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Mac OS X Hacks by Rael Dornfest, Kevin Hemenway

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iCal Calling iTunes

Wouldn’t it be nice to choose tracks from iCal, reminding yourself to exercise with the inspiring theme from Flashdance?

You give people an inch, they’ll want to take a mile. In this corner, Apple’s iTunes, MP3 player supreme with smart playlists, XML exports, ratings, play count, ID3 support, and more. And in the other, Apple’s iCal with alerts, multiple calendar coloring, web-based subscriptions, to-do lists, and drill-down views. Both free, powerful, and useful. Are people happy with the birds on their doorsteps? “Not without integration,” they sing, and integration comes in the form of a free AppleScript from Doug Adams.

There’s no installation; just stick the application any place you’d like (as is typical of most AppleScripts). With proper configuration, iCal Calling iTunes can trigger the start of any iTunes playlist, shuffle that playlist, or likewise stop that playlist at any date or time.

Configuration is simple. First, create a new calendar called iTunes. It’s here that you’ll configure all your sound events (you can configure other events, but as we’ll see, their status will be marked as Tentative). To integrate iCal with iTunes, define an event named after one of your iTunes playlists, and configure the dates as you would normally. After that, simply double-click the iCal Calling iTunes AppleScript, and it’ll resolutely play tracks from the matching play list when the event triggers.

To stop a playlist, set the To date of the event for when ...

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