With the arrival of my Apple TV yesterday I needed a solution to get my Xvix/WMV/Divx files converted and imported into iTunes so that I can watch them. I already have Quicktime Pro, which with the recent release added the ability to “Export to Apple TV”. Since I have a lot of files, and no desire to sit around and convert these one at a time, it seemed like a perfect job for automator. I figured someone out there at some point had to have done something similar so I did a bit of google searching and found the required automator actions. Using the actions I found combined with the sample workflow they have already created for you, it is trivial to set-up a workflow that will convert to the Apple TV format and then import the file into your iTunes library. With a slight modification you can set it up a plug-in and attach it to a folder action. Now I have a simple drop folder on my desktop that launches quicktime pro and converts the file to an Apple TV viewable format, imports the file into iTunes, and cleans up after itself.
Here is a simple step-by-step guide to walk you through what I did:
1) Install xvid, divx, and wmv codecs.
These can be found here:
2) Install the automator actions for compressing and importing into iTunes.
3) Once installed you will have a directory on your desktop called “QuickTime Compression Workflow resources”. In this folder you will find a sample automator workflow called “Convert videos and add to iTunes”. Open this workflow in automator.
4) Delete the first step of the workflow which is “Ask for Finder Items”. Instead of being prompted for which items to convert, we want to setup a folder action that will automatically convert the files dropped in our folder.
5) Add a new first step to the workflow called “Get Selected Finder Items”. This action can be found under the “Finder” application.
6) Under the “Compress QuickTime Using Most Recent Settings” step change “Choose directory for converted files” to the desktop (or any other temporary folder you want to use).
7) Create a new folder on your desktop. This will be your drop folder, so call it something relevant. I called mine “Convert to AppleTV”.
8 ) Back in automator, click on file and choose “Save as plug-in”, choose “Folder Actions” from the “plug-in for” drop down. Give the plug-in the same name as your folder. Select your newly created folder for the “Attached to folder” option. Click save.
9) Since the script will convert whatever file you drop in your conversion folder using the last settings you used in QuickTime you’ll need to launch QuickTime with a test file and then choose “Export” from the file menu. Assuming you have the most recent version of QuickTime Pro you should have an option “Export Movie to Apple TV”.
10) That’s it!!! Now just close out of everything and drop your files into your new folder and watch as they are converted and imported to iTunes. It works great to leave your Mac on and then drop a bunch of files in the folder before you go to bed. When you get to your PC in the morning everything should be all ready to go.
To find out more about folder actions, check this page out: