How to control pianobar using global hotkeys using Tmux

I love pianobar. However, until yesterday I hated pausing and moving to the next video using pianobar. I had a small terminal dedicated for pianobar and every time I had to change the song or pause, I used to select the window and then hit the right shortcut. I love hotkeys, the allow you to control your stuff without opening windows. I also happen to use tmux a lot. And it hit me yesterday, I could have easily bound hotkeys to send the right key sequences to pianobar running a tmux session. Here is how I did it.

I use xmonad, so I wired up Windows + Shift + p to tmux send-keys -t scratch:1.0 p &> /tmp/null.log So, now whenever I hit the right hotkey it types the letter ā€˜pā€™ in the tmux session scratch window 1 and pane 0, where I have pianobar running.

I use xmonad, but you should be able to put these in a wrapper script and wire them up with any window manager or with unity.

-- relevant configuration
, ((modMask .|. shiftMask, xK_p ), spawn "tmux send-keys -t scratch:1.0 p &> /tmp/null.log") -- %! Pause pianobar
, ((modMask .|. shiftMask, xK_v ), spawn "tmux send-keys -t scratch:1.0 n &> /tmp/null.log") -- %! next pianobar
, ((modMask, xK_c ), spawn "mpc toggle") -- %! Pause mpd
, ((modMask, xK_z ), spawn "mpc prev") -- %! previous in mpd
, ((modMask, xK_v ), spawn "mpc next") -- %! next in mpd

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