Tuesday, August 01, 2006

QuickSilver: DJ your own house party!

QuickSilver gives you great power, if you want to cue up an ongoing song list. Let's say you're listening to your party shuffle, and you have the urge to listen to Queen's Greatest Hits, but you don't want to switch out of Party Shuffle mode. No problem! With QuickSilver, you can cue up any track, album, or a whole discography, into Party Shuffle, and have it continue on with the mix when your craving has been satisfied.

Open QuickSilver and make sure the iTunes Module has been installed. Now go to the iTunes Triggers page, and check the 'Search iTunes' command. You'll want to set up a distinctive but easy to use trigger. I went with a Mouse Trigger - hold down left-click for 0.5 seconds in the top right corner - but you can choose anything you like.

Now when you trigger 'Search iTunes', you can search by artist, track, or album, and then press TAB to open the actions. Down arrow to "Play next in Party Shuffle". You can even make this the default action.

Now whenever you have a craving for a particular song, you don't have to go looking for it in iTunes, and then restart your Party Shuffle when it's finished playing, you can just let QuickSilver make your life easier!

QuickSilver: create new shortcuts for any app!

One of the biggest productivity boosters in QuickSilver is the ability to use Triggers. Triggers can be, well, triggered from key combinations, mouse gestures (if you have the Abracadabra plugin loaded), or mouse clicks (with the Mouse Triggers plugin loaded).

If you have the User Interface Access plugin loaded, and I recommend doing so, you'll be able to use any Menu item from any application as the trigger action. This means, for one thing, that you could create new shortcuts within any application, simply by programming them in with QuickSilver.

Here's an example of what I did today: In Flash MX, I wanted to create several new blank keyframes, but this was only accessible from the menu - no keyboard shortcut! So I created a trigger that I invoke by clicking twice along the left edge of my screen (Mouse Trigger plugin). This triggers the Menu Bar Item (User Interface Access plugin) action "Insert>Blank Keyframe". Two quick clicks as I draw, and there it is: a new blank keyframe. Maybe there's another way to do this specific action, but this is an example of QuickSilver's flexibility.