Workspace Correspondence

Sometimes it would be nice if you could correspond with a QLab workspace from anywhere in the world, tell it what to do, and for it to reply and tell you what it was up to.

Here it is in action (Best viewed full screen):

An email is sent with the subject line #OSC

This is received by Mail running on the same computer as the remote QLab workspace.

Immediately it is picked up by a rule which tells Mail to run a script if any email with that subject is received.

The script is executed. It translates the body text of the email to an OSC instruction which it sends to QLab

It starts a  script cue in QLab numbered REPLY, which sends an email to you with a list of all currently running cues.

How to correspond with your QLab:

First we have to write a script which we can use with a rule in the Apple Mail application.

tell application “Mail”
set themessages to messages of inbox
set themessage to first item of themessages
set thecommand to content of themessage
end tell
tell application id “com.figure53.qlab.4” to tell front workspace
do shell script “echo ” & the quoted form of (thecommand) & ” | nc -u -w 0 53535″
start cue “REPLY”
end tell

We save this  script as QlabOSC.scpt in Library/Application Scripts/

In  the Rules tab of Mail preferences, we add a rule to run the script any time an email is received with the subject line: #OSC


In the QLab workspace, we create a new cue list and put a script cue in it numbered REPLY


tell application id “com.figure53.QLab.4” to tell front workspace
set cuelister to “”
repeat with eachcue in (active cues as list)
set cuelister to cuelister & “—” & q number of eachcue & ” • ” & q display name of eachcue
end repeat
end try
end tell
tell application “Mail”
set themessage to make new outgoing message with properties {visible:true, subject:”From your QLab Workspace”, content:”Thank you. Command acknowledged. I am now playing” & cuelister}
tell themessage
make new to recipient at end of to recipients with properties {name:”your name”, address:””}
end tell
send themessage
end tell

Put your name and email address in this script!

We then make sure we have QLab and Mail open and QLab is set to the main cue list at the top of the show.

Here is an example email:


Other examples of OSC messages we might use are:

/panic  to stop the workspace





/cue/1001/start   etc.

Here is a typical reply from the workspace:


You can download an example workspace without audio,  and the OSC script here

If you just want to send an email or SMS  from QLab, perhaps confirming a wall clock has fired, or similar then you can use.

tell application “Mail”
set theSubject to “Your Subject” — the subject
set theContent to “Your message body” — the content
set theAddress to “” — the receiver
set msg to make new outgoing message with properties {subject:theSubject, content:theContent, visible:true}
tell msg to make new to recipient at end of every to recipient with properties {address:theAddress}
delay 1
send msg
end tell
set message to the “Your Message”
tell application “Messages”
send message to buddy “PHONE NUMBER” of service “SMS”
end tell
delay 5
tell application “Messages” to quit



Chapter Author: Mic Pool

Chapter Graphic: Photo by Piotr Zurek
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

Modified Image distributed under the same terms
Creative Commons Licence