Have you ever wanted to listen to music as you drift off to sleep, and have the music turn itself off after you’ve made it to the land of Nod? Most clock radios can do this, of course, but if you want to play music from your Mac until you fall asleep, it’s more complicated.
Simplifying this process is the idea behind Sleepytime
(Mac App Store link), a nifty application that can rock you to sleep with your favorite tunes. Fire up iTunes and start playing whatever you want to listen to, and then launch Sleepytime. Choose how long you want iTunes to play (in minutes, hours, or even days), as well as the duration of the fadeout that occurs after that time (in seconds or minutes). You can also have Sleepytime quit automatically after it stops the music, or the program can log you out of your account or sleep, shut down, or restart your Mac. Finally, you can opt to have Sleepytime display a soothing black backdrop with track information while iTunes plays.
Sleepytime can also wake you up to your favorite tunes. Set a time to wake up, choose a playlist, and decide whether you want the “alarm” to start at full volume immediately or to fade in so you won’t be jolted awake by the sudden sound. When your wakeup time arrives, the music starts, and you get an onscreen dialog with options to stop the music or just snooze it a bit.
While Sleepytime does its job nicely, I experienced a couple issues. First, if you’ve set Sleepytime to put your Mac to sleep or shut it down, and you’ve opted for the program’s dark “full screen” mode, your Mac’s screen momentarily reverts to its normal brightness before your Mac sleeps or shuts down. The developer says this will be fixed in a future release; until then, if you want to avoid being awakened by the bright light, you should turn down your display’s brightness before using Sleepytime. Second, while Sleepytime can wake you up, it cannot wake up your Mac. You can get around this limitation by setting a wake-up time yourself (using the Schedule option in OS X’s Energy Saver preferences—click the Schedule button and configure your Mac to wake up just before Sleepytime is set to start playing), but this seems like an unnecessary hassle.
Despite these two quibbles, Sleepytime is a simple application that makes it easy to program Mac music playback. If you like to go to sleep or wake up to your favorite tunes, you’ll find it’s an excellent program to have.
Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn (Twitter: @mcelhearn) writes about more than just Macs on his blog Kirkville. Kirk’s latest book is Take Control of iTunes 10: The FAQ.
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