Mac OS High Sierra brings an annoying new feature (I guess you can insert “It’s not a bug; it’s a feature” joke here) for users who like using media keys to control their media player while browsing on Safari, be it iTunes, Spotify, or some other player. It’s the new unified media controls feature which takes control over your regular stand-alone player and gives it to the last player that you use, in most cases an HTML5 player on Safari, like the players on Youtube or Facebook. So, when you press the media keys, you start controlling the Youtube or Facebook video instead of iTunes or Spotify tracks. For Chrome users this is not a problem yet. But if you use Safari, it is very annoying to say the least.
I kind of devised a workaround to fix the problem albeit using a paid software which gives a 45 day free trial period. Here is how it goes.
- Download and install BetterTouchTool from here.
- Open your keyboard settings and check the last option to use media function keys as standard function keys. (We have this step because I couldn’t get BetterTouchTool to recognize media function keys. If someone can, I’ll update the post.)
- Open the Shortcuts tab and disable “Show Desktop” and “Show Dashboard” functions.
- Open BetterTouchTool (allow the BetterTouchTool in Accessibility settings in the first run) and go to the Keyboard tab.
- Set all the function keys like the one in the screenshot. As for the media buttons, choose Run Apple Script feature and enter the following scripts per your player preference. Mine is Spotify so I used Spotify. If you use iTunes, write “iTunes” instead.
tell application "iTunes" playpause end tell
tell application "iTunes" previous track end tell
tell application "iTunes" next track end tell
There you go, the problem is temporarily solved until Apple does something about this.