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Zach Leatherman

Wake up to YouTube on my Internet Alarm Clock

18 Jun 2007 Zach Leatherman

Update: Try the new ALARMd 2 Beta, with Google Calendar integration and offline Youtube caching.

Did you take your contacts out last night and you can’t see the time on your alarm clock from all the way across the room?

I’m here to calm your fears. Enter ALARMD, the Internet Alarm Clock. Wake up to any Youtube video (that allows embedding), a last.fm user stream or tag, or any mp3 hosted online. There are a few defaults in there, but you can add and modify your own.

Now that's an alarm clock

Features:

  • Supports multiple alarms (ALT R to add an alarm or use the Add Alarm button).
  • Options for 24 Hour (Military) time and Seconds display
  • Supports MP3 (hosted online), YouTube videos (that allow embedding), and last.fm user or tag streams.
  • Key Mash Mode to kill the alarm (hit five random keys in one second)
  • Time Font Size customization (automatically size to the width of the window using the Max option)
  • Typical alarm clock colors: Red, Green, or Blue
  • Alarm Toggle based on the Day of the Week
  • Test button to make sure your speaker volume is set correctly.
  • Sleep Mode button to get rid of the extra GUI while you don’t need it.
  • Save all of your settings, URL’s, and alarms locally in a cookie (you don’t need yet another account to use this)

Things to think about:

  • Power Settings – disable your screen saver, or any sort of automatic suspend or sleep setting. In my testing, having your monitor go into power save mode is acceptable, and the alarms will still sound (but you might want to test this yourself and leave a comment with your result).
  • You might not want to use with a CRT, for fear of burn in.
  • Personally, I like to use this in Opera, just because their default full screen mode (F11) doesn’t have toolbars or a status bar. But you can use the Fuller Screen Firefox plug-in to soup up your Firefox for similar functionality.
  • Word of warning, the window must have focus to autoplay YouTube videos.
  • Make sure your local time on your computer is correct, especially if you are traveling between time zones. It doesn’t do any server side validation on the time (yet?).

Possible Future Improvements:

  • Countdown mode, displays amount of time until next alarm in place of the clock (good for timed presentations, where you want to see how much time is left before you have to quit).
  • Google Gears integration for offline mode (if your internet goes out during the night)
  • Support customizing source URL’s on a per alarm basis.
  • Support days of the week toggle on a per alarm basis.
  • Support user specified color customization.
  • A crescendo alarm MP3 that increases in volume for a more peaceful wake up experience.
  • An alarm MP3 with especially violent noises for heavy sleepers.
  • An alarm MP3 of my mom’s voice to get that nice feeling of childhood back.

This internet application was built using the Yahoo UI Libraries (YUI) and Jack Slocum’s Ext DomQuery class. It is written entirely without using any server side programming languages, and therefore can be saved to your local machine. Not that anyone might want to use the Internet Alarm Clock, but if you do, I declare it officially released under the BSD license. Just don’t forget to cite the source when you redistribute.

Update: added a couple more things to think about.

23 Comments

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Wow, nice project. i found your site from delicious. Many users bookmark your alarmd.

Don't know how feasible this would be but I'm looking for an alarm clock that play my favorite 15-minute morning podcast as an alarm.

Yeah nice idea, just 1 thing tho ... i have explorer and i f11 without toolbars or status bar. It automaticly goes away (its not default, but you can change the settings).

Just wanted to thank you for this nice project. I just build a "alarm clock" myself as a project for home automation. I think I will add your Software to it in a few days. If you are interested I write a buildlog on my website mpollak.bytehal.de but it's in german.

I could try to translate some parts for you, if you'd like.

Well again, thank you for this smart project (and sry for my bad english).

I will try it tonight to going work... I TRUST IN YOU!

Zach Leatherman

06 Jul 2007 at 05:48AM

Feature Update:
Added "Countdown Mode"
Edit Alarms with a Double Click
Easier Delete of Alarm
Moved less used features into an "Options" expandable

Fixed:
"Max" bug where the text was already wider than the viewport.

Mordechai (Morty) Schiller

03 Sep 2007 at 07:37PM

Thanks for the time!
Just one question--Every time I go into ALARMd,com, I get a message that says "you need at least one alarm to be in Count Down mode"... even if I don't have any alarms set! Is there a way to bypass that warning?
Morty

Zach Leatherman

03 Sep 2007 at 07:42PM

Yeah, looks like you have your preferences saved in Count Down mode without any alarms. Save your preferences again with the Count Down mode unchecked and it won't give you that error.

Count Down mode requires one alarm to have something to count down to. So if you try to go into Count Down mode without an alarm, it will give you that error and turn the mode off automatically.

Mordechai (Morty) Schiller

04 Sep 2007 at 12:07AM

Thanks...
Only I don't have Count Down checked. And I don't have any alarms set... and it still gives me that message!

Mordechai (Morty) Schiller

04 Sep 2007 at 12:15AM

The plot thickens...
It only happens in Firefox (my default browser). It doesn't happen when I go into ALARMd in IE!
Curiouser and curiouser!

could you add a way to have different alarms work for different days?

like at school on mwf i have to get up at one time, and on tues/thurs i have to get up at a different one, but as it is now i would have to remove and re add the alarm each day, if the day selection was independent for each alarm that would be great.

YOU SIR, SAVED MY JOB!

reason, my little brother left my celll phone[only alarn i own] in the rain and i had to be at woek in the morning...

thanls!

Great project! I am setting up a PC at the bed side now so as to impliment this.

I vote for the different alarm times on different days, a snooze would be great, also the crescendo alarm volume would be great or a different volume for different alarms so that when I've hit the snooze and am about to pass the point of no return it blasts!!!

I'm using it! Otherwise I will not wake up!
Only one problem: some times I lose my saved data :'(

Cool stuff - i may be able to use this for work. Good work.

Fernandes, Paulo

21 Sep 2008 at 05:43PM

Great job,

Its very good I already use it at work. I tried the new one ALARMd 2 Beta, but I drop it because it does not support multiple alarms. I would like to tell you how your efforts are appreciated.

(sorry for my english. I'm not a native)

Zach Leatherman

21 Sep 2008 at 08:42PM

Thanks Paulo!

You can use multiple alarms with ALARMd 2 if you use a shared Google Calendar to manage your alarms with.

Hey Zach,

Thanks for AlarmD, it's becoming a corner stone of my day... keeping me reminded of the valuable time clicking away... Thanks for this great App.

It totally increased my productivity.

-Quang

I can hardly believe you haven't monetized this yet. I use your alarm every day and I would gladly click on some ads to make you a little extra cash for the great service you've created.

This is a great one!
I was searching for an alarm and this one is the perfect one, thanks. =)

I can't access many youtube videos. It says "embedding disabled by request." Can you help me out?

Zach Leatherman

13 Mar 2009 at 10:12PM

Whether or not to allow embedding is something every video publisher decides when they put their content on YouTube. If you want to change it, you should ask the content owner to change the preference in the comments on the video's YouTube page.