Desktop How To

How To Pause Background Music When Audio Plays In Another App On Mac

iOS automatically pauses your music when another audio or video starts playing in another app. Today, we’ll show you to do the same on your Mac. Find out how to do so after the jump.


I’m a big fan of iOS. Sure, it’s limited in power user features compared to Android, but it is so very smartly designed. One such smart feature is how iOS will pause background music when you play another video or a song in another app. As far as I know, Android doesn’t do this – you have to manually stop one audio source before you can play another without interruptions.

See also: Assign Programs To Different Audio Devices With These Apps

Introducing Background Music

Background Music app for Mac OS X

Anyhow, you can now get this functionality on OS X, albeit through a third-party app. Background Music will automatically pause iTunes when it detects audio playing in any other app such as Safari, Chrome, Skype, etc. When said audio stops playing in any other app, Background Music will automatically unpause iTunes so you can continue enjoying your music.

The app is somewhat unfinished at the moment, however. The developer released it just a couple of days ago. You need to have Xcode installed on your Mac because the app needs to be compiled first though that is thankfully a one click-process. You can read all the details from the link at the bottom of the post.

Once you’ve set it up, Background Music is a cinch to use. Just click on Auto-pause iTunes and the app will do rest. Besides iTunes, the app also supports pausing music for Spotify, VLC, and VOX, with support for more players on the way. You can also set up different volumes for each of your other, currently-running apps from Background Music’s menubar interface.

Keep an eye on the source link at the bottom. Since the app has become quite popular, we expect the developer will work on it so all and any bugs are fixed, and – more importantly – the app becomes easier to install for everyone who isn’t a developer.

(Background Music via Lifehacker)