Bowtie Review

Written by Jonas in Apps

Stop, I can hear you thinking: “Aren’t there enough iTunes controllers out there?” Well the true answer? There are, but not as simple and clean and customisable as this one.

Bowtie is the latest to join the big box of controllers for your favorite music app “iTunes” and in my opinion it is pretty good. Its still in beta phase (beta 2 to be exact) so it does have some bugs. But it’s very unlikely that it’ll crash a lot, it’s working perfect on my little MacBook. So what makes Bowtie different?

Everything and nothing. It does things that most of the other iTunes controllers do, but it does it so much better. The preferences interface is very clean, with only a few options, but you only need a few options for something like this. Most other apps are overly complicated. I will go through the menu.

You can have it sit on the desktop, always float on top, or behave like a normal window.

Bowtie Preferences

Themes are easily added, although Bowtie does require a restart before they will show up in the menu. There is also a theme pack with 11 themes currently available for download now. And if that isn’t enough, most “mac-styling themed” forums are flooded with them and of course don’t forget us! We at iconpaper regulary post bowtie themes that are amazing!

The Bowtie themes menu.

Creating a new theme is very simple since Bowtie is based on WebKit. All you need to know is some basic css, xhtml and javascript. I quote from the Bowtie theme guide:

“Bowtie is based on the powerful WebKit engine, the same one that powers Safari and Dashboard. In fact, creating a Bowtie theme is akin to creating a Dashboard widget: it’s as simple as creating a standard web page, only you also provide a bit of metadata (in Info.plist), and have a handy JavaScript API to access special Bowtie features.”

But where are all the other shortcuts? You don’t really need them. Bowtie includes the 3 important ones. Most themes also have controls on the display, and will let you rate the song directly from the app.

Bowtie Shortcuts

A search function is included in the shortcut. You can search by artists, songs, albums by simply pressing Ctrl+Shift+S (by default).

Last but not least, probably one of the most important aspects of Bowtie, Last.FM support, so you don’t have to worry about your songs not getting scrobbled.

The bowtie lastfm login screen.

I’ve been using the “Rexcon” theme, which is a very clean and simple tucked away theme. It includes the basic controls, star rating and song details. I’d highly recommend checking it out, it is a free download.

Further information about Bowtie

  • Latest version : 1.0 Beta 2
  • Licence : Free
  • Configuration : 10.5 or higher
  • Website and download :
  • Themes: here
The theme that I'm using "Rexcon". It is also available for the other corners.

The theme that I'm using "Rexcon". It is also available for the other corners.


  1. Adrian says:

    Yup. Bowtie is the best one out there. I’m using a minimal style theme called Geeky by Laurent Baumann. Not sure if that was in the default themes that come with Bowtie.

  2. Lisa Waldo says:

    I use bowtie too. Probably the best.

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