Using iTunes as a grocery list creation and management tool

Rafagon

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Dec 7, 2011
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#1
It is possible to use iTunes to create, store, and even print out grocery lists! Why allow yourself to go to the grocery store and forget a crucial item? Simply launch iTunes, and locate an album in your library you don't care very much for (preferably one with 20+ tracks). Rename the tracks to reflect the names of the items you need on your upcoming grocery trip. Use the stars to rate the items (more stars = more badly needed items). Lastly, highlight the tracks, then go to File > Print, and voilà! Instant grocery list!

Note: the stars won't print, so you'll have to add the stars to your printout by hand.

Here's an example:

grocerylist.jpeg
 

Rafagon

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Dec 7, 2011
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#4
How about using Notes? It's built in, don't have to sync every time you add a different flavor of pop tart and it can auto sync across devices. ( So you can tote your iPad around to the store if ya want )
Edit;
Or use one of the million plus grocery list apps that are free?
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shopping-list-free-grocery/id365189604?mt=8
That's also a possibility. However, unlike an iPad, a hard copy will never run out of batteries. Plus, you can save it for posterity. Let's say it's Mary's and your first grocery trip together as a married couple. You can frame the printout, but you can't really frame an iPad or iPhone!


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Europa

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Dec 12, 2008
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#6
That's also a possibility. However, unlike an iPad, a hard copy will never run out of batteries. Plus, you can save it for posterity. Let's say it's Mary's and your first grocery trip together as a married couple. You can frame the printout, but you can't really frame an iPad or iPhone!
And I thought I was sentimental.
 

RoofMonkey

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Jun 21, 2010
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#8
That's also a possibility. However, unlike an iPad, a hard copy will never run out of batteries. Plus, you can save it for posterity. Let's say it's Mary's and your first grocery trip together as a married couple. You can frame the printout, but you can't really frame an iPad or iPhone!
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You can print, send as an email or text all from the Notes app ;)
 

Skb2000

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Jul 1, 2010
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www.sherrylbuchler.com
#10
There is an easier app called Buy Me a Pie. It syncs automatically across all your IOS devices. I cannot recall if I paid for it or not, but I use it all the time. I can easily add to it as I think of things whether I am on my ipad or just have the iPhone. Nothing convoluted about it.
 

Rafagon

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Dec 7, 2011
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#16
I am pleased to announce that I have made several improvements to my idea of using iTunes as a grocery list creation and management tool. I am calling this implementation "iTunes Grocery List 2.0."

Eager to get started? I bet you are! Follow my simple directions and you will do just fine. First and foremost, I am no longer relying on using songs from albums I don't care about to use as entries in the iTunes database. Instead, I made a two-second "dummy" recording using Audacity and exported it as an .mp3 file. I then used Finder to create multiple copies of this file (create as many copies as you'll have items in your grocery list). Each copy of the file takes up only 33KB of space (even less if you manage to create a shorter recording in Audacity than the one I created). The number of entries in my grocery list will be limited only by my available hard drive space. Currently, I have ~237GB of space available on my iMac's internal HD alone. This means that, using my two-second "dummy" recordings, my grocery list can accommodate ~7,500,000 entries. It is safe to say that I will likely not run out of space during the creation of any given grocery list. Here is the how the "source data" should look in Finder:

grocery list mp3s.jpeg (click to enlarge)

Now, on to the fun and exciting part! Highlight all the files in this folder (click anywhere inside the folder, then press ⌘+A). After all the files are highlighted, perform a right-click on your mouse or trackpad, then select Open With, then click on iTunes and give iTunes a second or two to import all these files into your library. Now locate the newly imported files in your iTunes library. Highlight any one of them, then right-click, then select Get Info. Click on the Info tab. Now, use the "Name" field for the exact name of the item you need, and the "Artist" field for the category of the item. In the "Album" field, you'll want to input an "en-space." You can copy and paste it from right here, in between the brackets: [ ]. This is simply to make the final result as neat as possible. Do this for all the entries in iTunes you just created, or until you finish your grocery list (you can delete any unneeded entries). You'll notice, in the illustration below, that I have cleverly taken advantage of the "Artwork" field to group items by category and provide a pictorial representation of the category of the items in the list (this part is optional, but very helpful). Also, I am setting the "Year" field to (current_year+1), so that I can sort the list by descending Year and have my grocery list appear above all my music. You can batch-select multiple entries and enter (current_year_+1) for all of them, so as to save time and wear and tear on your keyboard (ask me if you don't know how to do this).

Here is how my finalized grocery list looks (click to expand):

iTunes Grocery List 2.0.jpeg


Now, if you're like me, you're probably thinking, "I wanna take this to the next level. I wanna bring this awesome grocery list with me to the store, and I wanna use my iDevice, because taking my iMac to the grocery store and asking the manager to let me borrow an electrical outlet is impractical. Can I do this?"

You'll be pleased when you hear the answer: "Yes."

You will recall that my previous method involved making a hard copy of the list and bringing it to the grocery store. But, the goal nowadays is to go paperless, right? Decidedly, it is! So, let's sync this list to our iDevice so we can bring it to the store!

Start by creating a Smart Playlist (click on File > New > Smart Playlist...). In the resulting dialog box, check (tick) Match the following rule: and set the following three fields as follows: Year, is, 2014. Be sure that Live updating is checked (ticked). The completed dialog box should look like this:

Year_is_2014.jpeg


Click on OK, enter a name for your grocery list (be as wild as you want!), and voilà, you now have a Smart Playlist that includes only the items in your grocery list.

To sync your newly created Smart Playlist, plug in your iDevice to your computer via USB (or use Wi-Fi syncing; if you haven't set it up, here are the instructions). Click on your device name on the left sidebar of iTunes. Click on Music (right below the status window). Check (tick) Sync Music. Find your playlists under Playlists and check (tick) the name of the grocery list you just created.

Wait for the sync to finish. Now, grab your iDevice and tap on Music. Then tap Playlists on the bottom of the screen.

The resulting grocery list on your iDevice looks quite elegant, if I do say so myself!

Now, when you're done gathering all your groceries in your grocery cart, you might want to do a final quick check to make sure you haven't missed anything. You can scroll up and down the list and visually inspect your cart, but this method can be rather unexciting. Tap on Shuffle Playlist and you'll see items from your shopping list quickly flashing by in a totally random fashion. Hurry and find the item in your cart before the screen changes! Important: Let this go on for a couple of minutes to ensure that each item is displayed at least once.

Check out Rafagon's iTunes Grocery List 2.0 in action!

(You can enlarge the player window by clicking on the rightmost icon on the row of icons at the bottom.)

 

RoofMonkey

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Jun 21, 2010
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#19
Using my pen/pencil & paper idea, I scribed what we needed, went to the store, purchased said items and got home in the time it took @Rafagon to post his instructions. Bwaahahaa.
JK
(I also put them all away)