Use LaunchBar to Launch AppleScripts for iTunes

One of the best ways to extend functionality of iTunes is through AppleScripts. These routines allow you to manipulate tags and files, and save me a huge amount of time when I’m ripping CDs and need to tag items, and when I’m working with my iTunes library. Doug Adams’ website Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes is the place to go to find great scripts that can save you a lot of time, and do things you simply cannot do from iTunes.

Launching AppleScripts from iTunes involves putting the scripts in a special folder (located at ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts), and choosing them from a script menu that displays in the iTunes menu bar:


The AppleScript menu is that little squiggly thing (a scroll) in the menu bar.

But there’s another way to launch AppleScripts in iTunes, using Objective Development’s LaunchBar, a powerful launcher that you control from the keyboard. Here’s how.

(If you use LaunchBar, check out my recent book, Take Control of LaunchBar.)

First, you need to add the Scripts folder to LaunchBar. Press your LaunchBar keyboard shortcut, then click on the gear icon and choose Index > Show Index, or press Command-Option-I. You’ll see something like this:

Launchbar index

Click on the + icon at the bottom of the window, choose Add Folder, then navigate to ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts; ~ is a shortcut for your home folder, the folder that has your user name. The LaunchBar index window will show all the scripts in that folder. (You’ll note that there is already a Scripts folder in LaunchBar’s index; this is a different folder, located at ~/Library/Scripts.)

Press Command-0 to update the LaunchBar index, then close the window and save your changes.

Now, in iTunes, when you want to launch a script, do the following:

1. Press your LaunchBar keyboard shortcut.

2. Type “scr” and use the arrow keys to navigate to the correct folder. If the other Scripts folder is in the menu, make sure not to select that one.

3. Once you’ve selected the correct Scripts folder in the LaunchBar menu, press the space bar. This will display a menu with all your scripts.

4. Now, you can either use the arrow keys to choose the script you want to run (press Return when you’ve selected it), or type an abbreviation to get to it. LaunchBar will find the script if you type a few letters of its name, using its sub-search feature.

Launching scripts in this manner merely saves you from accessing the scripts menu in iTunes, but if you like to keep your hands on the keyboard, it will save you a few clicks. If you run certain scripts often, it is a good way to get to them quickly.

(By the way, I was prompted to write this after reading Doug Adams’ post about using TextExpander to launch AppleScripts for iTunes.)

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