iTunes Automator workflows no longer working after iTunes 10

If you regularly use Automator workflows with iTunes, you may want to hold off on upgrading to iTunes 10. MacWorld recently uncovered an issue with the new update in which automator workflows for iTunes are no longer functional after upgrading the program.

If you regularly use Automator workflows with iTunes, you may want to hold off on upgrading to iTunes 10. MacWorld recently uncovered an issue with the new update in which automator workflows for iTunes are no longer functional after upgrading the program.

Normally Automator has the following workflow actions available for iTunes:

Add Songs to iPod
Add Songs to Playlist
Ask for Songs
Change Case of Song Names
Delete All iPod Notes
Eject iPod
Filter iTunes Items
Find iTunes Items
Get Selected iTunes Items
Get Specified iTunes Items
Get the Current Song
Import Audio Files
Import Files into iTunes
New iPod Note
New iTunes Playlist
Pause iTunes
Play iTunes Playlist
Remove Empty Playlists
Set Info of iTunes Songs
Set iTunes Equalizer
Set iTunes Volume
Set Options of iTunes Songs
Start iTunes Playing
Start iTunes Visuals
Stop iTunes Visuals
Update iPod

After updating iTunes to version 10, you may find the only available workflows in the list are the ones in bold. Any existing workflow containing the other actions will not work.

It is odd that some actions seem to work fine, but others that should be referencing iTunes in the same way do not. In trying to open the workflow actions themselves (located in the /System/Library/Automator/ directory) in OS X 10.5.8 the system outputs an "unrecognized selector" error in the console, and no other indications of the root of the problem. In OS X 10.6, however, when trying to import the workflow actions the console shows an error for each unloaded action stating it "could not be loaded because the application 'iTunes' is the wrong version."

Repairing the system's permissions did not have any effect on the issue.

It is likely this issue will need to be resolved by Apple updating the workflow actions to properly reference the new version of iTunes, or otherwise fix iTunes so it is accepted by Automator. Until then, if you have upgraded to iTunes 10 your Automator workflow options will be limited. One option you have is to downgrade to iTunes 9, which is best done by restoring to a backup (hopefully done before upgrading to iTunes 10).

Update: The following procedure will fix this problem

Change the "4.6" at this location in the file to "0" and save it to trick Automator into recognizing the workflow for the latest version of iTunes.

Apparently the problem is caused by the way numbers are listed alphabetically instead of by numerical size, which results in the latest iTunes' version (10.0) being listed as smaller than the previous version (9.0). Because of this Automator rejects the use of the workflow actions with the new version of iTunes.

To fix this problem, you will need to edit each workflow action and change the version requirement string for the action to something lower than "1" so Automator will identify it properly.

  1. Go to the /System/Library/Automator/ folder
  2. Right-click each non-working action and choose "Show Package Contents."
  3. Open the "Info.plist" file for each in a text editor that supports authentication such as "TextWrangler" or in Apple's Property List Editor.
  4. Scroll down to the "AMRequiredResources" section in the file and change the Version string from "4.6" to "0"
  5. Save the file, and open the action to load it into Automator.

Do this for all other workflows and they should all load properly when you next launch Automator.



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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.

     

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