But wait! There's no more. . . Billy Mays

The world got a little bit quieter last weekend as verbally boisterous info-mercial pitchman Billy Mays succumbed to an apparent heart ailment. By all accounts, Mays was quite a nice guy (but then, few people get negative reviews after they pass away). That said, I can't personally say I will miss his yelling at me about Oxyclean or the Awesome Auger.

It does kind of make me feel bad about the joke I made a couple of weeks ago about how the gadget I'd most like to see Mays hawking would be an electronic device that automatically mutes my television whenever a loud, obnoxious voice comes on.

Anyway, rest in peace (and quiet), Mr. Mays.


AppleScript To The Rescue

090701_script.jpgI'm posting an AppleScript I just wrote which I hope might be useful to some people who listen to podcasts in iTunes. Paste the script text shown below into a Script Editor window and save it as a compiled script in the iTunes Script folder. After you re-launch iTunes, you will be able to invoke it from your Script menu in iTunes. The purpose of the compiled script is to skip forward 30 seconds in the currently playing track. Some folks may have other uses for it, but I find it very handy to jump forward quickly when certain podcasts go into "commercial mode."


tell application "iTunes"


set _playhead to bookmark of current track

set bookmark of current track to (_playhead + 30)


end tell


I'd like to refine it further with voice recognition algorithms so it will automatically skip forward 2 minutes any time Leo LaPorte says "Go to Meeting," "Audible.com" or "Drobo," but I confess that is beyond my skill level at this point.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to plug a great place to find other scripts that extend the capability of iTunes in many unique ways, Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes, a fine site run by Doug Adams.