MiniTune for Mac is a neat little application that displays your current song's album artwork in a CD case on your desktop, as well as allowing you to change track, simply and quickly. The images look great, with a glossy look to the CD image, something you tend not to see too much in real life nowadays if you buy all your music off iTunes. This app will have a lot to live up to though, as TunesArt, having been released for a lot longer than MiniTune, will be its main rival when deciding which one to choose. For starters, if you enjoy listening to music through last.fm MiniTune is definitely the app for you, with its built in scrobbling and great last.fm integration (even if it is meant primarily for iTunes). Also, when tested, the image displayed as the album artwork loads marginally faster through MiniTune, than TunesArt. It is not clear why, but it doesn't really matter, because when scrolling though your tracks, a slight difference in loading speed will all add up for each track you decide not to listen too, saving you time. The information displayed along with the image, is also slightly more informative, displaying the name of the artist as well as the song name. However, there were a couple of small issues that were found. The first of these being that the app acts like a window. It does not stick to your desktop as such, but when using expose and Apple's trademark "4-finger-swipe", the MiniTune box will shoot into action and behave like a normal window, which can be a little annoying at times. Especially when wanting to show the desktop to see what track is playing, because the "now playing" MiniTune, also decides to hide itself too! As well as this, the controls feel a little like they have come from a Windows application. I know this sounds a little puzzling, but they need a smoother look, and are way too basic for my liking.
However, looking beyond the small negatives, MiniTune does a whole lot more than TunesArt, even if TunesArt does look a little sleeker in places. MiniTune has the handy features of changing the audio output, right in the window, as well as actually changing the image visible in the dock at the same time, a nice little bonus. And with its easy integration with Growl, which many Mac users are very fond of, and very low CPU usage at the most intensive times, it really is worth a shot at, contesting for its place to be your favourite iTunes add-on.