check out my new blog, Scattered Thoughts starman 1.2.1
an ambient dashboard widget for itunes ratings

try starman now
roll mouse over hand; click to set rating

There's a starman waiting in the sky
He'd like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds Starman

starman is a Dashboard widget that provides an ambient monitor for your iTunes ratings, allowing you to quickly rate a song with one click.

starman was created to fulfill my personal need - I like listening to iTunes in party shuffle mode, "play higher rated songs more often." But switching into iTunes to check and set ratings is a hassle. starman has no playback controls or display. It works in conjunction with your existing iTunes controller. Tuck it behind your Apple iTunes controller for an exciting and whimsical way to interact with your music.

starman is distributed as a demo. The full version may be purchased for $5, and applies to all the computers in a household. Demo users can display ratings, but will see a reminder message if they try to set ratings. Paid users will receive the full version via email (manual, allow up to 12 hours.)

Should these terms seem unreasonable to you, a generic iTunes rating widget has been released to the public domain on my generic widgets page, with all of the same functionality as starman

download another widget or explore the web site.

© 2005 all rights reserved

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger is required. If you're using Safari, click the download link. When the widget download is complete, show Dashboard, click the Plus sign to display the Widget Bar and click the widget's icon in the Widget Bar to open it. If you're using a browser other than Safari, click the download link. When the widget download is complete, unarchive it and place it in /Library/Widgets/ in your home folder. show Dashboard, click the Plus sign to display the Widget Bar and click the widget's icon in the Widget Bar to open it.

iChat. personalized
try it now.

s 120x90 iTunes

flag for ecotopia

version history

5/27/5 @ 9:00pm: starman 1.2.1
Really, this is a bigger change in the code than 1.2 was from 1.1, but I didn't think it was worth a whole new version number. Calls to the system are now asynchronous. What this means to you is the display keeps updating as you move the mouse, even when starman is waiting for a response. Setting ratings is NOT asynchronous - I like feedback about the ratings set happening - so no change there.

5/27/5 @ 3:20am: starman 1.2
Fixes a problem where iTunes would launch on every Dashboard trip.

5/11/5 @ 6:30pm: starman returned to distribution under new licensing terms.

5/11/5 @ 3:30pm:starman temporarily removed from distribution.

5/10/5 @ 4:20am:starman 1.1
fixes a fairly stupid mistake where if iTunes is in the music store or isn't running, the widget would try to show a nonexistent image.
Price reduced from $7 to free.

5/8/5 @ 10pm: starman 1.0 released
first version.


email me with your questions!

q: How do I uninstall starman?
a: Apple's answer:

You cannot remove widgets from the Widget Bar or change their order.
No, but really, just remove it from ~/Library/Widgets/ . Dashboard is pretty bad about noticing the difference, but it'll figure it out, just scroll left and right.

I am rescinding the creative commons license for starman and returning to a paid model. Instead, a generic iTunes rating widget has been released to the public domain, and may be found on my generic widgets page. I am entitled to do this under the terms of the Creative Commons License, section 7, subsection b, to wit:

Licensor reserves the right to release the Work under different license terms or to stop distributing the Work at any time

starman was originally $7, with a useful demo version.

It is now free, mostly due to an exchange in Someone posted a sarcastic comment about my intent to charge for my work. I don't have the original text. The admins of that site must have deleted it, because today (5/9) he wrote:

Comment by Anonymous

: I see the developer did not like my comments about Shareware Widgets and had my post deleted. Shame on you. You will be in my Blocked Developers list for Fleecing Mac users for Widgets. Again take a good look at Konfabulator. There are over 1000 Widgets for FREE! and to charge for any Widget is really just LAME!

go ahaead and delete my post and I will Flame your widget DAILY. Have a nice DAY!

So, I wrote back:
I did not delete your post. Presumably, the admins did. Absolutely, not me. Do not blacklist me.

I did see your comment, and thought it was a little questionable; I'm not the only one trying to charge for widgets, and why pay for any software, right? I mean, gosh, who would pay for a video editing program? Or an operating system :) Just write your own, it's cheaper.

But I did not delete your post. I didn't know I could, and I wouldn't have if I did know, because you're entitled to your opinions.

If no one buys it, I'll probably just make it freeware, but I'm giving it a few days to see what happens. See, sorry if this stupid idea of charging for software bothers you, but tell my landlord. The jerk INSISTS on charging me rent, and in a few weeks, I won't have any way to pay him.

admins, please delete the whole thread.

another post, probably the same guy, said:
i am tempted to make a free widget that does the same. this widget doesn't do anything even remotely complicated.

save your money folks if i dont do it for free i am sure 20 other people will.

So I wrote:
Please do! If someone else had done it, I wouldn't have. But do remember

1) Not everyone can write a widget

2) Some people would rather pay someone else to do it for them. Me, I'd rather pay someone to scrub my toilet than do it myself.

3) You didn't think of it first. I've never seen a program like this, and I wanted one. I didn't make it for anyone else, I made it for myself. You don't like it, don't buy it.

4) The code is pretty simple, though there are some details that are a pain; you won't realize how much of a pain they were, because you'll probably just cut and paste the code from me. Which is theft, but whatever. I'm sure you didn't pay for your copy of Photoshop, either. But I spent several hours shooting and cleaning up the photographs, and they are the cool part. Do all the photography and coding yourself, and you've just saved yourself $7 for 3-8 hours work. Oooh! Big win!!!

Hey, tip if you decide to code it yourself: watch out for the escaped quotes in those calls to Applescript, I spent a couple of hours chasing one down. JSlint is helpful. It only takes one or two lines of code to turn the free version into the paid version. Oh, yeah, and I think the free version is pretty useful by itself.

I gave flores away for free, partly because I had to, partly because I wanted to. I didn't have to give coras away, but I did. So, I'd like to end this post with a four letter expletive and a three letter pronoun. There's an iTunes link on the flores site by the Beastie Boys that makes it more clear.

Figure it out.

Dunno, I thought it was worth saving.

And, I give up. So starman is free.