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How to Control iTunes in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Playing an audio CD in iTunes is simple. Just insert the CD in your computer’s disc tray or disc slot, start iTunes by clicking its icon in the Dock, and click the Play button. (Note that your Mac might be set to launch iTunes automatically when you insert an audio CD — even easier!) The iTunes interface resembles that of a traditional cassette or CD player. The main playback controls of the iTunes are Play, Previous Song, Next Song, and the volume slider.

Click Play, Previous, and Next.
Click Play, Previous, and Next.

Click the Play button to begin listening to a song. While a song is playing, the Play button toggles to a Pause button. As you might imagine, clicking that button again pauses the music. If you don’t feel like messing around with a mouse, you can always use the keyboard. The spacebar acts as the Play and Pause buttons. Press the spacebar to begin playback; press it again to stop.

Click the Next Song button to advance to the next song on the CD. The Previous Song button works like the Next Song button but with a slight twist: If a song is currently playing and you click the Previous Song button, iTunes first returns to the beginning of the current song (just like an audio CD player). To advance to the previous song, double-click the Previous Song button.

As with other Macintosh applications, you can control much of iTunes with the keyboard. The following table lists some of the more common iTunes keyboard shortcuts.

Common iTunes Keyboard Shortcuts
Press This To Do This
Spacebar Play the currently selected song if iTunes is idle.
Spacebar Pause the music if a song is playing.
Right-arrow key Advance to the next song.
Left-arrow key Go back to the beginning of a song. Press a second time to return to the previous song.
Command+up-arrow key Increase the volume of the music.
Command+down-arrow key Decrease the volume of the music.
Command+Option+down-arrow key Mute the audio if any is playing. Press again to play the audio.
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