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wincent Synergy: it changes everything

The Floater

Synergy provides a visually stunning new feature that is also incredibly useful: floating notification windows, or "floaters". The Synergy floater fades smoothly in and out of view providing you with information about the currently playing track; it automatically resizes fluidly to accommodate different amounts of text; and it floats above all other windows, yet never gets in the way because it still allows you to click through to whatever items are underneath. You can turn these floating notifications on (or off) in the General Settings tab of the Synergy Preferences.

Floater sample

The floater is a semi-transparent window that fades in and floats over the top of your other windows whenever you change songs in iTunes. It provides an easy-to-read summary of information about the currently playing track similar to the information panels often featured on music video clips in the bottom left corner of the screen. It can even display the cover of the currently playing album (automatically downloaded from the Internet). After a short period of time, the floater fades out of view and will not reappear until you change songs again. It automatically operates in one of two modes, depending on what you are doing:

Firstly, when you are skipping through tracks by clicking the Synegy menubar buttons or by pressing Hot Key combinations, the floater will operate in a rapid-update mode that allows you to quickly see which songs you are skipping over. It will provide you with Track name, Artist name, and Album name information if it is available. In this way you can skip very rapidly through tracks and know exactly what songs are being skipped without the need to identify them aurally.

In the second mode, which operates when you are not actively skipping through songs, Synergy waits until it sees that iTunes has begun playing a new song. Insteadly of popping up instantly, you will see the floater smoothly fade in, and then dynamically resize to contain the text, and finally the text itself will fade into position. Once again, the floater fades out after a short period.

Floaters are a visually impressive addition to your desktop, but they also improve your efficiency because they make it easier to identify tracks while quickly skipping through them. They are unobtrusive and they do not obstruct your workflow in any way: not only can you "click through" floaters as though they were not there, you can even do mouse drags and any other mouse operation. It is strongly recommended that you enable this feature.

Version 0.8 added the ability to set a hot key to show or hide the floater at any time.