In his WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs gave us a taste (not to mention two install discs) of good things to come via Tiger, the next generation of Mac OS X due for release in 2005. As a digital media guy, you’d think that I’d be writing this piece on Core Image or possibly the H.264 codec — don’t worry, I will. But not today.
The technology that will have even a bigger impact on my life is Automator, a scripting powerhouse with a beautiful GUI. To be honest, it’s what I always wanted AppleScript to be, and mollifies my disappointment with AppleScript Studio. Automator gives me the ability to create workflows on the fly across applications and OS functions. It allows me to think about the task I want to complete and not how to write the script to do it.
I’ve used and praised AppleScript countless times over the years. Most of my QuickTime production is accomplished via AppleScript. But there are days when I’d like to adjust this or change that, and I end up doing it manually just because I don’t want to fool around getting a script to work correctly. Next thing you know, I had lost the inspiration of what I was trying to do in the first place.
Now with Automator, if I think of a task I want to accomplish, chances are I can build the script (and save it for the future) within a matter of minutes. That’s right minutes.
So even though the effects I bring to my pictures and movies with Core Image and Core Video will make my eyes dance with happiness, the fact that I can create those productions in less time (I’m thinking far less time) with Automator is the true digital media gift from Tiger.