Today was my lucky day. All week I’ve struggled to find the perfect Mac app for Friday Freebies. Not only did I find one you’ll like and use, you’ll wonder why it’s free. There’s just one problem with iTunes Alarm.
Sure, it’s an alarm for iTunes. Yes, it’ll play music from a playlist to put you to sleep. Of course it’ll play music from a different playlist to wake you up when you want. Snooze button? Yep. What’s not to like?
The Little Mac App That Could—And Does
I won’t even complain about having too many alarms going off all over the place, though it’s positively, absolutely true. If I could stick an alarm on my kids while they’re playing, I’d do it.
iTunes Alarm is another alarm for your Mac but it has a single, obvious flaw.
What would you expect an iTunes alarm clock to do? You’d want it to wake you up and play music from iTunes, preferably from a playlist you create. Got it. iTunes Alarm does just that.
You would also want an alarm that is easy to set up and use, not take up much screen real estate, yet be easy to find and tell you right away when the next alarm is set, right? iTunes Alarm does that, too.
That’s what iTunes Alarm looks like on your Mac.
Simple. Elegant. Easy to use. Free. And it works. It displays the time and date, the next alarm and the three most important buttons in order of importance. Snooze. Sleep. And Settings.
Ah, settings. You can’t have an alarm without settings. It’s like having children without grief. Mashed potatoes without gravy. A Happy Meal without kids. A Buick without old folks.
Settings may seem intimidating but it’s actually easy to set up.
Start with a new Alarm. Give it a name that makes sense. You can set up multiple alarms for different functions, dates, and times. Set the alarm to be on or off, and a specific action—start music or stop music.
Set the time and day for the alarm to start. An alarm can be repeating. Since we’re talking music, you can set the alarm to fade music in or out so you’re not jolted out of a deep sleep by a sudden blast of rock ‘n roll.
Volume can be controlled per alarm, as can a music playlist.
That’s the beauty of iTunes Alarm—all the controls are per alarm. Set up an alarm to put you to sleep at night, or an alarm to wake you up, or take a chance and let iTunes Alarm choose one at random (you’ll only do that once—it never chooses what I’d choose).
There’s even a snooze button, just like a real alarm clock.
So, what’s the problem with iTunes Alarm? It’s free (donationware). It works just fine. It’s easy to set up and use, even for Mac newbies.
Hello? Since when do we sleep with our Macs? Snooze button? Like I’m getting out of bed to walk across the bedroom to click on a snooze button. Right. There are ways around the conundrum of sleeping with a Mac.
I should get a commission from Apple for telling you this. Your Mac and iTunes music can be piped into a different room using the Airport Express Base Station and AirTunes (adds another $99 to the free iTunes Alarm). And, you’ll want to be sure to use the Airport Express Stereo Connection Kit with Monster Cables (another $39) to connect the Airport Express Base Station and AirTunes to some speakers in your bedroom.
Maybe it is easier to sleep with a Mac notebook on the nightstand.