Mac OS X ShapeShifter Themes

Crystal Black for iTunes
November 2010
Last Update: 02.03.11

Crystal Black is a theme for Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" that I'm still refining and plan to release eventually as a new application. In the meantime, I've released the theme separately for iTunes 10.

The latest version of Crystal Black for iTunes continues to improve its usability when iTunes is set with the hidden "High Contrast Mode" option. High Contrast Mode effectively inverts white and black in the iTunes sidebar and playlist contents (see screenshot), and looks great with Crystal Black. The high-contrast option is accessible through various utilities you can download to customize "hidden" features of Mac OS X. I use and recommend the free, open-source Secrets for such customizing.

To download the theme, and for installation instructions, visit this article.

Crystal Black for iTunes

Crystal Clear
February 2007
Last Update: v.1.5, 12.11.07

Transparency in this theme is literally crystal clear, partly to demonstrate feasibility rather than ultimate usability. Besides ShapeShifter, Crystal Clear also requires the Cocoa plugin CrystalClear Interface, a version of which is included in the download package. (Be sure to check the Mars Software page for the latest version of CrystalClear Interface.)

The "Complete" version includes both Lite and Dark variants of Crystal Clear (the difference is explained in the download's Welcome file) and the following theme components:

  • CrystalClear Interface 1.0 (with its own Installer)
  • An updated version of the Crystal Albook icon set (for ShapeShifter and CandyBar)
  • A set of space-themed desktop pictures
  • Growl Style (Updated 09/07 courtesy of Michael Tughan)
  • iCan Theme
  • Menu extra graphics and install ReadMe files for Chronosync, DropCopy, FastAndSlow, FastScripts Lite, iKey, MainMenu, Sound Source, Yahoo Widget Engine, and YouControl Tunes
  • SafariStand toolbar graphics
  • Full-screen previews of each variant.
  • The Crystal Menubar, which has evolved from a desktop-picture-with-graphic to a standalone application, is now bundled as part of CrystalClear Interface. (For background on why the Menubar was developed, check out this article, as well as this earlier one.)

Crystal Clear is described in depth in several Mars articles:

Crystal Clear Dark thumbnail Crystal Clear Lite thumbnail Crystal Clear Lite screenshot Crystal Albook ScreenshotCrystal Albook Screenshot Download Crystal Clear Complete
Quicksilver Tunes Thumbnail Quicksilver Tunes ScreenshotQuicksilver Tunes Screenshot DeStyl Iconset (comes with Quicksilver Tunes)DeStyl Iconset (comes with Quicksilver Tunes) Download Quicksilver Tunes

Quicksilver Tunes
October 2005

Quicksilver Tunes incorporates the silvery gradiants from Quicksilver (its default Primer theme) with the cool beveled toolbar and LCD window of the new iTunes.

Quicksilver Tunes was my first original theme, and built on some mods I had done earlier in 2005--deStyl Ruler and deStyl Grey. Those themes began my modification of Gerrit Vanoppen's deStyl icons, which continued into Quicksilver Tunes.

Schroder House Desktop Picture thumbnailSchroder House Desktop Picture thumbnailThe theme includes skins for Safari, Mail, iCal, iChat, Address Book, Camino, and iTunes. Also available is a new desktop image designed for the theme. (Note: The desktop graphic design uses Gerrit Vanoppen's Schroder House design as its starting point.)