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Schedule iTunes Downloads

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Next, start iTunes. If iTunes doesn’t ask you for your iTunes Store login right away, click Store > Check for Available Downloads on the top menu bar. Enter your Apple ID and password, then click the “Check” button. Open the Downloads window by pressing the download arrow icon on the top right of the main iTunes window. Click the “Pause All” button. At this point, you can close the main iTunes window, but leave the Downloads window open. Make sure nothing is obscuring the Downloads window.

Make sure that your Energy Saver settings will not turn off your monitor until the Automator Calendar event has had a chance to run. In testing, the downloads did not resume if the monitor was off. You can adjust this setting by going to System Preferences > Energy Saver. Once the process has started, turning off the monitor will not stop downloads. Unfortunately, if your Mac is in your bedroom, this can be annoying and may wake you up.

You can now put your Mac to sleep. If everything is set up properly, your Mac will wake up at the designated time and the Automator event will trigger iTunes to download. You can re-use the same Calendar event. Simply change the date and time. Make sure to adjust the wake scheduler on your Mac. You will probably also want to turn off the scheduled wake when you’re not planning a scheduled download.

Many people can just start their iTunes downloads before they go to sleep, and it will work fine. There are situations, particularly in large households, where a night owl needs to use the Internet connection, and many people are competing to use it during the day or evening. Scheduling iTunes downloads for off-peak hours will ease demand for Internet access in a large household.

I will be writing more how-to articles featuring the Automator in the near future. Follow me on Twitter, G+ or Tumblr for updates. You can also subscribe to email updates below.

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