Archive: December 2006
Quick Convert v2.6.1 is a venerable script that allows you to convert all or just the selected tracks of the selected Playlist using your choice of available iTunes encoders, restoring your Preferences-set encoder afterwards. Correspondent Mark Donovan alerted me to an error thrown when canceling the conversion process, and, as a result, the original encoder would not be restored. This is fixed in the newest update.
Over the past few weeks, I've received email from users of Import iPod Audio Files who are getting an error along the lines of "Can't make [path/to/iPod] into an alias". I've been stumped on this one...until yesterday, when I got an email from a user who believes it is because his iPod is formatted for Windows--a recent Switcher, no doubt. Unfortunately, AppleScript can't read the file format of a Windows-formatted iPod, so the script will not work with it. This may not be the answer to everyone who may be having a problem with the script, but it's one I hadn't thought of.
Lossless to AAC Workflow v1.4 is a collection of scripts that will assist you with maintaining a Lossless collection of audio files in iTunes while enabling AAC copies to be used on your iPod.
See, here was the problem: when AAC tracks were being sent to the iPod, the script wouldn't wait long enough for the file to be completely copied, and then the script would crash. Now, the script waits for the file to be copied. Actually, it waits (1.5 seconds) x (duration in seconds of the track/100). Should be plenty of time, even on slower Macs.
Indeed, this is a problem that several other send-tracks-to-iPod scripts have, so I may be updating them soon as well.
We get letters. Lots of letters. I'm more than happy to get Correspondence, but please bear in mind:
1. If you are having a problem with a script you downloaded from this site:
Email me. Be sure to include as much Specific Information As You Can (FileVault? Alternate Finder? External drives? OS? iTunes version? Intel/PPC Mac? Background apps? Admin/User? Etc...) Otherwise, PayPal me travel-fare to your house (plus a week's lodging and entertainment expenses) and I will personally de-bug the script at your place*.
2. If you have suggestions for a New Kind Of Script That Has Never Been Done Before:
It probably has been done before. Do a Really Good Search of This Site; otherwise, Google. Or, if your requirements are convolutedly you-user-specific, PayPal me travel-fare to your house (plus a week's lodging and entertainment expenses) and I will personally write the script at your place*.
3. "I Have the Windows version of iTunes...." or "...and I should mention, I have a PC, not a Mac":
If your email contains either of these two phrases--or phrases to same effect--then you are barking up the wrong website.
*May require lodging for up to ten people depending upon the Coolness of your area.
"Thanks for this script! Makes a great tool for helping with piano practices, the demonstration/accompaniment song can be slowed down for the student and then sped back up as progress is made.
Nice how the MSM does self-deprecating "Aw-gee" about being voted "You of The Year" by Time magazine. Like Time magazine is important or something.
My friend Kirk McElhearn was asking about how to speed-up an audio file (presumably one that contained speech, although we got beyond that and started speeding up all kinds of things) in the manner that the iPod does. You can't do this in iTunes, only on the iPod. But you CAN speed stuff up in QuickTime via its A/V Controls window. So, if you're going to be listening to something on yer machine and want it a little speeded up, use Open Selected in QuickTime, Show AV, a very simple script that will open a selected track from iTunes in QT and then open its A/V Controls window; then you yourself can increase the speed manually in the Playback Speed area of the A/V Controls window (among other settings that you yourself can set).
BTW, you can set the speed of a QT movie 'script-wise by setting the value of the front movie's (or movie 1's) preferred rate to a real number. 1.0 is normal. 2.0 is 2x, 3.0 is 3x, and, of course, any number in between works as well (ie:1.98765654). Have a look at the script--in it, I set the preferred rate to 1.0. But feel free to Go Mental.
Maintaining this site and writing AppleScripts is not my regular job, despite what many people think. I tend to that stuff when I can, but I do have Regular Work that I do to Earn A Living; I do voice and audio production for commercial advertising and the like. At this time of year, my Regular Work tends to get pretty hectic (I can attest to the over-commercialization of the Holidays quite readily). ANYway, I regret that I have not been able to visit the AppleScripts for iTunes Plight Bunker as regularly as I like, so if you have sent me an email in the past few days with some troubles, concerns, errors, suggestions, and so on, please be patient and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I appreciate all email and all concerns and wish to be as helpful as I can, but I hope you'll understand any delays in replies. And thanks for making this site as popular as it is!
Andy Ihnatko pretty much sizes it up for me as well.
An interesting post at Mac OS X Hints today has Gotten My Dander Up. The poster wants to keep some of his podcasts from being synced to his iPod (or something like that). I suggested that he merely convert selected podcasts, using the same encoding and bit and sample rates as the original, and the file(s) will be re-added to iTunes' Music library; that is, a new copy will be added, as the original podcast download will remain where it is and its track in the Podcasts playlists. Then, since they are perceived by iTunes as "regular" music tracks, you can poke 'em into any playlist you want, even deleting the original podcast track/file.
The cream of the suggestion is to re-convert using the same bit and sample rates. Some might think that this will result in a loss of quality in the converted copy. Not So. iTunes will convert the audio it has extracted from the MP3. It will not--I don't know how this is even possible--re-compress the compressed audio from the original. An MP3 is not an audio file, like a WAV or AIF file. It is a file that contains compressed audio that Any MP3 Player will extract; the player isn't playing the MP3 file, it's playing the audio it has extracted from that file (that's what's so great about MP3!). Thus, when converting a file using the same bit and sample rates there will be no loss of quality. As I mentioned in a sub-post reply, think of it like mowing a lawn: you've already chopped off the tops of the blades of grass (that is, the audio that has been thrown out); going over the lawn again won't chop any more off; there's nothing to chop off. Try it yourself. Convert an MP3 file in iTunes using the file's bit and sample rates; convert that converted file with same; then convert that converted file...and so on. Hear any difference?
I just have too many scripts posted.
So, in the interest of making it a little bit easier to find scripts, I have wrangled a bunch of older scripts into a new Retro Scripts category. Scripts meet the retro-criteria by having their functionality replicated in modern versions of iTunes (Selected Tracks Bookmarkable is rendered obsolete because you can set multiple tracks' "remember playback position" in the Multi-Edit window) or because they are no longer relevant (freedb Safari Kit--the original freedb is gone and I Don't Know What That New Site Is About). Or, because I have subjectively decided a script is just plain old-fashioned (Wake From Sleep and Play is for OS 9, Import SoundJam Playlist...well...). That is not to say that these scripts don't have value. If you are a scripter, there is certainly stuff in the Retro Scripts category to learn from. But primarily I wanted to remove these scripts from the other categories to make those categories a little easier to browse.
My Good Friend David Bills is the progenitor of Smart Playlists dot com, a handy site where users can exchange info on creating Smart Playlists for various intentions. The site got a nice little ol' write up in the Wall Street Journal last week. Bravo, DB! Keep on keepin' on!
My best pal called me up and said "Get this thing". Now, I don't know about you, but when my best pal calls me and says "Get this thing", I get it. Right then. Online. I even send him a pdf of the purchase order.
Well, this Zoom H4 Handy Recorder is out of this world [disclaimer: I am not receiving any compensation for this rave]. Super delicious. It does what it says and if you do any kind of field recording this is the guy to get. Shee, I'm even going to use it for in-house stuff. If you haven't gone to the spec page already, this guy has two condenser mikes in X/Y position (super-yummy live stereo recording), two XLR phantom-powered ins, 2 and 4-track capabilities, virtual amps (!), multi-tracking, records in PCM or full spectrum (CD quality 44.1 kHz to 320 kbps) MP3, easily downloaded to yer Mac via USB, way-long battery life....are you fainting yet? I won't go on then. All in a hand-held shampoo-bottle-sized contraption. Get this guy! NOW.