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Forward Into The Past:
Adventures With iTunes 2.0.4 in OS 9 | 1 2 3 4 5 

An old PowerMac 6500 in the kitchen is loaded with OS 9 and iTunes 2.0.4. All I want is to be able to listen to tunes and manage playlists while cooking chili on Saturday afternoons. Can I cope with 2.0.4 in 2004? The adventures continue...

Setting Up: I Inherit a PowerMac 6500

A friend of mine recently gave me his niece's old PowerMac 6500. It's in pretty good shape; its monitor (Multiple Scan 15AV) has the speakers lengthwise on either side and the CPU has a "subwoofer" in it. I got it to install OS 9.0 (I understand 9.1 will install, too), and a few apps from OS 9.2.x do work. I figured we'd put it on the network and stick it in the kitchen for simple browsing and iTunery (regretably, AAC files are not playable).

The PowerMac 6500 uses a 603e processor with a speed of 250 mHz. It's not exactly brisk, but it's not that slow. iTunes running by itself runs just fine. We're also using Internet Explorer 5.1 to browse news and blogs (know of a decent RSS reader in OS 9?). Running them together seriously slows down browsing, but iTunes still seems fine.

After drilling more holes in my landlord's floors I ran an ethernet cable (yes, we are wireless-less) from the router into the kitchen, hooked up and got networking going.

The 6500 has a 4GB hard drive, which isn't enough to warrant having a second whole library on it (I mean, my iPod holds 10GB, but I don't pretend its anything but portable music). So I added the files from the Music folder on our Main Music Computer, which is an iMac Rev C with a 120GB hard drive. The files stay where they are on the iMac, but they play fine over the network on the 6500. (I am still surprised this actually works.) With rare exceptions, we always leave our machines on and they are always connected on the network. The volume on the iMac containing the Music folder is always mounted on the Kitchen computer and thus iTunes always has access to the files.

We don't plan to be ripping or importing on the 6500, but I designated Documents > Music as the Music folder anyway. At least if someone did add or rip something, we'd know where it went.

Managing iTunes

Of course, after adding the tracks, I had to create new playlists.

I hadn't prepped the tracks with Restore Library 2-Step v2.0.3 because I was interested in doing stuff from scratch. It seemed noble. So I had to create new playlists and populate them with tracks by hand! (you will gain so much appreciation for Smart Playlists when you must walk a mile without them). Luckily, there's "New Playlist From Selection" in the File menu.

Unfortunately, when you use iTunes 2.0.4's "New Playlist From Selection" menu command, you get an untitled playlist! I forgot about that. So, the first script to write was one that let me name a new playlist of selected tracks:

tell application "iTunes"
	if selection is not {} then
		set sel to a reference to selection
	else
		set sel to a reference to every track of (get view of front window)
	end if
	set def_nom to ""
	try
		set art to (get artist of item 1 of sel) as string
		set alb to (get album of item 1 of sel) as string
		set def_nom to (art & " - " & alb)
	end try
	set new_Pnom to text returned of ¬
		(display dialog "Enter a name for the new Playlist:" default answer def_nom)
	set newPlist to (make new playlist with properties {name:new_Pnom})
	duplicate sel to newPlist
	set view of front window to playlist new_Pnom
end tell

[upm] click to open in Script Editor



Yep. It's OS 9 all right

A text box uses the Artist and Album of the first selected track as the default name of the new playlist (like in later iTuneses) which can be edited by the user.

So I got some playlists up and going. Some. What I really wanted now was a random track generating script, similar in function to a Smart Playlist...

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