Services for quickly opening iTunes and MAS links

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In Chrome and Safari I disable external URLS for iTunes and the Mac App Store to avoid the apps opening every time I look up an app. In Safari I use No More iTunes, and in Chrome I just disable external links of those types using the built-in security tools. However, I sometimes do want to open iTunes or the MAS, which can be cumbersome — especially in Chrome — if the process is disabled.

Thus, I made a few quick System Services for handling this. The first set, “Open in iTunes” and “Open in MAS” take text as input and — if it matches a url for an iTunes or MAS link — opens it in the destination app. I couldn’t find an easy way to differentiate between the two types of url, so it currently requires that you choose iTunes or MAS and run the appropriate service. I can quickly copy a url and run this from LaunchBar and pressing Space to paste the url in, or I can select a link and right click it to run the Service directly.

To make this a little handier, I created a pair that opens the url in the front tab of the browser directly. By default it works with Chrome, but with a quick edit in Automator (comment one line, uncomment another), it will work with Safari instead. You can run them from LaunchBar (or any launcher that can run Services) or with a right click any time you don’t have text selected. The scripts inside can be easily extracted using Automator and could be applied to any kind of action script or extension that can run a shell script.

Nothing big, just a quick tool that happens to be handy in my set of circumstances. There’s a download below containing all four services, and you can see the how-to page if you’re unsure how to install and use them.

Open link in iTunes or MAS v1.0

Quickly open iTunes and MAS urls in their destination application

Updated Tue Jan 22 2013.

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