Eric Roller's Development Blog

We can use iTunes to play music while we do circuit training, i.e. 40 seconds music while we work out, and 15 seconds pause while we rest or go to the next station:

  • save the following AppleScript in ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts; you will probably have to create the Scripts directory;
  • open iTunes with a suitable playlist; we recommend a good song and a Genius playlist;
  • select the first song;
  • launch the script from Scripts menu.

Note: There exists a newer version of this script!

(* AppleScript for circuit training with iTunes.
The default circuits are 40 seconds each, with pauses of 15 seconds.
At the beginning, the script asks for different times.

©2009, Eric Roller

-- begin by asking for the workout and delay times
set tWork to the text returned of ¬
    (display dialog "Set the Workout Time [s]" default answer "40")
set tPause to the text returned of ¬
    (display dialog "Set the Delay Time [s]" default answer "15")

-- whether to skip to the next song, but only every other time
set skip to false

-- enter the forever loop
    -- start playing the music
    set volume without output muted
    tell application "iTunes" to play

    -- delay for 40 seconds by means of a dialog
    set answer to display dialog tWork & " Seconds Workout" ¬
        buttons "Stop" with title "Circuits Loop" ¬
        giving up after tWork
    -- stop if requested
    if the button returned of the answer is "Stop" then exit repeat

    -- stop the music, actually just mute it
    set volume with output muted
    if skip is true then
        -- every other time, change the track
        tell application "iTunes" to next track
    end if
    set skip to not skip

    -- wait 15 seconds (playing the song muted)
    set answer to display dialog tPause & " Seconds Pause" ¬
        buttons "Stop" with title "Circuits Loop" ¬
        giving up after tPause
    if the button returned of the answer is "Stop" then exit repeat
end repeat

-- finish by unmuting the volume and pausing iTunes
tell application "iTunes" to pause
set volume without output muted

Note that we go to the next track after every other workout. Also, since the volume is muted, we skip the first 15 seconds of every song. This is deliberate!

Let's first take a look at how Apache is configured (for Mac OS X 10.5.6 Leopard). In the Terminal:

> httpd -V
Server version: Apache/2.2.9 (Unix)
Server built:   Sep 19 2008 10:58:54
Server's Module Magic Number: 20051115:15
Server loaded:  APR 1.2.7, APR-Util 1.2.7
Compiled using: APR 1.2.7, APR-Util 1.2.7
Architecture:   32-bit
Server MPM:     Prefork
  threaded:     no
    forked:     yes (variable process count)
Server compiled with....
 -D APACHE_MPM_DIR="server/mpm/prefork"
 -D APR_HAVE_IPV6 (IPv4-mapped addresses enabled)
 -D HTTPD_ROOT="/usr"
 -D SUEXEC_BIN="/usr/bin/suexec"
 -D DEFAULT_PIDLOG="/private/var/run/httpd.pid"
 -D DEFAULT_SCOREBOARD="logs/apache_runtime_status"
 -D DEFAULT_LOCKFILE="/private/var/run/accept.lock"
 -D DEFAULT_ERRORLOG="logs/error_log"
 -D AP_TYPES_CONFIG_FILE="/private/etc/apache2/mime.types"
 -D SERVER_CONFIG_FILE="/private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf"

Notice where the configuration file is (see last line); this is the file we would use if we enabled the web server from the System Preferences : Sharing : Web Sharing. However, we much rather not change that configuration file; instead we shall simply supply a different one that we keep outside the /private/etc area.


Before we go ahead with our personal configuration file, it is a good idea to compare our settings to those provided by Apple; use a "diff" tool of your choice (I like twdiff that comes with BareBones' TextWrangler). Once our settings are complete, we shall begin with a syntax check:

> apachectl -f /path/to/conf/httpd-debug.conf -t
Syntax OK

To launch Apache with our own configuration, we run:

> sudo apachectl -f /path/to/conf/httpd-debug.conf -k start

To verify that it is running, we can issue this command (when o.k. we will get multiple lines for multiple httpd instances):

> ps -e | grep httpd | grep usr

Finally, to view the web site in Safari, we simply open the location: http://localhost/ .