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Controlling iTunes

April 23 2018 - 11:55 am

NEW: Side Splitter

Back in the day, LP record albums were experienced as pairs of “sides”, right?

A decent record side was about 22 to 27 minutes long. And so we got used to listening to chunks of music of this duration. These time constraints on a record would often affect how the album was programmed, such as the song order and perhaps other conceptual factors.

If you spent a lot of time listening to record albums this way, you may remember the convention of “flipping the record” after the first side was finished in order to hear the other side. It only took a few moments to do so, but this pause in the action is the sort of thing you don’t experience much with CDs and virtually never with hours-long playlists.

I wondered what it would be like now to experience some of my classic digitized albums with a deliberate pause between the last song of one side and the first song of the next side. So, here’s Side Splitter.

It will copy a selection of tracks into separate user-designated “album side” playlists (by placing a checkmark next to the last song of a “side”) and then offer to auto-play them; when a “side” playlist stops, the script will offer to play the next “side” playlist, which you acknowledge by clicking an “OK” button the script shows in a dialog. When the entire album has played this way, the script will offer to delete the playlists.

It actually brings back that feeling of playing individual record sides.

Side Splitter is free to use with a donation nag. More info and download is on this page.

February 24 2018 - 10:37 am

A Space Between Video Demo

A Space Between will play each track in the selected playlist and will wait (one might say insert but that’s technically incorrect) a user-set number of seconds between each. Play can commence at the “top” of the playlist or from a selected track.

NOTE: This script will only work as described when the “Up Next” queue is empty. You can use the “Clear” button” in “Up Next” to empty it of tracks. This is an issue with iTunes 12.2 and later.

May 12 2016 - 4:29 pm

UPDATED: Needle Drop v5.2

Needle Drop is an applet that plays each track in the selected iTunes playlist for a set time interval optionally starting at a set number of seconds into each track, beginning with the selected track.

This latest version adds the “Start fade at seconds” option, which is the number of seconds from the end of the full duration to start fading iTunes’ volume for each track. Using the settings above, each track in a playlist would: 1) play for :30 seconds 2) starting at the :10 second mark, 3) begin fading at :24 seconds (30 – 6) and then 4) wait :03 before the next track begins.

Needle Drop is free (donation requested) and more details and download are on this page.

February 17 2016 - 7:24 am

Name New Playlist From Selection

(This a repost from October 25, 2011. The previous post reminded me of it.)

I use the iTunes File > New > Playlist from Selection command a lot to create temporary playlists. Actually, I use the Shift-Command-N shortcut more often than clicking the command in the File menu. But I’m irritated at all the dancing I have to do to name the new “untitled playlist”. It takes my attention away from what I was intending to do with the tracks. So, I rigged the script below to the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command-N—and, luckily, it works. Sometimes assigning a shortcut that iTunes is already using doesn’t override the original command. The script does exactly what “Playlist from Selection” does except now I can enter the name for the playlist before it’s created.

Here’s the script:

tell application id “com.apple.iTunes”

try

set sel to selection

set theSource to container of view of front browser window

if sel is {} then error

set opt to (display dialog ¬

“Make new playlist from selected tracks named:” default answer ¬

“” with title “Name New Playlist From Selection” with icon 1)

set newName to (text returned of opt)

if newName is “” then error

on error

return

end try

set newPlaylist to (make new playlist at theSource with properties {name:newName})

repeat with t in sel

try

duplicate t to newPlaylist

end try

end repeat

reveal newPlaylist

end tell

I named it “Name New Playlist from Selection”, saved it to ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts/ and gave it the shortcut using these instructions.

October 21 2015 - 1:21 pm

UPDATED: Now Where Was I? v2.0

Forgot to post about this a few days ago when I actually updated the script.

Now Where Was I? v2.0 is a simple applet that, when run while a track is playing or paused, will “remember” the current track and quit iTunes; when it is next run it will launch iTunes and play that track. If a track is set to “Remember playback position”, it will pick up playing from where it left off.

This latest version is generally updated for newer versions of iTunes and the Mac OS. More info and download is here.

June 17 2015 - 6:54 am

Script of the Day: A Space Between

A Space Between will play each track in the selected playlist and will wait (one might say insert but that’s technically incorrect) a user-set number of seconds between each.

A few extra seconds between tracks can provide a nice bit of atmosphere.

More information and download is on this page.

Previous Scripts of the Day. Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow @dougscripts on Twitter to get daily “Script of the Day” notifications.

June 9 2015 - 7:22 am

Script of the Day: Quick Convert

Quick Convert will convert all or just the selected tracks of the selected Playlist using your choice of available iTunes encoders, restoring your Preferences-set encoder afterwards.

Quick Convert

Additionally, you can:

  • Choose to delete and/or Trash the original tracks and/or files
  • Copy all converted/imported tracks to a new playlist
  • Optionally save AAC encoded tracks as M4B “bookmarkable” and re-add the converted files to the Audiobooks (Books) library

More information and download is on this page.

Previous Scripts of the Day. Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow @dougscripts on Twitter to get daily “Script of the Day” notifications.

May 22 2015 - 6:42 am

Script of the Day: Play Random Album

Play Random Album will quickly scan your library, create a playlist of a complete single album choosen at random and begin playback of the playlist created. Works great when assigned a keyboard shortcut. This is one of my favorite scripts.

More info and download is on this page.

Previous Scripts of the Day. Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow @dougscripts on Twitter to get daily “Script of the Day” notifications.

May 10 2015 - 9:04 am

Script of the Day: Needle Drop

Needle Drop plays each track in the selected iTunes playlist for a set time interval optionally starting at a set number of seconds into each track, beginning with the selected track. Handy for ‘scoping playlists.

Needle Drop

With the settings above, each track in the selected playlist will play for 30 seconds starting at the track’s 00:30 second mark; there will be a 00:05 second delay before the subsequent track plays. The latter two settings are optional.

More info and download is here.

Previous “Scripts of the Day”. Subscribe to my RSS feed or follow @dougscripts on Twitter to get daily “Script of the Day” notifications.

April 1 2015 - 5:33 am

UPDATED: A Space Between v1.2

The few-seconds gap between tracks on recorded media is an artificial time. Devised to be just long enough to visually and sonically demarcate the tracks on a space-limited side of LP vinyl, the gap carried over to tapes, CDs and digital. It is unlikely that musicians playing a gig would pause such a short period of time before launching unto their next number…for every single number. Even so, we’re accustomed to the two-second rule when listening to recorded media. (And cross-fades? Utterly unnatural.)

A Space Between will play the tracks in the selected playlist and wait a user-entered number of seconds between tracks.

I’ve found that six to eight seconds of silence between tracks can be quite refreshing, especially between longer contiguous album tracks. But it adds something to the atmosphere of a mixed-track playlist, too.

How un-streamy.

This latest version of A Space Between is a maintenance update with a few minor performance tweaks.

Free stuff, dev ID-signed, more information and download is here.

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