Create personalized, universal keyboard shortcuts for 50+ music sites with this awesome Chrome extension

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love keyboard shortcuts. They take a little time to learn, but shortcuts make you far more efficient in front of the PC.

But shortcuts don’t have to be all about work. They can help you have fun too.

Streamkeys is a fantastic Chrome extension that lets you control the music players for more than 50 media sites such as Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube. If you can think of a mainstream music site, Streamkeys can help you control it.

Many music and video sites create their own keyboard shortcuts for controlling their player. The advantage of Streamkeys is that it makes one set of shortcuts universal across all the sites compatible with the extension.

Here’s how it works.

Getting started

As always, first download the extension from the Chrome Web Store. Once it’s installed the Streamkeys icon will appear in your browser to the right of the address bar.

By default, Streamkeys will tie all player operations to your keyboard’s media keys (play/pause, next, previous, etc). But those built-in media keys are usually in awkward spots, like at the very top of your board or way off to the side.

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To personalize Streamkeys, click Keyboard shortcuts under Menu > Settings > Extensions.

If you’d rather set your own shortcuts, click on the menu “hamburger” icon in the upper right corner of Chrome and select Settings > Extensions and then Keyboard shortcuts at the very bottom of the page.

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The Streamkeys shortcuts personalization window.

A new window will pop-up. Under the Streamkeys heading you’ll see all of the extension’s default shortcuts. To change them, click on each shortcut and then type in the new one.

Unfortunately, Streamkeys doesn’t allow single tap shortcuts so you can’t use the space bar for play/pause, for example. Instead, you need to do prefix all your shortcuts with the Ctrl key—at least in my tests.

In the image here you can see my personalized choices. I went with Ctrl + space bar for play/pause.

Once you’ve got all your shortcuts set-up click OK and you’re done.

Now just test out Streamkeys on any of the sites it works with. You can find a complete list of Streamkeys-compatible sites here.

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