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.