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.