A while back I wanted to automate updating my podcasts in iTunes. Up to that point, I had to remember to open iTunes and click the Refresh button. Some of my subscribed podcasts are released daily so If a few days had passed by since the last update I would find that I had missing episodes.

I solved this problem by creating a very simple script and then using iCal to schedule it. To do this I created a new calendar called “Scripts” and created a recurring event to run at 11:00 every night. I set the Alarm to “Run Script” and selected the name of the script to run. This worked like a dream.

However, I have recently been beta-testing (and will be using once it is released) a new app called BusyCal from BusyMac. In a nutshell, BusyCal is like iCal (in fact it uses the same data) but it allows you to share calendars over a LAN plus it has loads of other cool features.

One thing that BusyCal doesn’t have is the ability to have a script run as an alarm (though there is a workaround – save the script as an app and use the “Open File” option when setting an alarm). Not a show-stopper by any means but it meant that I either had to use the workaround (as supplied by the guys at BusyMac) or find an alternative…

Script Timer X lets you schedule the execution of AppleScript, perl, and shell scripts, as well as Automator workflows and applications. Scheduling options include specific times of the day, week, month, or year, regular intervals ranging from one second to any number of weeks, when the computer enters or leaves an idle state, just before the computer goes to sleep or just after it wakes up, when you log into or out of your account, and when a specified application launches or quits. The application ships with several sample scripts – including one for scheduling the downloading of subscribed podcasts into iTunes.
You can download a fully functional 30-day trial of Script Timer X from http://www.appsandmore.com. If you want to keep using the app after 30 days, it’ll cost you just $12