installs the required preference panel in System Preferences.

Upon launch I was confronted with a polite dialogue offering me a 30% ($4) discount because I use Synergy. Who could complain with that?

From the preference window you can map a key shortcut to just about every iTunes command possible, from play/pause to setting ratings.

The themes that come with Menuet are, well, awesome. They are exceptionally crisp and bright. A few of my favorites are:
Aqua - A very basic controller, simply displaying the Play/Pause and forwards/backwards buttons.

Jewel Case Mini - A simple and clear drop down box that displays the art work and basic controls.

Monkey Bars - An animated monkey and box, very fun.

The actual menu bar icon is a miniature icon of the artwork. Small enough to look at, but not stupidly large and in the way. Although it'd be nice to be able to change this to a play/pause button or a simple black and white icon. At first I felt this was all very nice, but having to click and 'wait' for the box to appear was probably no faster than simply using iTunes. What I needed was instant click controls. This is when I found out (purely by accident) about the 'hidden' icon controls:

	Click the icon and the controller slides down
	Command Click the icon and it'll skip to the next song
	Shift Click the icon and it'll pause the current song
	Alt Click the icon and it'll bounce back one song.

Growl support is included, although it appears to update at near-random intervals. This is very annoying. Ideally you should be able to select what information to show and when. If Menuet had complete Growl support it would be as good as perfect!

Since Growl support changes would be just a bug fix, and the price is amazingly competitive (even more so if you hunt down the developer on the MacNN Forums and look at his signature) Menuet is an application worth having.

This review was edited by Victor Marks.

by Peter Clark


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