A sample of my notification automator

Here is an audio sample. I just quickly recorded it on my phone. So quality isn’t as good as usual. Also her narration of the traffic status needs work.  I also just noticed she is getting day and month backwards.  I need to fix that in the parsing code.

AppleScript- Getting Brandon Sanderson Project Updates read aloud.

I have been playing around making a Jarvis like home notifaction script.  One piece of that for fun is to read me the current Brandon Sanderson book project status report.  I made the below applescript to parse the information off his Web site and read it aloud to me. After all men don’t read (a Stormlight Archive reference so go get the book). I am a huge fan of his Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series.  Oh yeah… He is also finishing the Wheel of Time too. ;-)

Warning that the below script could break at any time.  It has to parse out bits of html code.  Who knows how much that changes each time updates his status.  I won’t know till the next update.  You can see those bits in the AppleScript’s text item delimeters lines in the script.




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Griffin Powermate – Mic Mute Button

I picked up a Griffin Powermate last week on a whim. It is a usb connected solidly built alluminum control knob. You can press and turn it to trigger events. It also has a blue LED light for giving status feedback. It can work on Mac and Windows.

It comes with a number of default actions for controlling applications like iTunes, Safari etc. You can add your own and even trigger scripts with it. Griffin provides some apple script samples with the software for the powermate. These can do things like place the led into a triple flash alert mode.

I took the supplied scripts and saved them in a Scripts subfolder on my mac. Then I setup a new Control group for podcasting. You can only choose one active set per powermate at a time. Yes you can connect multiple powermates if you really want. I then found and added the applescripts for controlling skype that I found over at Mystic Coders. Next I put together triggers to toggle muting both an active skype call and the input audio level for my Mac. This way if I am on Skype with someone and they are recording I can mute for coughs, interuptions etc. I have the action also zero out then restore the input audio level as well. That solves muting my mic if I am the one doing the recording.

Setting up the Triggers

For the Trigger: Mic-Mute: Under Advanced I check to match light state for “Default” This only runs the below actions if the light is in the default state. This keeps it from running twice once we change the light state while muted.

  • Action: InputVolume-0: AppleScript: set volume input volume 0

  • Action: Skype-MuteON: AppleScript: run the skype mute script from Mystic Coders

  • Action: PM-LightPulse: AppleScript: run the Griffin provded script: AlertX3.scpt

For the Trigger: Mic-UnMute: Under Advanced I check to match light state for “Alert x3” This only runs the below actions if the light is in the alert state as defined in the Griffin script. This keeps it from running twice once we change the light state while unmuted.

  • Action: InputVolume-72: AppleScript:  set volume input volume 72

  • Action: Skype-MuteOFF: AppleScript: run the skype unmute script from Mystic Coders

  • Action: Clear Light State

That does it. Now when I go to record a podcast I flip my active control set for my powermate to my Podcast set. Press the knob to mute and again to unmute. It flashes while muted to ensure I know I am muted to save me from talking for several minutes without getting it recorded.

Using Hazel on OSX for Podcast Audio Production Archival

I got into setting up some Hazel file maintenance today. Hazel is a powerful app you can find at http://www.noodlesoft.com/hazel.php

It was a good episode of http://macpowerusers.com/2010/04/mpu-025-geeking-out-with-hazel/ that got me going.


I have my audio work files on a firewire based raid mirror. As I am regularly doing the audio production for http://cyberspeak.libsyn.com/ disk space becomes a concern over time. Yet I want to keep all the files. So I whipped up a hazel rule set that compresses all audio related files to zip if they are older than the current month automatically.


I have included screenshots here. The key is the subfolders rule. It ensures all the files under the Cyberspeak show get handled. Yet I make sure to exclude my show template from soundtrackPro and some music etc files. I show the rule for AIF uncompressed audio which is just replicated for each of the large file types I am concerned about.


Lastly I also use Chronosync from http://www.econtechnologies.com/pages/cs/chrono_overview.html This lets my system automatically weekly sync over my entire audio production folder and file area to another hard drive across my network. This ensures I have copies of all my work on effectively three different hard drives. The two mirrored drives from the raid then a third drive across the house.


I really love the automation features in Mac OSX

I find the automation features in Mac OSX to be a lot of help.  Especially when whipping up a solution for someone else.  If you want to know more about how to work with automator and services check out these links.


Automation in Snow Leopard


Automation in Snow Leopard Part 2


Automation in Snow Leopard Part 3


Automation in Snow Leopard Part 4


And the mother site of mac automation