Basically what the title says. I've grown accustomed to using not only the media keys on my home keyboard, but also generic global hotkeys at work (where I must use a dedicated media player instead of Google Play Music). Is there a way to trigger at least the next, previous, and play/pause functions with a set of global hotkeys?

Bonus points if you can also tell my how I can show the track info on my Logitech keyboard LCD (using SirReal's panel).

4 Answers 4


Install the Google Play Music Chrome extension, then see this article about shortcuts to configure next/previous/pause/play/stop features on either "in chrome" shortcuts" or "global shortcuts" (available no matter what window is on top).

If that doesn't do it for you, there are Chrome extensions such as Key Socket Media Keys, Prime Player for Google Play Music™, Media Keys, Sway.fm Unified Music Media Keys, Better Music, Media Buttons for Google Music, and maybe others that can enable keyboard media keys to control Google Play Music and other music players. Do read their entire FAQs about setup. Some of these extensions are open source so they can be further enhanced if needed.

If you're using Firefox, try the Google Music Media Key Fix add-on.

Google Play Music Labs will let you enable "Desktop Notifications". It won't use your keyboard LCD but it does show "what's playing without having to switch back to your Google Play Music tab. A notification will appear at the start of each song with the song title, artist name, album title, and album cover."

If you're running on Windows, the GMusic program supports media keys and more.

  • 2
    It seems that they've updated the app, and now it's just an icon in the apps screen that launches the webview unmodified, and doesn't capture the media keys any longer.
    – richo
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 0:53
  • @richo, not true, I just set it up myself on the Google Play Music Chrome extension. It's on the extensions tab at the bottom, click on "Keyboard Shortcuts", and there's four shortcuts you can assign for Google Music: Play/Pause, Previous Track, Next Track, and Stop Playing.
    – Kirk Woll
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 14:10
  • 3
    Definitely plus 1 for the "Prime Player for Google Music" - incredibly full featured extension!
    – M1ke
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:09
  • It seems the official Chrome extension might not exist anymore. I had to reinstall Chrome, and when I did, I lost my shortcuts. I searched for the extension, but can't seem to find it anywhere.
    – user163142
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 4:11
  • They have added a way to do this, I am adding a new answer below to describe this, but the short explanation is this. In the Google Play Music web player at the top right of the play window at the bottom of the screen there is a "popout" button. This popup button will install a google play music extension that will capture media keys on my mac
    – jp36
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 14:40

I just found what I believe is the intended way from Google to do this. In the Google Play Music web player there is a play control bar at the bottom of the screen. If you look at the top right of that bar there is a "popout" button (see below image for illustration). If you click that it will install a Chrome extension that along with other things will allow you to use your keyboard's media keys to control the music.

play control bar

  • This should be the correct answer as of 4/2019
    – Ross W
    Commented Apr 17, 2019 at 17:20

I've used the Google Chrome extension Streamkeys a bit with other music streaming sites, and Google Play is on their supported list. This would allow you to make shortcuts global to every Chrome window/tab, which is isn't truly a global shortcut, but is often the majority of the windows I have open these days.


On a Mac you can use the Automator.

Create a new document of type "Service" in the Automator. Choose Service Receives Selected Text: no input. Add a "Run AppleScript" action.

Adapt the following script to your purposes:

on run {input, parameters}
    tell application "Google Chrome"
        set foundTab to missing value
        repeat with currentWindow in every window
            if foundTab is missing value then
                repeat with currentTab in every tab in currentWindow
                    if currentTab's URL contains "play.google.com/music/listen" then
                        set foundTab to currentTab
                        exit repeat
                    end if
                end repeat
            end if
        end repeat
        if foundTab is missing value then
            set foundTab to (make new window)'s active tab
            set foundTab's URL to "https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ap/auto-playlist-thumbs-up"
            delay 1
        end if
        execute foundTab javascript "document.getElementById('player-bar-play-pause').click();"
    end tell
end run

Save your script with an appropriate name such as "Toggle Google Play Music on Chrome", then go to Services Preferences, find and add a keyboard shortcut. Automator -> Services -> Services Preferences.

This finds any open Google Play Music tab and attempts to click the play button, to either pause or play. If no tab is found, it launches one in a new window (you could modify it to instead create a new tab in any existing window). Obviously, you have to pick out what URL you want it to go to.

Note: whatever URL you do go to in a new tab/window, it won't start playing automatically. If you figure out how to do that (I ran out of time), please post a comment letting me know, or just modify the script to include that.

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