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iPod and iTunes: The Missing Manual, Third Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer

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Chapter 14. Hot Hacks and Cool Tools

If you’ve read this book from the beginning, you know that you can do a lot more with your iPod than just play music on it. You can bestow it with palmtop powers to display your contacts and calendar information. You can make it do double-duty as a music player and a portable hard drive, as well as wire it up to be your portable jukebox for the car and home stereo.

But did you know the 2003-and-later iPods can serve up recipes, display your email, and even tell you how to get to Albuquerque? And you can make your iPod even more useful with dozens of AppleScripts designed to automate and augment certain iPod-related tasks. This chapter takes your iPod skills—and your iPod—to the next level.

The AppleScripted iPod

AppleScript is a simple programming language that lets Mac fans write mini programs to perform certain tasks. For instance, you could rig AppleScript to make iTunes play “We Will Rock You” at 8:03 every morning. Or you could use an AppleScript to send an email every three hours to your co-workers telling them how many shopping days are left until Christmas.

There are plenty of frivolous uses for AppleScript, too.

Installing the Script Menu

Mac OS X comes with a handful of ready-made AppleScript programs (called scripts), including one that checks the current temperature in your Zip code and one that lets you count messages in all your mailboxes.

Most Mac fans never even know they exist, because these scripts are buried in the Application

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