I had an inquiry at Capital Mac Service the other day that was rather intriguing while I was sitting on the couch working on my Macbook Pro:
“Hi, I just bought a new mac and have owned many macs before. On the top row the forward and backward and play/pause buttons (itunes media keys) that used to correspond to changing songs in itunes, don’t do that.”
Why did the itunes media keys stop working?!
Our first thought was the F-keys were not set correctly in the system preferences. Strangely enough, they were set perfectly fine–the media keys should be working. I even thought maybe a data transfer may be causing it by pulling over something weird from another Mac–he said he did not data transfer. After mulling it over for a few minutes, and a few back and forth emails about the rest of the environment, I started to think of what else could use those media keys besides iTunes, and, low and behold I had a thought. On my Mac, I only use Google Music, which is handled through the Chrome browser and I use those very same media keys to forward and rewind music. So, based on this thought, I immediately asked him if he was a Safari or Chrome user. Just like clockwork, he said he uses Chrome. I wrote him back to ask if the media keys worked when Chrome wasn’t running and a few minutes later, we had our culprit. He had installed the Google Music extension in Chrome, which was hijacking the media keys for the entire system, including iTunes. I had him remove the extension and just like magic, the keys returned to normal.