Global vol +/- and next track on Mac? using Multimedia keyboard binds?

Hi all

a first day user here :slight_smile:

I searched the Roon knowledge base and forums but cant really find anything on this topic…

I spend most of my time during the day in front of my mac working so most of my music listening time comes from my Mac… i cant understand still how does one set global shortcuts on the mac (ie vol +/- and next track). That is so far when i get a call or need to skip a song the only way i found how to do so was manually switch over to Roon and then launch the bind. This is very disruptive for any workflow which has Roon in the background when you work on other apps :slight_smile:

also related, if not possible to assign global binds, can one assign Roon to use Multimedia keyboard keys?

appreciate the help!


@zeltak_b – here’s what has worked for me:

  1. Make sure you have a keyboard whose multimedia keys work to control iTunes/Music

  2. On the Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Accessibility, and add as an app that is allowed to control your computer

  3. In Roon, go to Settings > Setup and if there is an option to allow Mac Media keys then make sure that is set appropriately. (I have found that this option shows up on some Macs and not on others – no idea why).

For me, Steps 1 and 2 have sufficed to allow the Media keys to control Roon (provided iTunes/Music is not running).

Hope that helps –

hi @otinkyad

thx for the response. i did add to the accessibility section yet cant see anything RE mac media keys in the Roon> Settings > Setup, see screen:

what am i missing here?



AFAIK this feature only works if you use System Output on the iMac, i.e. the OS mixer is controlling volume.

Hello @zeltak_b – What I was trying to say in my previous post was that for me, using the multimedia keys works even if this option does not show up – provided that the first two criteria I listed are satisfied. Hope that makes more sense.

Re-starting Roon can sometimes help after giving Accessibilty permissions.

Other options could be to use third-party software to add keyboard shortcuts (Keyboard Maestro, USB Overdrive, BetterTouchTool). I should mention that I have found configuring these to be quite opaque in general, and couldn’t get them to work for the Roon multimedia key purpose, although I didn’t try very hard.

EDIT: Oh I just realized you want to control volume as well. I haven’t tried that (I have a physical volume control knob attached to my Roon output, which is a DAC). Everything I wrote was re: using multimedia keys for Play/Pause and Next/Prev Track only. Sorry!

Ah… that would explain the circumstances when the option does/does not appear in Roon>Settings>Setup. I was not aware of this, thanks!

1 Like

Media keys work just fine for me on two MacBook Pros. I’ve never used System Output on either.

I also have the MBPro linked to my phone and when a phone call comes in playback is automatically paused and resumed when the call ends.

I did nothing to enable either of these…

That sounds like System Output since the system mixer is controlling playback. Built-in Output gives Roon exclusive use of audio.

Well, I’m playing to a zone that is not the laptop. I don’t know. Sometimes I wish it wouldn’t pause for calls…

Can you post a screenshot of the Signal Path for the devices affected?

Hi all and thanks for the good suggestions!

yeah that helped! i can now use the on-keyboard multimedia lets to pause and FF/REW, but how does one deal with changing volume? is there a solution for that via the keyboard (i stream to KEF LS 50 II over AP2).

thanks again!


I tried to reproduce the pause when receiving a call and you’re correct, it only does it on system output…I don’t get many calls and I don’t use system output much but must have been when it occurred.

Great, glad that worked!

yeah, not sure about this. I think that keyboard multimedia volume keys can by default only control System Output. Perhaps this where one of the 3rd party applications could help bind those keys (or some keyboard combination of your choice) globally to control Roon volume. Then in Roon, if you configure the KEF output to use Roon DSP volume, that might give what you need…?

@zeltak_b – A possible solution for you? Requires a bit of investment.

I myself am a big believer in good quality rotary volume controls (rather than keystrokes); I use Mac --> USB --> DAC --> XLR --> JBL NanoPatch+ volume controller --> headphones. The NanoPatch is right next to my mouse, and therefore immediately at hand. If I didn’t have that, I would be seriously considering this myself:

1 Like