3 Nov 2011

IntelliType Pro 8, Media Keys and iTunes 10.5

I just got me a new MS Sidewinder X4 keyboard, and very swanky it is too. However, it requires Microsoft IntelliType Pro to work, and after installing that, I was annoyed to find that the Media Keys (Play, Pause, Prev Track, Next Track) didn't work with iTunes.

Here's what I found out.
  • iTunes control worked fine if I uninstalled IntelliType Pro, but this was no good because then I lost the use of the keyboard's Macro keys.
  • By doing the trick of launching iTunes as administrator (right click on the iTunes icon - choose "Run as administrator") , iTunes can be controlled from the Media keys - But ONLY when iTunes is in Window Focus. 
  • Launching the IntelliType process (itype.exe) as administrator makes no difference.
However I have found a Heath Robinson / Rube Goldberg stylee solution! 

HKTunes Portable is free software that launches iTunes for you and attaches custom key handlers to the Play/Pause, Next/Previous controls. So I configured that to use some wild, unlikely key combos, and then I set up those same key combos as Macros for the Media Keys in IntelliType Pro (Start > Microsoft Keyboard > Key Settings).

The only drawback is that you have to remember to launch HKTunes rather than iTunes, but I just replaced the pinned launcher in my task bar so it's not a problem. Wish Microsoft would sort out the underlying prob though!

UPDATE


I found a better solution! Check this guy's EXCELLENT MediaKeys app!

UPDATE UPDATE 23 April 2012

Looks like this is fixed as of Intellitype 8.2 (wasn't listed as Intellitype Pro for some reason?) and iTunes 10.6. GOOD.

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