Overview

GUI App Screenshot

2016-09-14 – macOS Sierra note: The patch works in macOS Sierra, but it seems that Xcode Developer Tools might not upgrade properly in some cases. If you experience any issues with code signature, try reinstalling Xcode tools (xcode-select --install) and then patch again.  See this github issue for details.

This is a patch for removing the default OS X behavior of always starting iTunes when the play button on the keyboard is pressed. This feature can be useful for a lot of users, but it can also be annoying if you are using VLC, Nightingale or other similar programs that support the media keys.

The application will patch the Remote Control Daemon to prevent it from starting iTunes whenever you press the play button on the keyboard or an external remote control. This will only prevent iTunes from starting, all other functions (like play/pause while iTunes is running) will continue to work as before. The original file is backed up in case you would like to restore the original functionality.

You can find the source code on github.

OS X El Capitan, macOS Sierra Compatibility

This patch works by modifying a system file (rcd). With the new System Integrity Protection (SIP) functionality introduced in El Capitan you have to take additional steps to temporarily disable SIP. Hopefully I will get some time soon to update the binary to guide through this, but for now here is what you have to do.

  1. Boot into recovery
  2. Launch terminal once booted into recovery: Utilities menu > Terminal
  3. Disable SIP: csrutil disable
  4. Restart and log in as you would normally. Validate that SIP is disabled by running the following command in terminal: csrutil status It should say disabled.
  5. Run the iTunes Patch dmg and continue with the patching.
  6. Once the GUI shows that it has successfully patched, boot back into recovery to re-enable SIP.
  7. Launch terminal once booted into recovery: Utilities menu > Terminal
  8. Re-enable SIP: csrutil enable
  9. Restart. The patch should be applied now without disabling SIP forever.

Reporting Issues

Please click the “Report an issue…” button in the application and it will present the option for submitting issues. You can always contact me directly as well.

Updates

2015-03-02 farhan: Published the GUI app (version 1.0). The command line patch is still available in the download section.

2014-12-21 farhan: I am almost done with a new GUI based app. Please see the download section below for details.

2013-05-11 farhan: Updated to 0.8.2. Added step to self-sign the modified binary. This should prevent rcd from crashing on Mountain Lion. Thanks to user48986 at AskDifferent .

2016-09-14 farhan: Confirmed that the GUI app works in macOS Sierra.

Download

Play Button iTunes Patch-1.0.dmg

Older Text-based Patch

PlayButtoniTunesPatch-0.8.3. After downloading double click on Patch.command and follow the prompt.

License

Copyright (C) 2010 Farhan Ahmad.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU
General Public License for more details.
  • Timmy

    This worked back when I had Yosemite, but when I updated to macOS Sierra, when I reinstalled the code, I was meet with an error stating: Unxpected Error, Could not codesign he modified binary. I did have SIP disabled so that should not be the problem.

    • Hi Timmy,

      Run this command in terminal and then try the patch again.

      xcode-select –install

      – Farhan

      • Grateful User of iTunes Patch

        Unfortunately installing xcode did not help in my scenario. I’m also using the latest ios Sierra.
        =
        After running the “xcode-select –install” command, I rebooted into recovery mode and ran “csrtutil disable.” I then rebooted again, confirmed SIP was disabled (“csrutil status”). Tried to use the patch, but still got the error.

        Unexpected error, could not codesign the modified binary.

        =
        And, thanks for an awesome patch + all the support you’re providing.

        • Not sure why this may be. Can you share the log file?

          • Grateful User of iTunes Patch

            How do I export the log file? (if there’s convenient article to link you can give me that and I’ll read the instructions)

          • Sorry, I looked over this comment. There should be an entry in the File menu.

  • Jimmy

    I’m on Sierra, and this patch now only works until the next reboot for me (SIP is permanently disabled). Additionally, Spotify (my preferred music player) has stopped responding to the headset buttons altogether.

    • Hi, Jimmy. I am surprised to hear that it only works until the next boot. After rebooting when you start the patch GUI does it say that rcd is already patched or does it show it as unpatched?

      • Jimmy

        It shows as patched.

        • If that’s the case then I am guessing that it is likely another app interrupting. Can you please create a new ticket on github so we can effectively track this down?

          • Jimmy

            Actually, it seems I was mistaken before, the patch still works for keyboard media buttons. However, it used to also work for the media buttons on my bluetooth headset, which is no longer the case.

          • That’s surprising because this shouldn’t really affect that functionality (in previous or the current macOS version). Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to figure out how to do this for bluetooth headsets.

  • salbeik1

    What’s going on my mannn? – you went all in on this one :D. How many hours did you spend to patch that DAMNNN play button :D. KILL THAT ITUNES PLAY BUTTON noooo mattttter the price 😀

    • Lol, yes! 🙂 I was enjoying it so I did not count the hours.

  • I keep getting this: rcd quit unexpectedly while using the rcd plug-in.

    • Which version of macOS are you using? Can you email me the log that the utility creates?

  • I am using OS X El Capitan, 10.11.6. When I try running it, I get the first password prompt, but then the installer window goes away and that’s it. I waited awhile and tried again; same thing. I know it didn’t finish because the volume button on my headset cord still launches iTunes.