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Is there any program available that can start up specific webpages or click "play" on a specific VLC window or that can start up an audiobook in my Audible app at a set time? I'm looking for a simple app that doesn't require knowledge of scripts like http://app.jbbres.com/actions/. I need something that can record me "playing an action" and then replay that action at a set time; which means the app needs to have an alarm/timer of some sort to wake itself into action at a specific set time. Also, is there an automation app that can "read" an already opened program sitting in the taskbar and be able to navigate through it without my presence?

Freeware or for-pay software (under $80) is good as long as the app has an easy learning curve and is easily manoeuvrable by a keyboard.

Win 7 Pro. IE 9.

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Does it need to be freeware, or would you consider paid software? –  Oliver G Jul 24 '12 at 9:57
    
Paidware is fine too. –  verve Jul 24 '12 at 20:59
    
In that case, the software in my answer below can do everything you want. –  Oliver G Jul 25 '12 at 13:27

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted
+50

WinAutomation has an extensive featureset, including a macro recorder and a scheduler.

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So, besides being able to open up apps etc. on a timer can WinAutomation be set to navigate already opened apps? –  verve Jul 25 '12 at 22:10
1  
Whoa, pretty pricey...have you used this piece of software yourself? –  verve Jul 26 '12 at 9:09
    
I haven't personally used it, but a colleague of mine used it to automate a task and found it extremely versatile. If it's a bit out of your price range, just search for "Macro Software with scheduler" and you will find plenty of alternative options (albeit a bit lighter on features). –  Oliver G Jul 26 '12 at 12:08
    
Good company with good support so I go with your recommendation although it's pricey. –  verve Aug 1 '12 at 9:28

I would suggest checking out Z-Cron, been using it for years, free for personal use.

has every conceivable programmers delight for automation.

http://www.z-cron.com/scheduler.html

http://www.z-cron.com/download.html

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Looks good, but I don’t see anything about automating input. –  Synetech Jul 27 '12 at 22:15
    
@Synetech: Thanks for letting me know. I had taken a quick look and I thought I had seen a timer! –  verve Jul 28 '12 at 1:15
    
@verve, yes, it can schedule tasks (that’s kind of the whole point to it), but I don’t see anything about automating input like clicking a button in a program or recording and playing back keyboard/mouse events. –  Synetech Jul 28 '12 at 2:43
    
@Synetech: I thought the automatimg part is the macro stuff...? –  verve Jul 29 '12 at 3:15
    
@verve, it can automate, or schedule things to happen at certain times, but not automate input like mouse clicks and keys; those are two very different things. –  Synetech Jul 29 '12 at 15:34

AutoHotkey is an extremely versatile macro program that can basically do anything and everything.

For examples of using it with timers, see :

AutoHotKey script for scheduling recordings
schedule your tasks quickly

Here is a reproduction script from the second link, that runs programs & closes windows :

;author: Salvatore Agostino Romeo
#Persistent
#SingleInstance force
IniRead, numberOfItem, scheduler.ini, init, noi, 6
noi:=numberOfItem
Loop,%noi% ;get values from .ini
{
   IniRead,itemName%A_Index%,scheduler.ini,item%A_Index%,name
   IniRead,itemDay%A_Index%,scheduler.ini,item%A_Index%,day
   IniRead,itemHour%A_Index%,scheduler.ini,item%A_Index%,hour
   IniRead,itemMin%A_Index%,scheduler.ini,item%A_Index%,min
   IniRead,itemCommand%A_Index%,scheduler.ini,item%A_Index%,command
   IniRead,itemProgram%A_Index%,scheduler.ini,item%A_Index%,program
}
SetTimer,schedule,59000
return

schedule:
Loop,%noi%
    if(itemHour%A_Index%=A_HOUR and itemMin%A_Index%=A_MIN
            and (itemDay%A_Index%=A_DDD or  itemDay%A_Index%="all"
            or itemDay%A_Index%=A_DD or itemDay%A_Index%="Today"))
       if(itemCommand%A_Index%="run")
          run,% itemProgram%A_Index%
       else
          if(itemCommand%A_Index%="close")
             WinClose,% itemProgram%A_Index%
return
esc::
exitapp

And an example config script which runs Notepad then closes it a minute later:

[init]
noi=2
[item1]
name=Run Notepad
day=all
hour=8
min=11
command=run
program=notepad
[item2]
name=Close Notepad
day=all
hour=8
min=12
command=close
program=Untitled - Notepad
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AutoIT is another simple to learn scripting tool with macro recorder. Also has a focus tracker if you want to manually script it. The tutorial is very easy to run through.

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