Logitech G13 Gamepad + iTunes 10.5 fix

NOTE: As of iTunes 10.6, it looks like they went and changed the regkey value back to 'iTunes' from 'iTWindow'. Makes this here post obsolete, unless you happen to be running iTunes 10.5.

This information will only be of use to a few people who happen to have the Logitech G13 gamepad keyboard, and wonder why the media player add-in simply won't display the track information from iTunes. (Some, as in my case, had it working before, only to have it stop working not long ago… corresponding, as always, with Apple imposing unannounced, undocumented changes to the iTunes API.)

Given how much time it took me to track it down, I figured I'd put this information out there and hope the magic Google engine picks up the keywords so others don't have to spend the two hours I did finding it.

Here's the fix (which should be attempted only by those who know what they're doing, because you're mucking with Windows system internals here…  it'd actually be a good idea to set a system restore point before attempting this fix, and if you don't know how to do that…well, that's a pretty good reason not to try this at all):

  • Close your Logitech G13 gamepad software (both the main control software and the profiler)
  • Open regedit and go to: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Logitech\LCD Software\LCDMedia\iTunes 4.5+
  • In the right side pane, select the value ClassName REG_SZ
  • Change the value from iTunes to iTWindow

Close regedit and restart your Logitech software. Start up iTunes.  Now when you toggle through your LCD screens the Song Playing screen will come up.

My understanding is this may also work with the G15 gaming keyboard, the one with the extra LCD screen above the keys.

BTW, this iTunes–>iTWindow fix applies to just about anything that did work in previous versions of iTunes but suddenly stopped working. For example, for those using SetPoint software, it also quit working but the latest version fixed it. However, a while back I also had to fix my keyboard's *.ini file because the media controls quit working. Here's the fix for that as well:

  • Close SetPoint from the system tray
  • Open a text editor (such as Notepad) as an administrator (personally I use EditPad Pro)
  • Open the SetPoint players.ini file (usually C:\Program Files\Logitech\SetPointP\players.ini)
  • Edit the line under the [Players] section to match the line shown here: (the bolded term is the wndClass variable which needs to be changed, ignore everything else)
    iTunes=wac,iTunes.exe,ITWindow,xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx,0,1,iTunes
  • Save the file
  • Restart SetPoint and hopefully this will fix it.

Anyway, this seems to be the key here, whether it's a configuration .ini value or something in the registry entries associated with the newly broken iTunes-related application.

For those wondering why the Logitech G13 doesn't come with any way to actually control iTunes…well, it's a known feature omission.  However, I found a GPL (open source) project called HKTunes that lets you assign basic iTunes functions — play/pause, next track, previous track, volume up and down — to any single keystroke, which can be modified with Win, Ctrl, Alt, and Shift. What I did was assign those functions to heavily modified keystrokes, ones I'm unlikely to use anywhere else — for instance play/pause as Shift-Ctrl-Alt-DownArrow, left and right arrow for previous or next track, and page up/down for volume.

Then over on the gamepad, I picked a few keys on my default config profile and assigned those to the same keystrokes. Voila, the G13 can now control iTunes the same way the media keys do on my main keyboard. The program is very rudimentary though, so to use it regularly you'll need to create a Start group shortcut.

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