Fun with AppleScript and Notes

I have pretty large collection of movies ripped from my DVDs and a few Blu-Rays stored on a file server. Occasionally when I want to watch something old that we have, I’d rather borrow a Blu-Ray from our library to see it in better quality, but it is hard to remember what movies are DVD quality and which are Blu-Ray. The post will show how I collect that information and made it sync to my iPhone.

To collect the resolution information I am using mdls -name kMDItemPixelHeight $movie and mdls -name kMDItemPixelWidth $movie.
I initially thought about writing this to a static webpage, but didn’t want to go to the trouble of setting all that up.  I had visions of launchdaemons and shell scripts to automate it all, but that felt like too much work for a trivial want.  So I started thinking about other ways to get data available on the go and eventually remembered Notes.  That lead to a bit of research, including the always useful MacOSXAutomation and of course a StackExchange post.
The fun part is using AppleScript to write to a note in which then is synced through iCloud automatically. notes use html for formatting which can be pretty powerful. In my case, I just need each entry on its own line.

In AppleScript Editor I saved the following as a script and now double click it when I want to update the note.

set ss to "cd /Volumes/External/Media/Movies
for movie in *.m*; do
        height=$(mdls -name kMDItemPixelHeight \"$movie\" | awk '{print $NF}')
        width=$(mdls -name kMDItemPixelWidth \"$movie\" | awk '{print $NF}')
        echo \"<div>${movie}, ${height}, ${width}</div>\"
set notebody to do shell script ss
tell application "Notes"
        tell default account to tell folder "Notes"
                set body of note "Movie Resolutions" to notebody
        end tell
end tell

To make it simpler for myself, I created the note and named it first, but you can do that through AppleScript.  Since I am going to be running this periodically as the collection changes, I didn’t want to deal with naming conflicts.
This certainly isn’t ground breaking, but I liked the idea of using AppleScript to bridge between shell and my iPhone.  Now that data is available where ever I am.

    • My Notes setup is very simple.  One account synced through iCloud.  There are account options available in the Notes AppleScript library if you need them.
    • I can still automate running the AppleScript periodically with a LaunchAgent and the open command.  I’d probably save the script as an Application for this use.

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