Emusic and Automator

I’ve been wanting to learn more about programming in OSX. This would encompass learning Objective-C, which would be a long learning process. I can’t even do Javascript, so Obj-C is a bit out of my range. So, in the meantime I thought about learning more about Applescript.

Applescript is supposed to be a relatively easy language to learn. It can be used to make tedious processes like renaming files, resizing images, and other things like that as easy and quick as clicking a button. The problem comes from trying to figure out good applications for it. I’ve often had a problem with software and other reference books that teach you how to do something, but they don’t instruct you to watch-out for its ideal use. Software and code training books need to be written more like cookbooks – teach me the fundamentals, give me some training wheels to try out, and then let me go on my own.

With my Emusic plan I have to go through a ton of MP3s every month. These can be hard to track, listen to – it can get out of hand. So I wanted to figure out a process to help me manage these downloads. This could potentially be a very good application for Applescript!

Except I don’t know Applescript, but I do know my way around Automator.

So about a month ago I created the following process in Automator to easily import Emusic MP3s into iTunes.

  1. Get Specified Finder Items. (The “My eMusic” folder that the eMusic Download Manager creates.)
  2. Get Folder Contents – Repeat for each Subfolder Found. (Make sure it gets every download.)
  3. Add Files To Playlist. (I have a playlist called “To Listen” that I use for newly downloaded music.)
  4. Set Info of iTunes Songs. (I add “From Emusic” to the comments field of the imported music. This is used for a smart playlist of all my purchased music from iTunes, eMusic, Bleep, or wherever else.)
  5. Add Songs To Playlist. (I add the songs to a playlist called “To Burn” that contains anything I downloaded that I want to burn to CD.)

Cool, right? Here’s why it’s still in beta.

I want it to move the “My eMusic” folder to the trash. Last time I tried this it actually moved the music I just imported into iTunes. So instead of my music playing from the user folder, it played from the trash.

I want it to automatically add the last track. Emusic doesn’t always add the last track metadata to its MP3s. I want it to grab the number of the last track in each album imported and set that as the last track data – so if n = the number of the last track I’ll actually get each imported track to have the correct information of “1 of n.” Except this wouldn’t work for any music that I didn’t download the entire album for. Maybe there’s a way to get it to grab that information from MusicBrainz or something.