Archive for June, 2010
Since mentioning PDF Adder in the last post I have confirmed that a PDF added using the PDF Services script defaults to a Media Kind of “Book”. This means that these PDFs will automatically go to the “Books” library in iTunes, and will then sync with the iBooks app on the iPhone.
As an example of how cool this is: my wife and daughter are traveling to France in July. My wife “printed” a ton of itinerary and Google maps as PDFs to iTunes. They are now easily accessible from her iPhone’s iBooks app for offline perusing (essential when avoiding online roaming charges in Europe).
As a result, I decided to update the PDF Adder scripts so that a Category can be entered (the genre tag). I also changed “Artist” labels to “Author”.
Now that iOS 4 and iBooks allow you to sync PDFs to your iPhone you may be interested in using iTunes as a PDF manager. And if so, may I recommend PDF Adder. This set of scripts assist with adding PDF files to iTunes as “digital booklet” PDF tracks. Each provides a method for easily supplying Artist and Album tag data which is then applied to the newly-added PDF track:
- Add as PDF to iTunes is a PDF Service workflow that, when installed, will be available in the PDF pop-up menu of the Print Dialog. It allows you to save the current document as a PDF file (from any application that uses the Print Dialog) and add it to iTunes.
- PDF Adder is an applet that will let you choose an existing PDF file and add it to iTunes. It can be installed in iTunes’ Scripts folder for easy access from iTunes Script menu.
- PDF Dropper is a droplet that lets you add a PDF file to iTunes by drag-and-drop.
The only thing these scripts can’t do is change the track’s “Media Kind” to “Book”, which may be necessary in order for PDFs to sync to the iBooks app. (This is a limitation of iTunes’ AppleScript architecture, not a limitation of the scripts.)
Apple has made iTunes 9.2 available via Software Update. If you have the pre-release beta version that was released for devs a couple of weeks ago then you’ll have to get the official 9.2 from Apple’s iTunes download page.
Correspondent Jamie Shaw sent me a version of a script that calculates the play time of selected tracks or tracks in a playlist when the user-set Start and Stop times are also accounted for. In such cases, the total play time (for a playlist) would be shorter than what is displayed along the bottom of the playlist. I threw in a routine that lets you enter your Crossfade time (not really accessible programatically) and this is also part of the calculation. Report Real Play Time works especially nice when assigned a keyboard shortcut.
You’d think just about every obvious iTunes housekeeping task imaginable would have been automated by now. You’d think. And so I thought also. Until I received a suggestion from Correspondent Holly B.:
“I am doing a major itunes library overhaul, and I used your batch playlist delete script, which was a huge improvement over the native iTunes one-at-a-time approach. I wanted to suggest a script that deletes empty playlists. I use smart playlists for management, and wouldn’t want to delete empty ones, but I would want to delete empty non-smart playlists.”
And it figures that it’s also something I would use from time to time as well. So I whipped up Delete Empty Playlists. You can delete all empty playlists or select specific empty playlists to delete.