May 2012

May 13 2012 - 9:40 am

Project: Gather Partially Played Tracks

I got an email from Correspondent Sherwood Botsford asking if there was any way to round up his partially played audiobooks. What he wanted to do was maintain a playlist of recently added audiobook tracks that he hadn’t finished listening to and sync it to his iPhone. He’d gotten the recently added stuff okay by using a Smart Playlist. But Smart Playlists don’t include any criteria for detecting how far along a track has been played, and Last Skipped may not necessarily have been set if a track was simply stopped rather than skipped.

If a track’s “Remember playback position” setting in its Get Info’s Options tab has been checkmarked—presumably, your audiobooks are “bookmarkable” by default or you have set the “remember” option manually—a track’s bookmark property will contain the number of seconds the track had been played before it was stopped. Thus, if any tracks have a bookmark value greater than zero then they’ve been partially played.

So here’s a script that will gather all those partially played tracks into a new playlist named “Partially Played” and that playlist can be the source for the Smart Playlist:


May 10 2012 - 9:02 am

OS X 10.7.4 Quarantine Issue?

Two users have reported that after updating to Lion 10.7.4, downloaded script applets from this site would bounce in the Dock when launched and would not open. It turns out that the users had previously disabled the quarantine system. This normally alerts you when a new application or document has been downloaded from the internet as you are about to open it for the first time. For some reason this setting was not picked up in 10.7.4—or something—and logs an error like this to

posix_spawn("path/to/the/app",...): Operation not permitted

Topher Kessler has an article at cnet (published before this 10.7.4 issue arose) that explains how the quarantine setting works and how you can reset it in order to get the downloaded apps running correctly.

May 5 2012 - 11:41 am

UPDATED: This Tag That Tag v3.1

This Tag That Tag will assist with swapping, copying, and appending data between two user-chosen tags in selected tracks or tracks in the selected playlist:

Swap – swap data between tags, ex: ARTIST<->COMPOSER
Copy – copy data from one to another tag, ex: ARTIST->COMPOSER ARTIST
Append – append data from one tag to the end of another, ex: ARTIST->COMPOSER – ARTIST
Prepend – prepend data from one tag to the beginning of another, ex: ARTIST->ARTIST – COMPOSER

The latter three actions also provide an option to delete the info from the first tag after the copy.

This latest version allows numerical tag data to be copied (for example, the Year tag’s data can be copied to the Comments tag).

May 5 2012 - 10:17 am

UPDATED: Batch Export Playlists v1.1

Batch Export Playlists will export each selected plain, Smart, and Genius playlist as individual XML or M3U files to a user selected directory. Such files can be imported into iTunes again later.

This latest version correctly handles forward slashes in playlist names and has other minor code finesses.

May 2 2012 - 6:22 pm

The iTunes Guy Macworld Podcast

Kirk McElhearn is Macworld’s “iTunes Guy” and he recently chatted with Senior Editor Chris Breen in a Macworld Podcast. Subjects include a variety of iTunes issues and a couple of scripts Kirk uses in his regular iTunes workflow.

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