Bearded Spice

Joe Clay | Jan 27, 2017

Hi guys, this is just a quick note to tell you about a great piece of free software I came across. I was talking to a friend about podcasts, and there's one he suggested that only had episodes on YouTube—seriously guys, then it's not a podcast.

Anyway, I hate listening to long form content on YouTube while I work because I can't quickly pause something to listen to a VO or something. Or I get up and pause something only to have it open iTunes and play more stuff on top of what was playing.

Anyway, that got me wondering if there was anything out there than can pre-empt media keys on macOS so you can play/pause YouTube. Side note: it feels strange, but satisfyingly easy to write macOS vs Mac OS.

So I came across the strangely named Bearded Spice project on GitHub. Don't go to the .com site, because it's either been hacked or someone set it up with redirects for a bad reason. Anyway, though it's a little buggy, this menubar app throws a little bearded guy up on your menubar that will allow you to switch between sources. It seems to have a bug where if Spotify is open it only plays and pauses that, even if you have YouTube selected, but that's not a huge deal.

It works in Chrome out of the box, but in Safari you need to "Allow Javascript from Apple Events" in the Develop Menu. It has support for a lot of sites, and if you're adventurous with Javascript, you can write your own support and update the Git.

So I don't know about you, but this is pretty awesome as it opens up a world of other content without interrupting my workflow.

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