Workflow Converts Video for Apple TV

The Vallery Family website (don’t they sound like a 70s singing group?) has a good write up on using Automator to convert files for the slick new Apple TV. According to the site, the workflow is “a simple drop folder on my desktop that launches quicktime pro and converts the file to an Apple TV viewable format, imports the file into iTunes, and cleans up after itself.”


Power Manager 3.6 Automates Energy Savings

DssW has announced the launch of Power Manager 3.6 for Mac OS X. Power Manager 3.6 helps schools, businesses, and homes save energy by automating their Macs.

Power Manager 3.6 includes new Automator actions to cancel, delay, and Quick Schedule events; start and stop the scheduler; get the next pending event; and filter events by name, type, or action.

Power Manager is EU20, and a free 30 day demo is also available.


Mac OS X 10.4.9 Fixes Minor Automator Bug

According to the release notes, the Mac OS X 10.4.9 updater “Addresses an issue in which incorrect encoding could be used for the files created by the New Text File Automator action on Intel-based Macs.”

So for those of you with Intel Macs who use the New Text File action and are having encoding errors, your prayers have been answered!


John C. Welch Hearts Automator

John C. Welch over at InformationWeek has written up a 2-part article, Top 22 Mac OS X Products. Coming in at #15 is Applescript, to which Welch says:

“Long considered a hidden jewel in Apple’s crown, AppleScript is enjoying yet another renaissance thanks to Automator, a rather nice GUI drag and drop UI for automation languages. While you can create Automator actions in many languages, AppleScript is the one that gives you the most access to not just Mac OS X, but also the applications on the Mac.”


TECSoft Announces “Automator Workshop” Hands-on Training Classes

TECSoft announced today its new Automator Workshop hands-on training classes. The one-day hands-on training teaches participants how to quickly be productive with Automator, and builds upon TECSoft’s extensive workflow automation and training expertise.

Participants complete hands-on exercises building powerful, real-world Automator workflows and receive Workshop Kits containing a printed Workshop Guide, along with a CD full of useful Automator actions and resources, including an eBook copy of Hanaan Rosenthal’s outstanding Discovering Automator.

For more information and to register call 800-626-4119/631-267-0700, or visit the website.


Automator Multi-Item Processing Utility

Ben Waldie of Automated Workflows, LLC has written a handy freeware application, Automator Multi-Item Processing Utility. This drag-and-drop app converts Automator Workflow applications to AppleScript-based applications that can process dropped files individually, rather than as a single batch.

Waldie will also be at next week’s MacWorld Expo, booth S1538-34 in the Developer Pavilion.


Hazel Simplifies Folder Actions

One of the most powerful–and confusing–uses of Automator is creating workflows in conjunction with Folder Actions. The myriad ways to trigger, turn on and attach scripts to folders is daunting and un-intuitive, to put it kindly. More »


Apple Appends Aperture Automator Actions

Apple’s freshly released Aperture 1.5 has a slew of new features, bringing a much-needed maturity to the (nearly) year-old application. According to the “What’s New” page, Aperture 1.5 “takes advantage of enhanced AppleScript and Automator support: operate on image selections (in addition to projects and albums); filter for the “pick” of each stack; automate the export of master files with associated XMP metadata.”


rooSwitch is Nifty

Via Daring Fireball: “Nifty $15 utility by Brian Cooke; RooSwitch lets you switch between different “profiles” for application data. So, for example, you could create “Work” and “Home” profiles for an app like NetNewsWire — switching between RooSwitch profiles would allow you to switch between two entirely different sets of feed subscriptions.”

rooSwitch has Applescript support, and of course Automator, with an included “Switch Profile” action. I’ve seen utilities like this for specific apps before, but a system-wide one is a great idea. The UI is simple and slick, too.


AppleCore releases “The Complete Book of Mac OS X Shortcuts”

AppleCore Solutions this week released The Complete Book of Mac OS X shortcuts: Desktop Reference Guide. This 125-page eBook contains over 1,500 Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts for 16 Mac OS X applications. It also has a comprehensive list of operating system shortcuts and a table that fully clarifies Mac keyboard symbols and their meaning. It’s available as a downloadable PDF for US$25. This guide is very well designed, and easy to read, search and navigate. If you’re looking for a centralized source for OS X shortcuts, this is a good one. Hopefully it will be updated for Leopard and more applications will be added (such as Automator!).


ADA Winners

Apple has posted the winners of the 2006 Apple Design Awards, held last night at WWDC. For automator, the winner was Ben Waldie’s Ultimate Productivity Action Pack 1.0. The runner-up was Lecture Recording Workflow 1.2 (which I can’t seem to find anywhere online).


OS X 10.4.7 Updates Automator

Apple has released OS X 10.4.7 Update, which has a stack of bug fixes and improvements. On the Automator front, it has these changes:

  • Automator supports more file types, including JPEG, TIFF, and HTML, in the Filter Finder Items action.
  • Automator supports more websites that require cookies and sessions, specifically those where the authentication is passed along with the URLs, in the Get Image URLs for Webpage, and Get Link URLs from Webpages actions.
  • Improves responsiveness when dragging Automator actions in the workflow. Note: I have tested this one, and can vouch that performance is significantly improved. It’s about time!

Fetch 5.1 Released

Fetch Softworks has released Fetch 5.1, which had previously been available as a public beta. Fetch 5.1 includes a Dashboard widget and 11 Automator actions. A single-user license for Fetch is $25 US. Fetch 5.1 is a free upgrade for Fetch 5 users. If you purchased a license for an earlier version of Fetch between January 1, 2001 and March 9, 2005, you can upgrade to Fetch 5.1 for $15.


Complete Digital Photography Releases ACR Version Control

Complete Digital Photography has release ACR Version Control, a collection of Applescripts and Automator actions for managing multiple versions of Photoshop raw image conversions. The included Automator actions maybe used to create thumbnails and ful-res PSDs of the versions generated by the Applescripts.


Design a Workflow, Win Serious Hardware

Apple is sponsoring its 11th annual Apple Design Awards, with winners to be announced at WWDC 2006 in San Francisco, August 7th-11th. If you have an idea for the “Best Mac OS X Automator Workflow”, you could walk home an indecently cool prize package; but you gotta be in it to win it.