I’m playing pandora in the background while I work when a call comes in. I press the pause media key expecting the music to… well… pause, but instead iTunes opens up and begins playing my personal music library. Now, instead of silence, I have two sources of music playing over the top of one another. What a nightmare! I finally got around to solving this problem.

At first, I found a really great script solution “iTunes Media Hotkeys Disabler” provided by Redth. He actually includes a DMG file as well, which I did not install. This worked really well to disable/enable the default functionality. But that didn’t end up being my solution. Instead, I spent the $5 it cost to buy PandaBar, which is actually pretty awesome. When PandaBar is playing, it takes control of the media keys, so there’s no need to disable the default behavior. Still, you can if you like :)

If you prefer to disable the media keys, here’s how. Open a terminal window, then…
launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.rcd.plist

To reverse that action, just run…
launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.rcd.plist

References:

  1. iTunes Media Hotkeys Disabler
  2. PandaBar
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