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Happy birthday, iTunes!
iTunes v1.0 was announced and released on January 9, 2001. I don’t think a day has gone by since that date that I haven’t used iTunes. Seriously. It’s probably the most regularly used app on any of my machines. Love it or hate it, for better or worse, you have to acknowledge that iTunes has had a huge impact on how music is consumed. Amazing. (Kirk McElhearn has written a fifteenth anniversary tribute that covers the milestones.)
And, lest they be forgot, here’s a shout out to the developers of SoundJam MP, the jukebox app that Apple bought and re-christened as iTunes: Bill Kincaid, Jeff Robbin andmost especially as far as I’m concenedDave Heller, who incorporated AppleScript into SoundJam and then iTunes.
Apple has released iTunes 11.3 featuring the all-new iTunes Extras for HD movies, which will also be available for Apple TV.
I may have known this. But I guess I forgot about it. So I was pleasantly surprised when I found you can type the first few letters of a script you want to use (that is installed in ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ so that it appears in the iTunes Script menu) in the Search box in iTunes Help menu. These scripts are seen as menu items, so any script containing the entered text will show in the “Menu-Items” result. Then, if you hover the mouse over the script’s name, the actual Script menu pops up with the script highlighted and that hovering blue arrow pointing at it:
AppleScripts need to be installed in your [username]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ folder. But, in case you hadn’t noticed, the [username]/Library/ folder is hidden in OS X Lion. The theory is that since the ~/Library folder contains a lot of important configuration files Apple doesn’t want to give users the opportunity to inadvertently screw anything up. For the most part, I suppose this is a good idea. Whatever. However, AppleScripts for iTunes–among other sorts of plug-ins–have to be installed in the ~/Library folder by the user*.
To access the ~/Library folder, you can do a couple of things:
- The easiest method: Hold the Option key while clicking the Finder’s “Go” menu and “Library” will appear in the drop down menu. Select it to bring the ~/Library/ folder frontmost. Then navigate to ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ and copy your iTunes scripts to this folder. (As usual: if no “Scripts” folder is there then create one.)
- Geekier: Type “chflags nohidden Library” in Terminal while the prompt is at your home directory. This will make the ~/Library/ folder visible at all times.
- *Alternative: Install scripts in the [startup disk]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ folder (which will make scripts available to all users on your machine) rather than the user’s [username]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ folder. That Library folder is always visible and accessible in Lion.
If you need regular access, once the ~/Library/ folder is visible, drag it to the Finder sidebar or put an alias to it in the Finder’s toolbar.
Update: You can download this AppleScript applet that will make your ~/Library visible, using the command mentioned above. It takes less than a second to run it.
How many items on Kirk’s list of Essential iTunes Keyboard Shortcuts have you committed to memory?
AMG EZ Search v2.0 will use the tags of the selected or playing iTunes track as the basis for a Song/Artist/Album search at the allmusic website. This version accounts for changes in the AMG site’s search mechanism, can parse the stream title of a radio stream for tags if available.
Spins analyzes your iTunes library and displays your most played tracks arranged and ranked by a variety of “breakout” configurations, not just the number of track spins…show rankers and breakouts based on plays by Song, Artist, Album; rankings can be filtered by Rating, Genre, and Year; see rankings for the entire library or a single playlist. Spins can give you a live-updated snaphot of plays and simple play percentages…give you instant play data on the currently playing or selected track…
With the registered version of Spins you can:
- Quickly generate most-played track rankings from your iTunes library
- Easily configure up to four panels each displaying various track plays and ranking information
- Rank most played tracks, Artists, or Albums
- Rank track plays in the total library or in selected playlists
- Count unique track plays or pooled-from-the-artist’s-albums track plays
- Sort and filter track plays by Artist, Genre, Rating, and Year
- Display plays data for the current playing track or a selected iTunes track
- Display breakouts by Artists, Composers, Genres, Ratings, and Years
Updated in version 1.0.2 (current):
- fixes issues when switching between multiple libraries
- fixes bug displaying panels when selected playlist no longer exists in current library
- fixes issue whereby initial scan of library cannot complete
- will ignore radio stream play counts
- fixes bug with “No Limit” setting (registered version)
- added preference toggle to re-set panel options to defaults on each launch (registered version)
- added Sparkle framework to provide update notifications and installations
This version is a free upgrade for registered users of v1.x.x.
Give Spins a spin…and see what you’ve been spinning.
In the back of my mind I had a notion that something wasn’t quite right when I posted this on Sunday. Change Hidden iTunes Preferences, which now includes the ability to hide the new “Ping” buttons, had a problem hiding the old-style arrow links under certain conditions. It is fixed.
If your iTunes library is being shared on your local network, when you quit iTunes you will get an alert box which “reminds” you that
I suppose this is fine, and my wife will appreciate this if she’s watching my Mac’s media on our Mac mini TV, but if an AppleScript tells iTunes to quit Right Now, the alert requires user to click a button, which 1) may defeat the intention of an unattended quit, 2) could screw up a script if the user chooses “Don’t Quit”, and 3) is annoying in general. A preference to shut this off, which I couldn’t find, would be great.
UPDATE: A Correspondent informs me the Quit alert-while-sharing is not new. I have never seen it before, and do not see it on a machine running iTunes 10.0. But, whatever; it’s still a peeve.
Change Hidden iTunes Preferences v2.3 now includes an option to hide the “Ping” buttons for iTunes 10.0.1 or better.
This application will allow you to invoke hidden iTunes preferences:
- Show “Library” playlist
- Changing view setting is global
- Allow half-stars in ratings
- Hide “Ping” buttons
- Show/hide arrow links — to either search the iTunes Store or search your library
- Load complete iTunes Store preview before playing
- Create playlists for purchased song collections
- Play songs while importing or converting
- Create file names with track number
- Maintain grid view for Search results
- Option-click zoom button for Mini Player
- Show buttons horizontally
For iTunes 9 or better in OS 10.5 or better only.