64: Quickeys and Automation Fun with Merlin Mann

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@RosemaryOrchard mentioned about automating Audio Hijack with Keyboard Maestro which lacks proper automation support (about the 3-minute mark).

My greatest disappointment with Rogue Amoeba apps is that they don’t support AppleScript. Audio Hijack Pro version 2 had AppleScript support to start or stop a specific session, and Audio Hijack 3 lost it and it never came back. Even 3 actions (start session/stop session/is session running) would make the app so much more automation friendly. But they know their business a lot better than I do, and clearly this isn’t something a lot of people are asking for, unfortunately.

However, I figured that I would at least share what I do to automate Audio Hijack, and maybe it would be helpful for Rosemary and some others. I find that Keyboard Maestro’s “Match Image” never seems to work for me, so I try to avoid it whenever possible.

For starting an Audio Hijack session via Keyboard Maestro, here what I do is this:

  1. Launch the app

  2. Wait for app to be active/front

  3. Select menu item in Audio Hijack: “Window” » “Sessions Tab”

  4. Wait for window with title “Audio Hijack” to be frontmost

  5. Press ⌘1 which is the keyboard shortcut for “Sessions Tab” (this is probably superfluous, given step #3, but it doesn’t hurt, to make doubly sure we are on the right ‘tab’ of the window)

  6. Down Arrow will select the first Session

  7. Right Arrow will select the next Session. And so on. [See note¹ below]

  8. Once I moved the proper number of Sessions, I use ⌘O to “Open” the Session

  9. Wait for a window with “The Session Name” to be frontmost

  10. If menu item Control » Start Session exists, select it (I use this rather than ⌘R because ⌘R will also stop an active Session and I do not want that, in case I trigger this while already hijacking the same session.)

Note¹: In order to make sure that my Sessions are always in the order that I want/expect, I start them with a number if I use them with automation.

For example, the Session that I use most often is to record Relay.fm live streams, so my first Session is name “1 Relay.fm” so I only have to use the down arrow from the Sessions tab.

My second-most-frequent Session is for ATP so it is named “2 ATP” so I know that I can get to that one with down arrow and one right arrow.

The last Session that I automate is called “3 Daily Lectionary” so that is one down arrow and right arrow twice.

Any non-number session names come after the numbered sessions, so the others that I have, but don’t use for automation, are not numbered.

I hope this is helpful to someone.


Another fun episode, and always good to hear Merlin.

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Very timely for me: I was looking to automate more of Audio Hijack for my podcast recording sessions. Start and Stop (and Rename output file) were my key requirements.

(I’m trailing long mic and headphone cables to get as far away from fan noise as possible - so remote start and stop would be useful.)

Now to listen to the actual episode. :slight_smile:


I feel like Automation Fun was a poor name for this episode. Automation end of year complaining was more of the theme.

Complaining can be fun! :wink:

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Great. The only Rogue Amoeba app supporting AppleScript is Airfoil I’d guess.