Aurora makes waking up fun…well, almost.


I’ve checked out various iTunes alarm clock programs in the past couple years. While many of them had some of the features I wanted, I found that most were lacking in ways that were deal-breakers for me.

I eventually settled on a solution that involved an Applescript which was scheduled to run every day. While this solution was certainly flexible, it was hardly intuitive. If I decided I wanted to wake to a different playlist, I would have to edit my script. If I decided I wanted to sleep in the next morning, I would have to change that in iCal. There was also no snooze function, which is mandatory for someone like me who hates getting out of bed in the morning.

This solution worked well enough until I recently discovered Aurora, a very simple yet powerful program which allows you to create alarms for iTunes or EyeTV.

As you would expect, Aurora allows you to create alarms which play specified playlists. Aside from the normal features, it also has a sleep feature, which will stop or fade out playback after a certain duration and will even put your Mac to sleep after this is complete. Alarms can even be set to wake the computer at the specified time, allowing you to put your machine to sleep at night and not worry about your alarm the next morning. Each alarm can also set the iTunes and system volume on a per-alarm basis.

Aurora allows you to use the Apple Remote to both activate the sleep countdown and to activate snooze after an alarm sounds. So far this has been one of my favorite features. Aurora also allows you to use Applescript to extend its functionality even further.

So if you’re looking for a better way to wake up in the morning, I advise you to check out Aurora. It’s a free program and donations are accepted.



I also use Awaken, and have for well-over a year. It has most of the features that Aurora seems to have, although it lacks the ability to set specific volumes for each alarm. It does allow for globally setting alarms to a particular system and iTunes volume though, as well as allowing for fading in the music. (When using the sleep function, it can also be set to fade out the music.) It can also fade in the screen brightness.

One of my favorite features has to be the full-screen alarm mode, though. I’m bleary enough in the morning that it’s nice to have large buttons and a dark background to work with, instead of being blinded by a bright desktop image while I try to turn off the alarm before it wakes my roommate.

So, yeah. Definitely a fan of Awaken.

Rob Sayers

I see what you mean. I actually took the screenshot like that on purpose to give it a more “in use” look, than just grabbing the app window alone. However I can see that might not have been the best idea. I’ll try just the app window next time, thanks for the comment :)


Not related to the blog post, but more the picture.
It’s rather distracting having a screenshot of an application with all your other stuff behind it – Shift+Cmd+4 and then press Space will take a screenshot of just the specified window =)

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