Scripting News for 7/7/2007

Is iTunes scriptable? 

Of course iTunes is scriptable. :-)

Now I have to wade through the interface to see if it’s got any interesting strings I can pluck.

This goes way back to the early 90s, when we were working with Apple on scriptable apps. I’d like to drive synchronization of photos, for example, that means some interesting Flickr to iPhone apps are possible. Of course it would be so much easier if the iPhone were just a folder with sub-folders, and it took note of the changes without having to use an intermediate piece of software. Maybe there is a way to do that. It worked with iPods, right??

Today’s links 

Mike Arrington reviews TwitterGrams.

Julian Bond on the various forms of blogging.

Appliance 

11 responses to this post.

  1. Yes, it’s Applescriptable – that’s how I did the original feed enclosures to iPod demo in 2003

    http://epeus.blogspot.com/2005/12/of-bloggercon-and-podcasting.html

    Reply

  2. Do you think there’s a way to directly copy stuff onto the iPhone without going through iTunes?

    To the Frontier community — is there glue for iTunes?

    Reply

  3. Posted by Jacob Levy on July 7, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Re your appliance pic, reminds me to tell y’all that I’m joining Yahoo on the 7/16. Been at Sun 17 years, now for the next 17 at Yahoo :)

    Reply

  4. And since you mentioned it, iPhoto is not usefully scriptable. It doesn’t do any of the things you’d want it to do (at least last time I checked. . .about a year ago). You have to use Apple’s faceless Image Utility App. (Name forgotten, and I can’t find the script I wrote for some reason.)

    I wanted to write a script that would take a given photo in iPhoto, and do all the machinations necessary to export it as an image for my blog (and FTP the images up to the server). A “Blog This Photo” script. It turned out to be impossible with iPhoto on its own. Urgh.

    And of course, none of them have consistent dictionaries. That was a problem even in Tao of AppleScript days, but it’s never been fixed.

    (And Dave, you may appreciate the irony of the fact that whenever I use AppleScript these days, after years of exposure to more sophisticated languages, I end up cursing and screaming at the inanity of the language.)

    Reply

  5. Dave, funny, truth is, we haven’t had any new technology since the 90s..http is still http; and all the other technologies from the desktop to the web are basically the same with some min or improvements.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Anton2000 on July 8, 2007 at 12:33 am

    If you have time, take a look – interesting.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/

    Reply

  7. Derrick,

    iPhoto may not be scriptable in itself, but it uses the file system for storage, so why not just do your own image picker as them WYSIWYG web editor SandVox (click on my name above for link) does?

    Dave,

    I was just looking into iTunes scriptability for use as a CD cataloger for bringing data into FileMaker to automate radio show playlist production and streaming-site log-analysis royalty-and-reporting system calculations for one of my clients. IIRC, there are some limits imposed by Apple’s deal with the devil GraceNote/CDDB license agreement… any tool using that system has to prevent easy migration of the data to competive/public/open DB’s. I don’t know the current status, but I do know that our friend Shannon was spending many frustrating hours at iPhoneDevCamp yesterday trying to migrate his iTunes library from an earlier Windows to Vista in preparation for iPhone activation and discovering that the XML export/import process loses the date added and play count fields, which are criticl to his playlist management system, and that Vista automaticalliy prevents creation of certain paths/foldernames that iTunes uses, essentially forcing a conversion process to migrate to Vista.

    Raines
    feeling like a BMUG reunion is underway at iPhoneDevCamp and here: Dan Wood, Glenn Bookout, Bernt Wahl, Eric Oesterle, and of course you.

    Reply

  8. Raines

    (So of course I now re-read Dave’s post and see that he said iPhone and not iPhoto; how nice that a misread can set off such a rant).

    But anyway, to the digression at hand. I would argue that the right solution to a simple automation task–resize a photo into two versions, FTP them to a website, and then deliver unto me the HTML I’ll want to use–should never involve writing your own image picker. This is often the problem with scriptable apps. They don’t quite do what you need, so you have to quest around for something else. Or come up with some convoluted workaround.

    I have a perfect image picker for my photo library: iPhoto. So why can’t I do via AppleScript what I can do via the menus? That perhaps is the most frustrating aspect. I can do the resize and exports from iPhoto manually; I should be able to do them via AS (or Frontier).

    In the end, I no longer needed the script because of Flickr. That handles about 95% of my photo needs.

    Reply

  9. For photo manipulation, why bother with AppleScript? ImageMagick’s mogrify does the job brilliantly.

    Reply

  10. I don’t want to do photo maniupulation, for what it’s worth. I’m more interested in managing the flow of pictures from the iPhone to and from Flickr. I can’t of course do what I really want, that is skip the intermediate step of putting it on a desktop. Seems a shame since the iPhone is a computer and so is Flickr.

    Reply

  11. iTunes is scriptable because it’s not done by Apple. It bought … the app whose name I’ve forgotten. But I was scripting that app (to create playlists to fit on a Diamond Rio player – that’s how long ago it was) originally. The fact that its dictionary has carried over to iTunes is great.

    By contrast, Apple-originated stuff just isn’t as good on the scripting side; in fact it’s rubbish. Possibly something to do with Cocoa vs Carbon. Except NetNewsWire is Cocoa, and has a terrific dictionary. So maybe it’s Apple not doing the dog food thing. I mean, who wants to eat dog food, right?

    Reply

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