Workflow: Alfred and DMCA predefs at Automattic

In November 2014, my pal and colleague, Clicky Steve, posted at Transparency Report for Automattic, “Open Sourcing Our DMCA Process“:

[…] we are pleased to announce that today we are open sourcing our DMCA process docs on GitHub – under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

[…] there is also a comprehensive set of detailed ‘predefined replies’ that we use when corresponding with both users and complainants in specific situations.

For awhile, I had these saved as Snippets in Alfred, which meant I couldn’t easily share those with my team.

So, I made an Alfred workflow with the DMCA snippets I use most frequently:

screen shot a8c dmca predefs.png

When using the predefined reply To User → Processed Notice, we’re working with two browser tabs because we create a new ticket to the site owner.

After I confirm the notice is valid and process the takedown request, I do the following:

  1. Copy the text of the DMCA notice from the complainant, then press Control–Tab to switch to the new ticket in the other browser tab.
  2. Clicking in the body of the message, I summon Alfred ( ⌘–Spacebar ), enter the keyword dmca.b.proc, then press Enter.

How’d I save time?

  • Since I have the {clipboard} dynamic placeholder (Alfred) inserted where the complainant’s notice needs to be pasted, it saves me the motion of another copy-paste. Estimate: 5 seconds.
  • I don’t have to navigate through our ticket system snippets by trackpad. Estimate: 5 seconds.

Save ten seconds per notice — I’ll take it!

Assuming I don’t have any blockers for uploading the Alfred workflow to Automattic, I’ll work on sharing it in the near future. 🙂

Favorite workflows for Alfred 2

The following are a current, alphabetical list of workflows I’ve installed for Alfred 2. Enjoy the rabbit hole! 🙂

Caffeinate Control by Shawn Patrick Rice: Replaces the Caffeine Mac app.

Caffeinate is a native OS X command line utility that solves the problem of your Mac constantly falling asleep on you. […] Caffeinate was introduced in Mountain Lion (10.8)[…]

Chrome Bookmarks by Marat Dreizin: I remember seeing this workflow, and I’m glad I finally installed it.

Faves by David Ferguson:

Mark a folder/app/file as a favorite and then provide you with quick access to those items by a keyword.

Results from the workflow are actionable (marked as file items), they can be opened it by pressing Enter, browsed in Alfred by pressing Cmd+Enter, or removed from the favorites list by pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Menu Bar Search by Ted Wise: Despite the workflow page on Packal saying it isn’t compatible with Yosemite (10.10), it works fine for me.

Netflix Search by Dorian Karter: “Search, autocomplete and launch Netflix.” Update 2015-06-19: v1.5 doesn’t work with the Netflix website revamp, so I’ve stopped using this workflow.

Non-Secure Empty Trash by Arthur Hammer: With the Empty Trash securely option checked in Finder Preferences, the default Alfred command to empty your trash (“Empty”) means the files will be deleted securely. If you don’t have anything sensitive that requires a secure file deletion, this workflow will save that time.

OS X Toolbox Workflow by Sayz Lim: The “tb” keyword gives you eight options in Yosemite:

  • Relaunch Finder
  • Toggle Desktop
  • Toggle Hidden Files
  • Memory Purge
  • Reset Launch Services
  • Toggle WiFi
  • Reset Launchpad
  • Relaunch Dock

Random Choice by Clinton Strong: Leave indecisiveness to chance. Options include:

  • Get a yes or no response to, “Should I…?”
  • Flip a coin.
  • Choose a random number using a minimum or maximum value.
  • Choose ‘…’ from a comma separated list of values.
  • Roll the dice

Rate iTunes Track by David Klem: “Assign a star rating to the currently playing track in iTunes.” I use Smart Playlists. Most of those have a rule which require songs to have ratings, and a couple of them only play songs that need a rating. For the latter, this workflow speeds up that process. (Related post from March 2006: How I use the Grouping field in iTunes.)

Rdio by David Ferguson: “Control your local Rdio application, search for tracks, artists or albums to play, and also provide you with information about the currently playing track.”

YouTube by Simon Støvring: Search YouTube videos with Alfred 2 and the “yt” keyword. Includes eleven commands, which you (fortunately) don’t need to remember. 🙂

Honorable mentions

Add to Things by Kim Franken: Add new tasks to your lists in Things. I don’t use this because I prefer the Quick Entry window to add context immediately.

Sometimes, when you’re replying to an email or browsing the web, you might think of something you want to jot down. Things makes it easy to do that before you forget, and without losing focus on what you’re doing. You can even automatically link to a website, email, or file, and capture snippets of text that you need to refer to later.

You can see more details on the support page from Cultured Code, “Creating To-Dos From Other Apps“.

Bluetooth Toggle by Jakob Wells for Yosemite only. For older versions of OS X, you can try another workflow here.

PingPong by Vítor Galvão: Hold the ⌘ (Command) key, look for the word “Pong”, and press the corresponding number to hit the ball. There are three difficulty levels.

Photo workflow and my iPhone

I’m annoyed with the disorganized amount of photos I’ve accumulated on my iPhone, and I currently synchronize (backup) my iPhone photos to my laptop with iPhoto. My slight frustration was more obvious after my recent trip to Tybee Island, GA to meet up with my coworkers because I had to process photos taken on two different devices.

I never pondered this issue with my Android phone because I didn’t take pride in those photos.

Problem: I don’t use iPhoto for anything else, so why do I keep using it?

Solution: Plug my iPhone into my laptop with the USB cable, then import directly from Lightroom for culling and processing. Then, I believe I can delete the photos from my iPhone with Apple’s Image Capture.

Last night, I processed photos taken from my iPhone with Camera+, but since I was at home, I’ll do this from now on. (If I’m out and about, and I’d like to post a photo here, I’ll process from Camera+ and upload right away.)

Geotagging revisited

Last year, I wrote about my geotagging workflow with the Amod AGL3080 GPS Data Logger, Lightroom, and GeoSetter. Since I’ve been doing it for nearly a year, I felt compelled to write an update.

Here’s my current geotagging workflow:

  1. Copy photos to my “To geotag” folder on my Drobo.
  2. Geotag photos with GeoSetter.
  3. Import photos into Lightroom.

GPSBabel is extraneous for the Amod AGL3080

GeoSetter reads the log file just fine, no converting necessary. (Thanks George!)

If you don’t have that GPS data logger, you might need GPSBabel.

Save time by creating favorites in GeoSetter

GeoSetter defaults to somewhere in Germany. If you take photos around a few places regularly, and you’re not using a GPS data logger, create a favorite at that location.

For example, when I’m going to and from work, I’m usually around Los Angeles Union Station, Koreatown, and Sierra Madre Villa Station in Pasadena. So, I made favorites for those spots.

GeoSetter quirks

Sometimes, the server won’t connect. An annoyance in which you have to wait until it does.

Any ideas or solutions for this one?

Dump your photos in a “To geotag” folder

Since I want to have my photos geotagged on my computer (before uploading to Flickr and/or Bryan Villarin Photography), I don’t edit any of them in Lightroom until that step is done.


The “Read metadata from file” step [in Lightroom] will overwrite the metadata with the one saved from GeoSetter.


Do you still use the Amod AGL3080?

Yes, and it’s still a champ. I wouldn’t see any reason to go with another one.

What if I don’t have a GPS data logger?

Get the Localize bookmarklet. You’ll love the place/address search. So, if you’re photowalking, bring pen and paper, then write your location every few minutes (e.g. Wilshire and Normandie, Los Angeles). After you’ve uploaded your photos, refer to your notes and geotag accordingly.

Why geotag?

It’s a slick way to see where you’ve been. You might also want to revisit a place or inspire others to check it out.

Of course, don’t geotag where you or your friends live. Be safe.

What did I miss? Share your suggestions with everyone else!

Mel's Drive-In

Mel's Drive-In

Unlike my other photo of the Mel’s Drive-In sign near Hollywood and Highland, producing this was more involved.

I got closer because there was a billboard behind and to the left of the “Open 24 Hours” sign. Then, I took three landscape exposures (from bottom to top) to create a panorama.

After stitching the photos together, I used lens correction to reduce the distortion 18mm would make. Then, I cloned out the corner of a building at the lower left side of the frame.

Since I finally learned [non-destructive] dodging and burning, I used that technique to subtly brighten the darker areas of the sign.

Back in Lightroom, I square cropped the photo then used a few presets:

To finish things off, I slightly increased the exposure and fill light to my liking.

I hope you like it!

View on Flickr

My new geotagging workflow with the Amod AGL3080 and Lightroom (Windows)

After my trip to my Hawaii, I finally realized how much I want a GPS data logger for geotagging. So, after the TWIP recommendation for the Amod AGL3080 GPS Data Logger and a bit of reading, I decided to buy one.

Oh yeah, it helped that Semsons is literally a mile from me — and they allow for pickup! That saved me eight bucks. Note: I’m not affiliated with Semsons. I bought the device with my own money.

I went for a drive to get some ice cream, then In-N-Out. I took a few photos while I was out, of course.

Back at home, I plugged in my Amod AGL3080 and copied the log file to my desktop.

I ran the GPSBabel (GUI) to convert the log file so GeoSetter could read it. Set the input format to NMEA 0183 sentences, choose the log file on your desktop, then choose an output format and new filename. For GeoSetter, choose GPX XML.

If you want to make a map with Google Earth, choose Google Earth (Keyhole) Markup Language. Then, you can open that log file and visually see the route like so:

Google Earth screenshot of my test route using the Amod AGL3080

Import your photos into your Lightroom as usual. I don’t use the DNG format right now — I keep the original RAW files and use XMP sidecar files.

Run GeoSetter and set the file options for the type of photos your working with. I enable “Save data in XMP sidecar files.”

Now, navigate to the photos and select all the photos your log file applies to. Then, go to Images > Synchronize with GPS Data Files (Ctrl+G). Since I’m at home, I used the Local Windows Settings for the time adjustment. (I’m sure I need more research on this section, but this’ll work for now.)

Click OK, then it’ll popup a box confirming the photos that the log applies to. Click YES, and it’ll write the locations for each photos, prompting for the different sublocations if applicable. (How’s that for more details?)

Your last step in GeoSetter is to save that data to the XMP files. Ctrl+S does the trick, backs up the original XMP files, and writes the new ones.

Finally, in Lightroom, select the photo(s) you just geotagged in GeoSetter, right-click and go to Metadata > Read metadata from file. It’ll throw up one last warning, but you’ll be fine — click Read.

Now, if you look at the metadata on the right pane (Loupe View in Library), Location should be filled in. Also, notice the plethora of additional keywords? Flickr can read this and I’m sure Picasa Web can, too.

Now, process your photos like normal. When you export your geotagged photos to JPEG and upload them to Flickr, they’ll already be geotagged.

How awesome is that?

Please look at the sources for Mac solutions and other software recommendations.



Updates 6/25/08 2pm PDT

I posted a link to this in the TWIP Flickr group and have already received a couple insightful and encouraging comments that my workflow is legit. (Thanks guys!)

Gunnar Steinn suggested merging points closer than ten meters to keep the GPX file slim. I need to figure this out or someone needs to show me how. Also, don’t edit the photos before geotagging because “it will get lost when you reread the files.” (permalink) That hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’ll be working on them after the fact anyway.

k2pi” also loves the Amod AGL3080, but uses RoboGEO as his software solution. A single user personal license is $39.95. (permalink)

Update 5/26/2009 – I forgot to link to “Geotagging revisited.” It’s an addendum to this post.