Easy Movie Blog

Here's a short workflow that turns the process of preparing and adding movies to your blog into the simple selection of a menu item.

This workflow will process chosen movie files into the H.264 320x240 MPEG format supported by video iPods and then add the processed movie to your iWeb blog.

Before you begin, download and install the Export for iPod action if it's not already installed on your system. Also, download and install the iWeb Action Pack if it is not already on your system.

STEP 1: Identify the Move Source File

The first action in the workflow will be to choose a movie file to process. In a new Automator window, select the Finder application group in the Library list and then double-click the Ask for Finder Items action in the Action List to add it to the workflow.

When the workfow is executed, this action will display a dialog from which the user can pick the movie file to process. If you choose to select the Allow Multiple Selection option in the Action View, the workflow will process each of the chosen movie files and create new blog pages for each one.

STEP 2: Process the Movie Source File

In the Automator window, select the QuickTime Player application group from the Library list and double-click the Export for iPod action from the Actions list to add it to the end of the workflow.

This action will open the chosen movie file in the QuickTime Player and export a copy in H.264 format. Select the Same folder as source file option to place the exported copy in the same folder as the source movie file, and select the Replace existing files option to delete any previously exported versions that already exist in the source folder.

STEP 3: Add New Movie to Blog

The next step is to add the exported movie file to a new movie blog entry. In the Automator window, select the iWeb application group from the Library list and double-click the Add Movies to Blog action from the Actions list to add it to the end of the workflow.

This action will create a new movie page in the blog. Click the Options disclosure control (the small tiangle) at the bottom left of the Action View to reveal optional settings for this action during workflow execution. Select the Show Action When Run checkbox to have this Action View displayed when the workflow is run.

Save the Workflow

From the Automator File menu, choose Save As Plugin... to summon the Plugin Options sheet in the main window. Name the workflow and assign it to be a plugin for the system-wide Script Menu.

Run the Workflow

From the Script Menu at the right of the menu bar, select the workflow and choose a movie file to be used as the source.

After the movie has been exported from the QuickTime Player, an Action View will be displayed from which you enter the title to be used in the blog.

Once you've entered the title for the blog entry, the workflow will continue and a new blog entry will be added for the movie. NOTE that if there is more than one site in the site organization window, a dialog will appear asking which blog to import into.

Extra Uses for the Workflow

This workflow can also be adapted to become a menu entry in the Finder's contextual menu so that selected movie source files in the Finder can be processed and added to new blog pages.

To adapt the workflow, remove the first action by clicking the delete button (the one with the X) in the right side of the action's Action View. When saved as a Finder plugin, the workflow will automatically be passed the items selected in the Finder.

From the Automator File menu, choose Save As Plugin... to summon the Plugin Options sheet in the main window. Use the existing name but assign it to be a plugin for the Finder from the Plugin for popup menu. Close the workflow window. The workflow will now be available from the Finder Contextual menu: