Faster user swiching in Panther is a Good Thing

by brian d foy

I have been playing around with iTunes again. I have a Perl module that mostly parses the iTunes binary file format, but I have not been able to update it for iTunes 4 since I have been away.

When I first created this module, I played all sorts of games with folders and aliases and whatnot so I could perserve my music directory and database while still create new music libraries so I could figure out which bits meant what data.

The way to do that is to compare the same file with slight difference---change the Composer and see what changes in the file, or change the equalizer adjustment and see what is new.

Tonight, when I was playing around, I wanted to skip all of that, and I had the really old-but-new-to-me idea of creting other user on my Powerbook and doing all of my work there. Through the Accounts control panel I created a "tunes" user, and with the NetInfo utility I set up its directory, shell, and other things.

However, I am still using Jaguar. I did not want to chance a bad installation and be stuck with a 6 pound paperweight in the middle of Iraq, even though Panther seems to work fine on my computers back home. So, in Jaguar, I log off, log in as the tunes user, work a little, and discover I need to do something as my normal user, like get to a file. Since I was the only real user, I never bothered with proper groups and permissions.

I logged out and back in several times as I moved things around so I could get things done, and every time I did that some little voice in my head taunted me "And you thought that was a stupid feature in Panther! Suffer, fool, suffer!"

Darn you Apple!

Admit it, you thought something was stupid but found it useful.


2004-01-08 13:03:46
Save the folder
You can play around with the itunes data using just one user. Quit iTunes and Save your original iTunes folder in ~/Music to a different place. Start iTunes, it'll create a new folder and data file. Play around with it all you want. When you want your original settings, delete the new iTunes folder in ~/Music and replace it with the original one. Start iTunes and you'll be fine.
2004-01-08 13:14:54
An applescript to automate the switching
That's exactly what I do to swithc between my local iTunes (_loc) and my library on a firewire drive (_fw). The folder Music_fw has an alias to the actual drive. Here is an applescript to quickly toggle back and forth.

tell application "Finder"
if (the folder "Music_fw" of folder "user1" of folder "Users" of startup disk exists) then
set name of folder "Music" of folder "user1" of folder "Users" of startup disk to "Music_loc"
set name of folder "Music_fw" of folder "user1" of folder "Users" of startup disk to "Music"
set name of folder "Music" of folder "user1" of folder "Users" of startup disk to "Music_fw"
set name of folder "Music_loc" of folder "user1" of folder "Users" of startup disk to "Music"
end if
end tell

2004-01-09 10:05:25
Save the folder
That is what I was doing before, and as I said, I would rather not mess with my personal stuff to do that. With a separate account I can play with it all I want and I do not have to worry about moving folders around. This is especially handy when my Music folder is 40 Gb.

The special user is much more handy, but to each his own.

2004-02-24 15:40:13
An applescript to automate the switching
Heh, good thing! Works right, thanks from Lw.