AnyKeyboard Multimedia Controls is a simple program that gives keyboards without any multimedia controls ability to use them through keys that are found on any keyboard. Multimedia controls are buttons, usually on top of keyboard that allow you to quickly control music playback, adjust Windows audio volume or quickly MUTE any audio. Or even run a calculator. When you get used to them, it’s really hard to enjoy music on PC without them. Initially I made this program just for myself because having preference for multimedia keys on keyboards dramatically limited my selection of keyboards when buying new one. Made this program for myself, but I was so happy with the program I’ve decided to add few other cool features and release it to public so you can have better selection of keyboards too.
I’ve made two versions, regular for full size keyboards with NumPad available and additional TKL Edition for smaller keyboards without NumPad called “TKL” keyboards which uses arrow keys for multimedia controls. No plans yet for anything smaller than TKL unfortunately.
EASY TO USE
There is no configuration in AnyKeyboard Multimedia Controls, but the keys are easy to remember and are intuitively positioned. Plus, if you forget them by any chance, you can just right click on the tray icon, select “Help” and all the hotkeys are listed there.
HOW IT WORKS
Multimedia keys are standard set of keys that send specific command which is then accepted by Windows or media player like MusicBee to skip a track, pause the track or even mute all sounds. And since we want to use multimedia controls on keyboard that doesn’t have them, we have to emulate them using combinations of keys (hotkeys) that then send those commands to Windows or media player, fooling it into thinking you’ve pressed a multimedia button, even though there aren’t actually any on your keyboard! I’ve opted for Control + Hotkey for most commands, so it doesn’t interfere with usage of most programs, but doesn’t require all 10 fingers to activate it.
For example, TKL Edition uses arrow keys for controls. Just press and hold CONTROL (Ctrl) and press Up or Down arrow to adjust Windows volume. Or press and hold CONTROL and by pressing Left and Right arrow, it’ll change music tracks to previous or next.
Each version has own hotkeys under “Help” in tray menu in case if you’re wondering which hotkeys are for which multimedia control.
CONTROL ON THE FLY
In addition to existing quick hotkeys, I’ve decided to add same multimedia controls directly to the tray menu allowing quick control of multimedia settings even if keyboard is not present at all or in case if this is more convenient than hotkeys.
START WITH WINDOWS
AnyKeyboard Multimedia Controls is fully portable application, but still features clever Start with Windows that can work from anywhere. If you move or rename AnyKeyboard’s EXE file, just disable and re-enable “Start with Windows” setting to refresh the startup entry. Same applies when switching between regular and TKL Edition.
TEMPORARILY DISABLE MULTIMEDIA CONTROLS
There is “Disable Multimedia Controls” that you can toggle if you want to stop using multimedia controls without having to close the program. Just right click on AnyKeyboard Multimedia Control tray icon and select “Disable Multimedia Controls” and multimedia hotkeys will stop working. Tray icon will turn red when multimedia hotkeys are disabled.
Because I’m a gamer, I’ve also incorporated a zero visual mode to disable or enable multimedia controls without having to minimize the game. Just press the PAUSE key (most games don’t use it these days) on keyboard and it’ll toggle between ENABLED and DISABLED multimedia controls. And because you’re for example in a game and you can’t see the state of tray icon, there is an audio cue to let you know in which state it is. One beep means you’ve disabled multimedia hotkeys, two beeps means you’ve enabled them. NumPad button now has the same beep audio feedback because regular version requires NumPad to be ON. In case if keyboard doesn’t offer any NumPad indicator like on some laptops. TKL Edition doesn’t have this since it has no NumPad.
AnyKeyboard Multimedia Controls 1.2 brings new feature that will be appreciated the most by gamers. Now you can add this “gamer grade” feature to ANY keyboard in existence. A feature usually only found on super expensive high end gaming keyboards.
Game Mode, when enabled, will block system hotkeys that may disrupt your gaming experience by minimizing or even closing the game you’re playing. With Game Mode, Windows key will no longer function. Alt+Tab will no longer function. Neither will Ctrl+ESC. Game Mode will also grant you immunity to dreaded Alt+F4 used by trolls 🙂
Game Mode can be controlled from AnyKeyboard’s tray menu or via Shift+PAUSE hotkey.
There is even audio feedback for the state of Game Mode just like for disabling of multimedia controls. One beep means Game Mode is DISABLED, three beeps means Game Mode is ENABLED. In case if you do want to minimize your game at some point…
Game Mode will automatically reset to OFF when restarting your computer. This is by design.
REQUIREMENTS AND SPECIAL FEATURES
- Works on Windows Vista and newer
- Fully portable without any installer
- Administrator rights not required
- Start with Windows works even without Administrator rights
- Added “Game Mode” which disables all the keys that can unintentionally minimize or even close the game. Now you can have this “gamer grade” feature on ANY keyboard.
- Added audio feedback for Game Mode toggle so you know if it’s ON or OFF even while in game and you can’t see AnyKeyboard’s tray menu.
- Slightly modified Help section for easier reading
- Fixed Help description for Launch Calculator in TKL Edition
- Added “Special thanks” section in About dialog for people who helped me out during design of AnyKeyboard app. Your help is greatly appreciated and it’s only appropriate to include you in the credits. AnyKeyboard couldn’t exist without your help!
- NumPad Edition is now default without any designations, Arrow Edition has been replaced by “TKL Edition”. TKL stands for “tenkeyless” or “a keyboard without NumPad”
- New “Start with Windows” feature
- Access to multimedia controls via tray menu
- Help and About menu split into separate items
- Additional audible feedback for NumLock states
1.0 (2020-08-07) Initial Release
- Two versions, Arrow Edition and NumPad Edition
- Multimedia hotkeys for keyboards without any dedicated multimedia keys
- Option to disable hotkeys via tray menu or hotkey
- Audible feedback when disabling hotkeys