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How can I use AppleScript to save .png files from the start and end of .mp4 files with QuickTime? This is something I am doing a lot of and it would be good to automate it. I have some scripting experience but not a lot.

I am using QuickTime Pro 7 version 7.6.6. I am using the export command to get still frames that are the same size as my video file.

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*)

(* INSTRUCTIONS
This droplet is designed to process one or more files, or folders containing files, whose icons are dragged onto the droplet icon.
The droplet processes recursively, and will examine the contents of every dragged-on folder, and every sub-folder within those folders, to find and process any files who kind matches the indicated types.
You can set the droplet to process only files of a specific type, such as images, by adding the appropriate data types, name extensions, and type IDs to the values of the properties listed at the top of this script.
Place your script code for processing the found files, within the process_file() sub-routine at the bottom of this script.
*)


(* TO FILTER FOR SPECIFIC FILES, ENTER THE APPROPRIATE DATA IN THE FOLLOWING LISTS: *)
property type_list : {"M4V ", "mpg4"} -- e.g.: {"PICT", "JPEG", "TIFF", "GIFf"} 
property extension_list : {"mp4", "m4v", "mpg"} -- e.g.: {"txt", "text", "jpg", "jpeg"}, NOT: {".txt", ".text", ".jpg", ".jpeg"}
property typeIDs_list : {"public.mpeg-4"} -- e.g.: {"public.jpeg", "public.tiff", "public.png"}

(* IMAGE FILTERING *)
(*
-- QuickTime supported image formats
property type_list : {"JPEG", "TIFF", "PNGf", "8BPS", "BMPf", "GIFf", "PDF ", "PICT"}
property extension_list : {"jpg", "jpeg", "tif", "tiff", "png", "psd", "bmp", "gif", "jp2", "pdf", "pict", "pct", "sgi", "tga"}
property typeIDs_list : {"public.jpeg", "public.tiff", "public.png", "com.adobe.photoshop-image", "com.microsoft.bmp", "com.compuserve.gif", "public.jpeg-2000", "com.adobe.pdf", "com.apple.pict", "com.sgi.sgi-image", "com.truevision.tga-image"}
*)

(* MOVIE FILTERING *)
(*
-- iDVD supported movie formats
property type_list : {"dvc!", "MooV", "M4V ", "mpg4"}
property extension_list : {"mov", "mp4", "dv", "m4v","mpg"}
property typeIDs_list : {"public.mpeg-4", "com.apple.quicktime-movie"}
*)

-- This droplet processes files dropped onto the applet 
on open these_items
    repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_items
        set this_item to item i of these_items
        set the item_info to info for this_item
        if folder of the item_info is true then
            process_folder(this_item)
        else
            try
                set this_extension to the name extension of item_info
            on error
                set this_extension to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_filetype to the file type of item_info
            on error
                set this_filetype to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_typeID to the type identifier of item_info
            on error
                set this_typeID to ""
            end try
            if (folder of the item_info is false) and (package folder of the item_info is false) and (alias of the item_info is false) and ((this_filetype is in the type_list) or (this_extension is in the extension_list) or (this_typeID is in typeIDs_list)) then
                process_file(this_item)
            end if
        end if
    end repeat
end open

-- this sub-routine processes folders 
on process_folder(this_folder)

    tell application "Finder" to set f to name of this_folder
    log "Processing folder: " & f

    set these_items to list folder this_folder without invisibles
    repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_items
        set this_item to alias ((this_folder as Unicode text) & (item i of these_items))
        set the item_info to info for this_item
        if folder of the item_info is true then
            process_folder(this_item)
        else
            try
                set this_extension to the name extension of item_info
            on error
                set this_extension to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_filetype to the file type of item_info
            on error
                set this_filetype to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_typeID to the type identifier of item_info
            on error
                set this_typeID to ""
            end try
            if (folder of the item_info is false) and (package folder of the item_info is false) and (alias of the item_info is false) and ((this_filetype is in the type_list) or (this_extension is in the extension_list) or (this_typeID is in typeIDs_list)) then
                process_file(this_item)
            end if
        end if
    end repeat
end process_folder

-- this sub-routine processes files 
on process_file(this_item)
    -- NOTE that during execution, the variable this_item contains a file reference in alias format to the item passed into this sub-routine
    -- FILE PROCESSING STATEMENTS GO HERE
    tell application "QuickTime Player 7"
        set play movie from beginning when opened to false

        open this_item

        tell front document

            # Remove extension from filename
            set n to (this_item as string)
            set n to text 1 thru ((offset of "." in n) - 1) of n

            # Use .png since it will be overwritten later on...
            set xFileStart to n & "_start.png"
            set xFileEnd to n & "_end.png"

            # Positions (in seconds) in video to stop and take frames
            set sPos to 0
            set ePos to 0

            # Move for start frame
            set current time to (time scale * sPos)
            export to xFileStart as BMP using default settings with replacing

            # Move for end frame
            set current time to (duration - (time scale * ePos))
            export to xFileEnd as BMP using default settings with replacing

            close
        end tell

        # Do the actual conversion to PNG
        tell application "Image Events"
            set bmpFile to open file xFileStart
            save bmpFile as PNG
            set bmpFileEnd to open file xFileEnd
            save bmpFile as PNG
        end tell

    end tell
end process_file
3
  • What version of Quicktime? I'm assuming 7.x since you said "pro" in the title, but please clarify. Also, are you actually using the File > Export method, are you doing a screenshot (Command-Option-4) or are you doing Edit > Copy and then pasting into Preview or an image editor? – tubedogg May 6 '15 at 18:16
  • I have included my code in the post. I am trying to avoid any interaction other then dropping the file onto the droplet. I think I am close to where I need to be but at this point it is still not saving out the png files and I am not sure why. – Regenegade May 11 '15 at 19:11
  • This script now works and saves the start and end of a .mp4 file as .png's with the words start and end appended to the file name. – Regenegade May 12 '15 at 23:21
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Here is my script to export to PNG written for Snow Leopard. You can adjust to suit your needs easily enough...


EDIT: Here is your code incorporating the original code I posted. This works as you described you wanted the applet to work.

property type_list : {"M4V ", "mpg4"} -- e.g.: {"PICT", "JPEG", "TIFF", "GIFf"} 
property extension_list : {"mp4", "m4v", "mpg"} -- e.g.: {"txt", "text", "jpg", "jpeg"}, NOT: {".txt", ".text", ".jpg", ".jpeg"}
property typeIDs_list : {"public.mpeg-4"} -- e.g.: {"public.jpeg", "public.tiff", "public.png"}

on open these_items
    repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_items
        set this_item to item i of these_items
        set the item_info to info for this_item
        if folder of the item_info is true then
            process_folder(this_item)
        else
            try
                set this_extension to the name extension of item_info
            on error
                set this_extension to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_filetype to the file type of item_info
            on error
                set this_filetype to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_typeID to the type identifier of item_info
            on error
                set this_typeID to ""
            end try

            if (folder of the item_info is false) and (package folder of the item_info is false) and (alias of the item_info is false) and ((this_filetype is in the type_list) or (this_extension is in the extension_list) or (this_typeID is in typeIDs_list)) then
                process_file(this_item)
            end if
        end if
    end repeat
end open

-- this sub-routine processes folders 
on process_folder(this_folder)

    # Debug
    tell application "Finder" to set f to name of this_folder
    log "Processing folder: " & f

    set these_items to list folder this_folder without invisibles
    repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_items
        set this_item to alias ((this_folder as Unicode text) & (item i of these_items))
        set the item_info to info for this_item
        if folder of the item_info is true then
            process_folder(this_item)
        else
            try
                set this_extension to the name extension of item_info
            on error
                set this_extension to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_filetype to the file type of item_info
            on error
                set this_filetype to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_typeID to the type identifier of item_info
            on error
                set this_typeID to ""
            end try

            if (folder of the item_info is false) and (package folder of the item_info is false) and (alias of the item_info is false) and ((this_filetype is in the type_list) or (this_extension is in the extension_list) or (this_typeID is in typeIDs_list)) then
                process_file(this_item)
            end if
        end if
    end repeat
end process_folder

-- this sub-routine processes files 
on process_file(this_item)
    tell application "QuickTime Player 7"
        set play movie from beginning when opened to false

        open this_item

        tell front document

            # Remove extension from filename
            set n to (this_item as string)
            set n to text 1 thru ((offset of "." in n) - 1) of n

            # Use .png since it will be overwritten later on...
            set xFileStart to n & "_start.png"
            set xFileEnd to n & "_end.png"

            # Positions (in seconds) in video to stop and take frames
            set sPos to 1
            set ePos to 1

            # Move for start frame
            set current time to (time scale * sPos)
            export to xFileStart as BMP using default settings with replacing

            # Move for end frame
            set current time to (duration - (time scale * ePos))
            export to xFileEnd as BMP using default settings with replacing

            close
        end tell

        # Do the actual conversion to PNG
        tell application "Image Events"
            set bmpFile to open file xFileStart
            save bmpFile as PNG
            set bmpFileEnd to open file xFileEnd
            save bmpFile as PNG
        end tell

    end tell
end process_file
5
  • Thank you for this. I have added your code to my script. I have modified to to do what I think it should be doing but I am still not getting any file output. – Regenegade May 11 '15 at 20:05
  • Any errors showing in Events/Replies pane of the Applescript Editor? – Vic May 12 '15 at 6:05
  • It actually runs without generating any errors but it also is not generating any .png's – Regenegade May 12 '15 at 16:19
  • Well, you copied by code but did not make enough changes. My code was meant to run while QT is already playing... I've modified your code how I think you should change it and I'll update my answer. – Vic May 12 '15 at 17:33
  • Thank you Vic. I was getting frames from 1 second in from the beginning and end so is set the position in seconds to 0 and that gave me the starting and ending frames. I really appreciate your help. I have updated the script in the question to reflect the changes. I am trying my hand more and more at apple script and your scripts have helped me tremendously to understand better as I have worked through this. Thanks again. – Regenegade May 12 '15 at 22:54
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The Applescript you are using for Quicktime is incorrect and you are asking it to do command that are from the standard additions. I path to

QuickTime will not understand this and fail. Similarly:

set frameOne of this_item to track (beginning)
set frameEnd of this_item to track (end)

QT will not know what beginning and end are

You should read the Quicktime 7 dictionary to understand it's syntax.

In Script Editor go to the Window->Library menu

This will bring up the Applications Dictionary Library window.

I doubt QT7 is listed, so go to the finder and locate QT7. I t is normally in the /Applications/Utilities folder.

Drag it onto the Applications Dictionary Library window.

Then Double click it.

A dictionary will open up.Read through it to understand what QT7 can understand.

Now the Script.

I have not touched any of you file checking.

What I have changed is the process_file() handler's content. And add some Objective - C to simplify getting the file path and file name.

Don't worry too much about the Objective -c stuff. You can still use conventional Applescript that you understand if you want just replace it.

The important parts are:

Setting the position of the play head and the exporting the movie. Because we are using BMP it will only export the current frame.

Notice I set the start to 0 and the end to the full duration of the movie - 20.

From what I under stand the measurements are in milliseconds. So having -20 of the end should not make much difference to what you capture. But I do this because one of my Test videos had a problem getting the last frame at the full duration. I got an error saying invalid frame. Changing it to slightly before solved the issue.

I also use a bit of command line to convert the bmp to a png.

Again to simplify things ( for me at least) you can use you own method here if you want.

use scripting additions
use framework "Foundation"



(* TO FILTER FOR SPECIFIC FILES, ENTER THE APPROPRIATE DATA IN THE FOLLOWING LISTS: *)
property type_list : {"M4V ", "mpg4"} -- e.g.: {"PICT", "JPEG", "TIFF", "GIFf"} 
property extension_list : {"mp4", "m4v", "mpg"} -- e.g.: {"txt", "text", "jpg", "jpeg"}, NOT: {".txt", ".text", ".jpg", ".jpeg"}
property typeIDs_list : {"public.mpeg-4"} -- e.g.: {"public.jpeg", "public.tiff", "public.png"}


-- This droplet processes files dropped onto the applet 
on open these_items
    repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_items
        set this_item to item i of these_items
        set the item_info to info for this_item
        if folder of the item_info is true then
            process_folder(this_item)
        else
            try
                set this_extension to the name extension of item_info
            on error
                set this_extension to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_filetype to the file type of item_info
            on error
                set this_filetype to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_typeID to the type identifier of item_info
            on error
                set this_typeID to ""
            end try
            if (folder of the item_info is false) and (package folder of the item_info is false) and (alias of the item_info is false) and ((this_filetype is in the type_list) or (this_extension is in the extension_list) or (this_typeID is in typeIDs_list)) then
                process_file(this_item)
            end if
        end if
    end repeat
end open

-- this sub-routine processes folders 
on process_folder(this_folder)
    set these_items to list folder this_folder without invisibles
    repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_items
        set this_item to alias ((this_folder as Unicode text) & (item i of these_items))
        set the item_info to info for this_item
        if folder of the item_info is true then
            process_folder(this_item)
        else
            try
                set this_extension to the name extension of item_info
            on error
                set this_extension to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_filetype to the file type of item_info
            on error
                set this_filetype to ""
            end try
            try
                set this_typeID to the type identifier of item_info
            on error
                set this_typeID to ""
            end try
            if (folder of the item_info is false) and (package folder of the item_info is false) and (alias of the item_info is false) and ((this_filetype is in the type_list) or (this_extension is in the extension_list) or (this_typeID is in typeIDs_list)) then
                process_file(this_item)
            end if
        end if
    end repeat
end process_folder

-- this sub-routine processes files 
on process_file(this_item)
    tell application "QuickTime Player 7"
        set thisDoc to open this_item -- This will open the file in Quicktime
        tell thisDoc
            set xFolder to its path
            set duro to its duration

        end tell

    end tell

    -->> Objective - c to get the name and file path
    set xFolder to current application's NSString's stringWithString:(xFolder as string)

    set file_path to ((xFolder's stringByDeletingLastPathComponent) as string) & "/"


    set file_name to xFolder's lastPathComponent

    set file_name to (file_name's stringByDeletingPathExtension) as string
    --<<


    tell application "QuickTime Player 7"
        tell thisDoc
            set current time to 0
            set xFileStart to file_path & file_name & "_start.png"

            export track 1 to xFileStart as BMP using default settings with replacing
            delay 1
            do shell script ("sips -s format png " & (quoted form of xFileStart)) -- convert to png
            set current time to (duro - 20)
            set xFileEnd to file_path & file_name & "_end.png"
            export track 1 to xFileEnd as BMP using default settings with replacing
            delay 1
            do shell script ("sips -s format png " & (quoted form of xFileEnd)) -- convert to png
        end tell
        close thisDoc
    end tell
end process_file
1
  • I incorporated this script as well because I am trying to get a handle on scripting. For some reason this script is twice as slow as the one below. Is that because of the scripting additions or the objective c calls? Other then that this worked well and did what I was trying to do. It is appreciated. – Regenegade May 12 '15 at 23:16

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