I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

AirFoil’s Menu Bar Access

I seem to have this strange affin­i­ty for the menu bar. Well real­ly it’s for lit­tle icons in the menu bar. If an app can run in it in some­way, chances are it is doing so on my Mac.
Recent­ly the excel­lent Air­Foil from Rogue Amoe­ba was upgrad­ed to ver­sion 4.7. It brought with it the abil­i­ty to run an icon in the menu bar instead of the dock. Instant­ly I turned it on, Air­Foil is always run­ning and it bugs me to have too many icons in the dock of my MBP1. It’s a bril­liant idea and one which, in my opin­ion, should’ve been avail­able much ear­li­er than it has been. A sim­ple click shows me what song is play­ing in either iTunes or Spo­ti­fy, which speak­er I’m stream­ing too and the abil­i­ty to add more should I wish. It’s almost like the uni­ver­sal Air­Play icon in the mul­ti­task­ing tray on iOS.
That’s all great, except, it feels kin­da half fin­ished.
The great­est thing about Air­Foil is that I can stream from any source on my Mac. I main­ly use it for Spo­ti­fy or iTunes, but occa­sion­al­ly I play some­thing in Safari like the a live 5by5 pod­cast. It baf­fles me that I can’t select what source Air­Foil is trans­mit­ting from the menu bar. Log­ic, at least to me, dic­tat­ed that this would be the chief func­tion.
Imag­ine the scene. I’m sat work­ing away, I realise via Twit­ter, that the B&B Pod­cast is about to start live on 5by5.tv. I click the link in the tweet I just read and I’m switched to Safari. Since I already have music play­ing from iTunes, using Alfred I can pause it instant­ly and then I’m free to start the live stream. The only thing is I have to click show Air­Foil, then find the win­dow and click the drop down. Then I have to select my source, and then I can close the win­dow. It all seems kin­da long wind­ed and like I should be able to switch source on the fly from the menu item. A ‘source’ menu below or above my speak­ers con­tain­ing only the apps I have open and avail­able to be used as my source would be fan­tas­tic. It’d reduce the click­ing and thus the fric­tion in chang­ing a source for my Air­Foil broad­cast. Hope­ful­ly they will add this abil­i­ty soon, it would com­plete the app as far as I’m con­cerned.

  1. I’m a dock on the side guy (left bot­tom) and so ver­ti­cal space is lim­it­ed.