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iTunes 12.2

August 27 2015 - 2:12 pm

UPDATED: Assimilate View Options v4.0 (and Some Gripes)

Assimilate View Options takes advantage of the iTunes behavior whereby a newly created playlist has the same visible columns as the Music library playlist. Select a playlist in iTunes and launch the script. That playlist will be re-created with the same columns available in its Songs View as are available in the Music library playlist.

This latest version will only work with iTunes 12.2 or later on OS X 10.10 or later. Because Things Are Different Now. An older version from 2012 is still available that will probably still work with pre-Yosemite/pre-iTunes12.2 versions.

Working on this script exposed me to some funny quirks with the latest version of iTunes. First, programmatically speaking, there is no way to tell the difference between a Genius and Smart playlist. In fact, (programmatically speaking) they appear as identical types. They both have a smart property set to true. Their playlist properties in the XML file both have Smart Info and Smart Criteria; and if this data for a Genius playlist is exported and re-imported, it does not produce a Genius playlist of tracks but just an empty Genius playlist. Buh?

Next, there is likewise no way to tell that a playlist downloaded from Apple Music (which will appear under a "Apple Music Playlists" header in—what used to be known as—the Source List) is such a thing. And if you duplicate it, the copy will appear with your regular playlists. Don't use Assimilate View Options with these playlists.

And while I'm sort of griping here, must new playlists default to Playlist View as the initial view? I really like Playlist Views as an option and I'm all for cutting down on Preference Pane Clutter, too, but a popup with my favored initial view couldn't take up that much space, could it?

Oh, and Santa? 'Scriptable playlist description?

August 17 2015 - 6:29 am

NEW: Apps Assist

I'm pleased to announce the debut of Apps Assist, a utility application (it's not a script) that can display the installed, missing and orphaned iOS apps on your Mac.

If you've been an avid downloader of iOS apps over the years and back them up via iTunes to your Mac but never had a look in your Mobile Applications folder, well, I shudder to think how many files you've got in there that may be outdated, duplicated, or abandoned. To my own surprise, I had over twice as many unused versions of apps in there than I had installed apps.

Apps Assist will help you easily determine which apps are viable and which you might consider sending to the Trash. In the screenshot above, the black colored iOS app listings are installed, the gray ones are missing (these appear iconless and gray in iTunes), and the blue ones are orphaned in the Mobile Applications folder—they're just outdated or otherwise not installed. Apps Assist provides tools to filter and sort the apps list, Trash selected files, view selected apps' .ipa files in the Finder, export the apps list as a tab-delimited text file, and more. Probably most handy is being able to see the Filenames and Purchaser IDs for each app.

Apps Assist requires iTunes 12.2 or later running on OS X 10.8 or later. It's free to try with limited functionality and frequent nags urging you to purchase a registration code for $1.99, which will restore full functionality.

August 13 2015 - 2:57 pm

Hooray! Sort Of

Apple fixed the drag from Playlist View problem!

But they didn't fix the current track in For You predicament or the drag from Audiobooks setback. So maybe these are not problems at all but just the way it's going to be.

August 13 2015 - 2:40 pm

iTunes 12.2.2 Released

Apple has released iTunes 12.2.2 which fixes some Apple Music issues, some issues with sorting and displaying playlists and includes the obligatory improvements to overall stability and performance.

July 20 2015 - 2:22 pm

UPDATED: Music Folder Files Not Added v5.0

Music Folder Files Not Added v5.0 will list the file paths of the files in your designated "iTunes Media" folder which are not in iTunes' track library.

The files listed in this screenshot are in my iTunes Media/Music/ folder but are not in the iTunes track library. In my case, this iTunes Media folder is used by two different iTunes installations on different partitions, so it is also possible that these files are added as track entries in the iTunes on the other partition. However, it is not uncommon to delete the tracks from iTunes without choosing to Trash the files.

Additionally, you can select a different parent folder and its contents will be compared to the iTunes library. Includes options to Filter results, Add a selection of found files to iTunes (Mobile Applications can not be added this way), move them to the Trash, and Export a text file listing the file paths.

This latest version includes PDF, Mobile Application, iTunes LP and iTunes Extra files when used with iTunes 12.2 or later; adds a Filter option to show only file paths containing entered text; has general performance tweaks.

Music Folder Files Not Added is free to try for 10 days and is $1.99 thereafter. More information and download is on this page.

July 17 2015 - 1:50 pm

iTunes 12.2 and AppleScript Issues, Volume 2

I have already noted the new loved properties for tracks and playlists. I must admit that an update to the iTunes sdef was heartening (pun not much intended). However, there are some lingering issues and new issues with the latest incarnation of iTunes. Perhaps they have yet to be got to. Yeah, that's it. They'll fix it, fingers crossed.

Pretty much anything to do with the Apple Music tabs is off limits to AppleScript. So, for example, you can't select a track or playlist in "For You" and get info about it or manipulate it. I don't mind this so much. Once tracks are added to "My Music", they are accessible as shared tracks. It'd been the same with iTunes Match tracks. You can get and set the conventional track properties, you just can't access file metadata because, by definition, there are no local files for tracks in the cloud. Still, access to tracks and playlists in "For You" and "New" might be convenient, if even for accessibility purposes.

I am disappointed that current track does not work with playing Apple Music tracks (if playing from within the "For You" tab). I'm not sure if there's a security issue here, or it's just not hooked up yet. Definetly screws up anything watching for current track to change. Notifications is aware of playing Apple Music tracks, so why not AppleScript? Even as read-only. I'd be cool with that.

The new Playlist view doesn't seem quite hooked-up yet either. This is the new default view for local playlists. Anyone who's ever worked with broadcast automation will note that the abridged track information in Playlist view is reminiscent of a music log. (Note to Apple: please let us change this default view. As much as I really like the Playlist view I prefer Songs view as default to work with track tagging and only switch to Playlist view on formal occasions.) AppleScript-wise, it's all OK. But the reason I don't think it's hooked-up properly yet is by observing the pasteboard data from a playlist in Playlist view. Now, pasteboard data for dragged tracks and playlists typically contain metadata about the playlist and tracks being dragged. Except when the drag originates from a local playlist in Playlist view. In such cases, only the file paths are available in the pasteboard. And if cloud tracks are included in the drag, well, they don't have local files, so nothing about them at all appears in the pasteboard. However, when the very same playlist is in Songs view, the metadata is available from the dragged tracks' pasteboard as expected. So the data is already permissibly available, just not (yet?) in Playlist view. I suspect that, because it seems to be the same view used in "For You" when you play a playlist there, it has no provision for includiing metadata. Someone should get on that.

Also, there's no AppleScript way to access the artwork(s) or description that is a part of the new playlist header. It would be convenient to be able to script a playlist's description at least.

Many of my scripts and apps access the iTunes Library.xml file to get information about tracks and playlists. That's what it's there for. iTunes 12.2 has, uhm, mucked around with the format of this file. As a result, there's been a big scramble by all of us who develop iTunes apps to re-jigger our stuff. The XML now contains information about mobile apps, Ringtones, iTunes LP, iTunes Extras, and books. The "Master" playlist has a name of "####!####" where it used to be "Library". "Smart Info" and "Smart Criteria" keys are now being used with playlists other than the Smart variety. Additionally, there is now no way to tell the difference between Genius and Smart playlists; they look identical in the XML. Previously, a Genius playlist would key the persistent ID of its seed track and this would be a differentiating factor. But the "Genius Track ID" key is gone.

The new "Share iTunes Library XML with other applications" Preference setting is still a mystery to me, but I suppose there could be situations whereby you'd want this off. Sometimes I'm just plain dumb about things like that. But because some users think it looks like the perfect thing to uncheck I've needed to include a check for access to the XML at the start of many apps. Because if it's off, the script or app won't work.

On the bright-side though, despite the Apple Music considerations, iTunes still has pretty robust AppleScript support! So thanks for that, Apple.

July 14 2015 - 2:16 pm

"When Is [insert name of script] Going to be Updated?"

Short answer: Soon.

Less-short answer: Pretty soon.

Long answer: There are about three dozen or so scripts that are affected by changes in iTunes 12.2. I'm updating those first and those updates should be finished within a couple of weeks. You may have noticed a number of updates in the past two weeks already. (Apple did not make a pre-release version of iTunes 12.2 available to developers, unlike the El Capitan developer releases. So I found out about changes when you did.)

Many other scripts need to be fixed for El Capitan specifically, but those are lower priority since 10.11 won't be officially released until the Fall. However, when I have had the opportunity, I've included fixes for 10.11 when making changes for the latest iTunes. But, generally, if you are using the El Capitan Public Beta, don't expect many scripts to be updated for at least a few weeks, until the scripts requiring updates for iTunes 12.2+ are updated.

As always, thanks for your support and patience.

July 10 2015 - 8:10 am

UPDATED: Multi-Item Edit v4.3

Multi-Item Edit v4.3 will allow you to edit most tags (and some additional options) of the selected track(s) in a single floating window using single-edit mode (one selected track) or multi-edit mode, which emulates the pre-iTunes 12 "multiple items" format; that is, a checkbox adjacent to each tag allows you to select which changes are to be applied to the selection's tags.

Multi-Item Edit v4.3

This latest version adds support for iTunes 12.2 including the new "Loved" (or "Likes", I suppose) rating tag. I removed the "Album Rating" tag setting to make room for "Loved", but "Album Rating" was proving difficult to reliably compute when tracks were from disparate albums. I don't think it will be missed. You'll also be able to edit tags when a selection of tracks contains more than one kind of media.

This update is free for registered users. New users can try it free for 10 days; it's $1.99 thereafter.

More information—including video—and download is on this page.

July 4 2015 - 11:40 am

iTunes 12.2 Issues With Popular DJ Software

The DJ TechTools website reports that several popular DJ apps, including Rekordbox, Traktor, and Serato are having problems integrating with the latest iTunes.

So, it's not just me and Sonos.

July 4 2015 - 10:01 am

iTunes 12.2 Playlist View Issues

iTunes 12.2 introduces a new View by which to display tracks in a playlist: "Playlist". It displays a nice header with artwork from the tracks in the playlist and abbreviated tag information. I like it.

Playlist in playlist view

Except that there is an issue when dragging tracks from a playlist set to "Playlist" view to another drag-and-drop enabled application. The pasteboard that should contain metadata information about the tracks being dragged ("com.apple.itunes.metadata" is the name of the pasteboard type) only supplies the file paths ("NSFilenamesPboardType").

This affects my apps "Join Together", "M3Unify" and "Playlist Assist". The workaround is to either drag tracks while the playlist is in "Songs" view or drag the entire playlist by selecting its name in the Playlist Column and dragging.

I'm working on fixes for those apps.

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