background image

AppleScript for fullscreen video playback

October 20, 2010

Several times over the last few years, me and my students at the Art Academy, or artists at BEK, have needed to set up automated fullscreen video playback from Mac for video screenings and exhibitions. This has often given better quality of the images as compared to DVD. More recently we have also ventured into compressing and authoring for Bluray, but there is still more research and testing to be done before we can consider it “smooth sailing”.

For Mac playback, here’s the general way of doing it:

  1. Put the video somewhere you can find and read it on the Mac. We’ll name the video and put it on the desktop of the Screening user.
  2. In Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accounts > Login Options set Automatic Login to Screenings
  3. In Apple Menu > System Preferences > Desktop and Screen Saver > Screen Saver set Start Screen Saver to Never
  4. In Apple Menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver >Power Adapter set Computer Sleep to Never and Display Sleep to Never. Furthermore uncheck Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible and check Start up automatically after a power failure.

Next we need to create an AppleScript that will launch and start playback automatically when the computer starts. In order to do so, open Applications > Utilities > AppleScript Editor, and past in the following script:

tell application “Finder”
open document file “” of folder “Desktop” of folder “Screening” of folder “Users” of startup disk using application file “QuickTime Player” of folder “Utilities” of folder “Applications” of startup disk
end tell
tell application “QuickTime Player 7”
present document 1
play document 1
set looping of document 1 to true
end tell

You will need to adjust this script according to the name and location of the movie file.

In AppleScript Editor choose File > Save as, decide where to save it, and set File Format to Application.

Now you can test it by double-clicking the resulting application and see if it works.

The final step is back in Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accounts again. Select the Screening user, got to Login Items, remove stuff that you don’t want there, and drag the AppleScript application in. Finally check the Hide toggle.

This was tested on Snow Leopard 10.6.4 having QuickTime Player 7 installed. Instruction on how to install QuickTime Player 7 can be found here.



  • Add support for Hiqh Quality, Singlefield and Interlaced to the ApplesSript.