April 24 '17 - 11:51 am
UPDATED: Drop A Few My Way v4.0

It’s been five years since I last updated Drop A Few My Way which is now at version 4.0. This script is a droplet that converts audio files dropped on it using an iTunes encoder selected on-the-fly and saves the converted files to a user-selected location or adjacent to the source file. The tracks created during the process are removed from iTunes. I keep it in the Toolbar of my Finder windows for quick access when I just need to quickly convert a file or three without having to add it to iTunes and later clean out the detritus.

This latest version of Drop A Few My Way is a general update for macOS 10.10 and later and is free to use with a donation requested.

April 22 '17 - 5:48 am
M3Unify v1.8.0

M3Unify is a simple file managing app that can copy and arrange audio files to a selected folder, volume or portable media. Tracks can be dragged from iTunes or files can be dragged from the Finder. When loaded in M3Unify, a set of flexible exporting options enables you to arrange your music files the way you and your music player want.

With M3Unify you can:

  • Copy files of tracks dragged from iTunes or the Finder to a selected folder
  • Rename copied files using substitution patterns based on track tags
  • Create Album or Artist/Album sub-folders based on track tags
  • Export album artwork as “folder.jpg” files, one per Album sub-folder
  • Create an M3U playlist
  • Format M3U Extended track information using substitution patterns based on track tags
  • Optionally convert files to AAC files (or MP3 files via iTunes)

Plus, these features:

  • M3U preview
  • Track information and Quick Look auditioning
  • Uncluttered, easy-to-use interface
  • On-board and online help

This latest version adds a preferences option to rename files and sub-folders using strictly limited alphanumeric character set; improves handling of .AIFC files; other enhancements and performace fixes.

M3Unify is $5, free for current registered users, video demo after the jump, download is on this page. (more…)

March 29 '17 - 11:52 am
Current Scripts and Playlist Window

While I like having playlist windows restored in iTunes 12.6, their return is somewhat problematic for many of my scripts. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I spent a few years stripping out references to playlist window in many scripts, particularly the ones that need to access a selection of tracks. In many cases, these scripts can only recognize tracks selected in the main window (the browser window) and cannot recognize a selection of tracks in a playlist window.

I’m updating scripts to accommodate playlist window track selection, but this will take some time to roll out.

In the meantime, be aware that some scripts will need you to select tracks in the main iTunes window. Tracks selected in a playlist window will be ignored.

March 28 '17 - 2:54 pm
Close a Playlist Window and Select Its Playlist

If it really drives you crazy that after closing a playlist window iTunes is compelled to put focus on the entire Music library, use the following script to close the frontmost playlist window and thereafter select the playlist it had contained in the main window:

tell application “iTunes”


set frontPlaylistWindow to front playlist window

set thePlaylist to view of frontPlaylistWindow

close frontPlaylistWindow

reveal thePlaylist

end try

end tell

Click on the little AppleScript icon above to open the script in Script Editor at your house—don’t copy the text in the browser.

Save the script as a Compiled “.scpt” with Script Editor named whatever you like in your [home]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ folder so it can be launched from the iTunes Script menu. You may want to assign it a keyboard shortcut.

When run, it will get a reference to the front playlist window; if none is open, the script will fail silently. It will proceed to get a reference to the playlist contained by the playlist window, close the playlist window and finally select (reveal) the playlist.

March 23 '17 - 4:32 pm

Apple has released another update to iTunes. The 12.6 release the other day was version This new release is

This has happened previously. Apple released iTunes on August 2, 2016 and then released a short time thereafter—I think it was certainly by August 12.

Sometimes you just don’t know how something is going to work until it’s tossed into the wild. And you have to appreciate Apple’s short turnaround.

March 22 '17 - 9:53 am
Playlist Windows

iTunes 12.6 has brought back Playlist windows and, judging from the reaction in my Twitter feed, they’re receiving a hearty welcome back. Couple of things, though: 1) The names of the open Playlist windows are not listed in the iTunes “Window” menu and 2) window names are blank for any Apple Music playlists opened as Playlist windows; they actually default to the name “iTunes” but this isn’t displayed either To be clear, the AppleScript name for the window of a subscription playlist is “iTunes” and not the name of the playlist. (Update: And now I’m not seeing this at all and all seems correct as far as names go; don’t know what I was seeing previously!)

I’m not so much concerned about the latter thing. But if you have a batch of Playlist windows open it can be an ordeal to select one you’d like to work in. This script will list all open Playlist windows in a choose from list panel so one can be chosen and then made frontmost:

tell application “iTunes”

if (count of playlist windows) < 2 then return

set windowList to playlist windows

set nameList to name of view of playlist windows


set chosenName to (choose from list nameList)

if chosenName is false then error

on error


end try

set chosenName to (chosenName as text)

repeat with i from 1 to (count of nameList)

if chosenName is item i of nameList then select item i of windowList

end repeat

end tell

Click on the little AppleScript icon above to open the script in Script Editor at your house—don’t copy the text in the browser.

Save the script as a compiled Script (“.scpt”) with Script Editor named whatever you like in your [home]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ folder. When there are too many Playlist windows open and you can’t find any real estate to click on, launch the script to select the one you want brought to the front.

(Update: Of course, after I post this I immediately discovered that you can Command-tilde (~) through open Playlist windows.)

March 21 '17 - 6:13 pm
Tunes 12.6 Restores Playlist Windows

Playlist windows are back in iTunes 12.6. This is the feature in iTunes whereby an individual playlist can be opened in a separate window from the main iTunes browser window. There is a command in a playlist’s contextual menu to “Open in New Window”. It used to be you could double-click on a playlist to open it into a playlist window but this has not returned (Update, 3/22/2017: Command-double-click on the name of a Playlist in the Sidebar to open it in a Playlist window).

Playlist windows disappeared with iTunes 11 and at the time I suspected it had something to do with the way playlists were being re-designed for integration into iTunes Match/iCloud Music Library. I guess they figured it out.

The AppleScript property for playlist window has always been around but was ineffective once the actual UI element was removed. It still works. However, many of my scripts have been updated over the past few years to ignore playlist windows; perhaps there will be some opportunities to bring back this option. For the most part, scripts that require tracks to be selected will still only look for a selection in the browser window. One other thing: you can’t make a playlist window with AppleScript—something I’d always pined for—so you have to manually create the window. And, as Kirk points out, there’s no separate window for Store and For You and stuff of that ilk.

Still, nice to see playlist windows are back. Those of us who spend a lot of time tinkering with tracks really missed them.

March 21 '17 - 5:06 pm
iTunes 12.6 Released

Apple has released iTunes 12.6, which features the ability to watch rental movies across devices (using iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2). More as it develops.

March 13 '17 - 3:26 pm
Preserve a Genius Shuffle Playlist

One of my favorite features of iTunes is Genius Shuffle. By pressing the Option key and Space Bar simultaneously, iTunes will construct a 25-track Genius-type playlist in Up Next around a “seed” track it chooses at random from your library. Typically, I’ll slap Option-Space Bar repeatedly until I get the type of songs I’m in the mood for. Sometimes though—because I have an itchy DJ finger—I’ll abandon the current set of tracks after a few songs and create a new different Genius Shuffle arrangement. But still I’d like to have been able to save the playlist I had abandoned because, at least for a while there, I really liked it. Well, you can do this with AppleScript.

When iTunes is playing Up Next like this the track references are available in current playlist. It is a simple matter to copy them to a new playlist. The script I’ve listed below asks for a name for the new playlist; I’ve set the default answer in the display dialog to “Genius Shuffle” and when I run the script I’ll keep that in the name, for example: “Rockin’ Blues – Genius Shuffle”, “70’s Funk – Genius Shuffle”, and so on.

tell application “iTunes”


if not (exists current playlist) then error

set opt to (display dialog “Enter a name for the new playlist:” default answer “Genius Shuffle”)

set newP to (make new user playlist with properties {name:text returned of opt})

duplicate every track of current playlist to newP

reveal newP

on error


end try

end tell

Click on the little AppleScript icon above to open the script in Script Editor at your house—don’t copy the text in the browser.

Save the script as a Compiled “.scpt” with Script Editor named whatever you like in your [home]/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ folder.

One issue is that if any of the tracks in Up Next are “dead” tracks then the script will fail (a repeat loop could duplicate each track individually to filter dead tracks, but I wanted to keep this simple). On the other hand, I think iTunes will ignore dead tracks when it creates a Genius Shuffle playlist.

Also I would only run this after creating a Genius Shuffle playlist; it doesn’t make much sense to run it when anything else is playing.

February 26 '17 - 8:37 am
How to Blankety-Blank Blank

As you may have noticed, the last few versions of iTunes have been gradually “contextualizing” the interface. For example, the Info window will only display the kind-pertinent tags for a selected track. (Remember: it used to be that the Info window displayed the same configuration for any track; so that Music tracks had access to TV-kind tags, like Season and Episode ID, and so on.)

Despite this, when the iTunes browser window is in Songs view, non-contextual tags can still be displayed and tracks can still be sorted using them. This is because every track entry in the database has the same columns whether they are used for that kind of track or not. Thus, for example, Music tracks have “season” and “episode ID” track tags even though they are not used for Music tracks.

AppleScript can access these tags and a script of mine, Sort by Artwork Size, can store the dimensions of a track’s artwork (eg, “600×600”) to the Category or Episode ID tag. Tracks can then be sorted by their “artwork size” or those tags can be used when constructing Smart playlist criteria.

However, since these tags can’t be accessed very easily it is a chore to clear them if they are no longer required. So here’s a script that will blank a particular tag of all the selected tracks. In this case, it blanks the episode ID tag. For people who already know how to script such a thing, this will be easy as pie. But, if your skill level as a scripter is below Dabbler, you may want to use this as a template for your own blanking scripts: (more…)

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