I was playing with iTunes 3.0 and totally loving the new Ratings and Smart Playlist features today when I realized that I was having a few issues with how these features were fitting into my workflow. Here were my two biggest problems:
- To rate the current song, I had to stop what I was doing, and either go to iTunes and select the rating, or navigate iTunes’ hierarchical Dock menu, both of which took enough time that I wasn’t rating songs as I was listening to them.
- iTunes has to play the end of the song in order to increment the Play Count field and update the Last Played field. This means that if I want those fields incremented but don’t actually want to listen to a whole song, I have to go into iTunes and inch the player to the end of the track.
So I took the tools I had available to me and hacked up some scripts to address these problems for me. I made some little Applescripts that will set the rating of the currently playing song to the specified value, and which will skip a song by advancing the currently playing song to 1 second before the end of the track so that the Play Count will update.
Then, I put these scripts into a folder which I configured my LaunchBar to know about, and now I can change the rating of the currently playing song or skip the currently playing song from any application with just a few keystrokes. (Of course, these things should work from your quick application launcher of choice, and aren’t tied specifically to LaunchBar.)
This combination is working killer for me tonight, but I don’t know if other people would put up with the little quirks that I put up with because I wrote them and know why they exist.
So I’m hesitant to do something like put these scripts on Version Tracker, but if you want to check them out and give me feedback, please do:
Headless iTunes Scripts 1.0 (~210 kb)
update, 2002-07-31: Instead of Launch Bar, I’ve been using Key Xing to invoke the scripts, because it’s faster, easier to launch, and because it runs the non-application compiled scripts a lot faster than LaunchBar can invoke the compiled application versions of the scripts. Also there isn’t the interface issue with control returning to LaunchBar after the script runs with Key Xing, because control never switches to Key Xing like it does with Launch Bar.
If you were wondering why I made application versions of those scripts, its because Launch Bar doesn’t have an AppleScript execution environment, so the only way I could launch the script through Launch Bar was as an application. Key Xing, however, has an AppleScript execution environment, so it’s much faster.
So far I’ve managed to rate 1548 of 3898 of my songs. Whew, so many to go.