by Adam Pash
If you use iTunes on the Mac, you should know about Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes, a repository of scripts that add tons of useful functionality to Apple’s music player.
Doug’s AppleScripts not only plug obvious holes in iTunes’ feature set; they also add functionality to iTunes you never knew you wanted. Today I’m rounding up my 13 favorite iTunes AppleScripts, from simple ‘why isn’t this already in iTunes’ add-ons like automatically removing dead tracks to more interesting scripts that build playlists and search for your music in Wikipedia.
NOTE: Doug Adams’ collection of iTunes scripts has been around in one form or another since before iTunes was even iTunes (the original scripts were SoundJam AppleScripts). Unfortunately, AppleScript is a Mac-only thing. Sorry Windows users, this is one of those times there isn’t really much of a Windows counterpart.
The following scripts need to be installed to
~/Library/iTunes/Scripts (if this directory doesn’t exist, you may need to create it). Some of the scripts make it drag-and-drop easy, others require you to manually copy the file. Just be sure to check each script’s Readme to ensure proper installation and use.
1. Super Remove Dead Tracks: Like the name implies, this script scans your music library for all of your missing tracks (indicated by the little exclamation mark) and removes them. Simple, quick, and handy if you ever move some files around and end up with a bunch of scattered dead tracks.
2. Block Party!: Over President’s Day weekend, I enjoyed a ‘three-for-all’ weekend at one of the San Francisco radio stations, in which the station played 3-song blocks of music from the same band. (I enjoyed it for the first day, at least – turns out that radio station could only find about 5 bands with 3 songs to play.) The Block Party! script creates playlists of random blocks of artists in your iTunes library of any size you choose. Fun!
3. Gather Up the One-Hits: Got a lot of one-hit wonders in your iTunes library? Gather them all into one united playlist of one-off delight called One Hit Wonders.
4. Make Album Playlists: Not as exciting as the above two scripts, this script creates a playlist for every album in your iTunes library. I’d only recommend this one if you like to have all of your albums available in your playlist sidebar; personally, I don’t, since it makes for a lot of sidebar clutter, but I can see where the script might come in handy.
5. Rate Me! Rate Me!: I’ve never been good at rating the music in my iTunes library. I love that I can use my ratings to splice my music with smart playlists, but I’m terrible about remembering to rate my music. This script throws up a nag window every time an unrated song starts playing to remind you to rate it. Potentially very annoying, but also guaranteed to get those songs rated.
6. Get Lyrical: This script searches the lyrics database at http://lyrics.astraweb.com/ for a match to either the currently playing or selected song(s) and, if it finds a match, automatically imports the lyrics to the lyrics tab of your metadata. It can be a bit hit or miss, especially if your music’s more obscure, so do check the matches. Even though I had a few false positives, it’s still pretty handy.
7. Search Wikipedia: I love reading about the music as I’m listening to it, so I love this little guy. You can choose to search Wikipedia for the currently playing or selected song, then choose to search by album, artist, or composer name.
8. Google Video Search: Like the Wikipedia search, this script searches Google Video using either the selected or currently playing track, this time by song, artist, or album.
9. Search for Pandora Stations: Here at Lifehacker, we all think Pandora is just swell. Apparently so does Doug Adams, who put together this script to search for stations on Pandora based on artist, album, or composer of your selected or playing track.
10. Import iPod Audio Files: This handy little gem lets you grab audio tracks (AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, AIF WAV, and Audible) from a plugged in iPod and automatically adds the tracks to iTunes.
11. Make PDF Booklet: Ever made a CD for someone and wished for an easy way to quickly throw together a booklet with whatever metadata you choose in a nicely formatted PDF? If so, you have very specific needs… and you’re in luck! The Make PDF Booklet script does just that (the more and better metadata you have, the better), then copies the PDF to the iTunes playlist from whence it came.
12. Playlist to papercdcase.com: This handy little critter sends up to 28 tracks worth of information to previously mentioned web site Paper CD Case , so making a CD case for your burned CDs is completely painless. You can select which fields are included, so you can choose song and artist info for compilations or just the song title for regular albums. Paper CD Case will spit out a PDF all sized up for folding into a CD case complete with track info.
If you’ve correctly installed your scripts, they should be available through the iTunes menu by clicking the little script icon. But since we’re so keen on keyboard shortcuts here at Lifehacker, we’d be remiss not to point out that any of your scripts can be accessed via customizable keyboard shortcut – because who needs to use a mouse? Not you, that’s for damn sure. The Script Shortcut Maker is still in a pretty rough beta state (and didn’t work that well for me), but you can also assign shortcuts using this tried and true method from Doug’s AppleScripts.
As of this writing, there are 423 scripts in Doug’s AppleScripts repository – meaning I’ve definitely skipped over someone’s favorite. Let’s hear which AppleScripts you’ve come to rely on in the comments.
Adam Pash is a senior editor for Lifehacker who loves free, scripted, homegrown software solutions. His special feature Hack Attack appears every Tuesday on Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Hack Attack RSS feed to get new installments in your newsreader.