Applescript grabbing a file before its done copying


We’ve written an Applescript which watches several folders located on a Sun server running helios. Users are copying files to these folders from Mac’s running OS X 10.3.9. When the script runs it moves the files from the hot folder into another folder, opens them in Photoshop, and then runs some actions on them. The problem we are experiencing is that when multiple files are copied into the hot folder our Applescript sometimes grabs these files before they are done copying, causing files to become corrupt. We’ve tried writing in a size check to see if the file is growing and if so, don’t copy, however this isn’t working well. Does anyone have suggestions on how to determine if files have finished copying or can you offer a quick fix for this?

thanks very much for your comments!!

What file types? JPEG, TIFF, etc??

The files that are being moved into the hot folders are HDR camera files. The script opens them, exports a TIFF and applies some corrections. The only issue is trying to get the script to wait for this file to finish copying before it grabs it and tries to open it. I think it may have something to do with the way Mac OS X copies files. It seems to put a 2k placeholder at the destination while it waits to copy. My script sees this placeholder, notices that it hasn’t changed in a few seconds, grabs it and tries to process it. We’ve tried adjusting the wait times but it’s not an ideal way to handle it because people can drop 2 files or 10 into a folder and the wait times would need to accomodate this variable.

Any ideas? Thanks!!

i’m going to have to deal with this problem soon as well and have been doing a little research online.

this is all i’ve come up with:

but i haven’t tried it yet, not sure if it will work on os x or not.

if anyone solves this, please reply to this thread!


Here’s the way I solved this problem… Don’t know if it will work for you. It checks the folder every 30 seconds and will deal with any number of files.

This could probably be done cleaner, but it works for me and I’m not messing with it. :D:D


Perhaps obviously, you’ll have to save this as a stay open application in order for the idle handler to work.

on run
	set myRec to {}
	set your_incoming_folder to "Folder where your files are."
end run

on idle
		set fileList to list folder your_incoming_folder without invisibles
	on error
		set myRec to {}
	end try
	repeat with aFile in fileList
		tell application "Finder" to set the_info to info for alias (your_incoming_folder & aFile)
		set file_name to name of the_info
		set new_file_size to size of the_info
		set old_file_size to getFromRec(file_name, myRec, 2)
		if old_file_size = new_file_size then -- done copying
			DeleteListItem(file_name, myRec) -- clear the record of this file
			--do your stuff here.
			set record_exists to getFromRec(file_name, myRec, 1)
			if record_exists = 0 then -- add a new record
				set the end of myRec to {file_name, new_file_size}
			else --update an existing record
				updateRec(file_name, myRec, new_file_size)
			end if
		end if
	end repeat
	return 30
end idle

on updateRec(theProp, theRec, updated_value)
	repeat with thisItem in theRec
		if item 1 of thisItem is theProp then
			set item 2 of thisItem to updated_value
		end if
	end repeat
end updateRec

on getFromRec(theProp, theRec, theItem)
	set found to false
	repeat with thisItem in theRec
		if item 1 of thisItem is theProp then
			set found to true
			exit repeat
		end if
	end repeat
	if found then
		return item theItem of thisItem
		return 0
	end if
end getFromRec

-- Delete list item "itemNum" from "theList"

on DeleteListItem(theProp, theList)
	--need to find out what item num it is.
	set itemNum to 1
	repeat with listItem in theList
		if item 1 of listItem is theProp then
			exit repeat
			set itemNum to itemNum + 1
		end if
	end repeat
	set theLength to length of theList
	if theLength < 2 then
		return {}
	else if itemNum = 1 then
		return items 2 thru theLength of theList
	else if itemNum = theLength then
		return items 1 thru (theLength - 1) of theList
		return ((items 1 thru (itemNum - 1) of theList) & (items (itemNum + 1) thru theLength of theList))
	end if
end DeleteListItem

You might also check out this…

See my comments here:


Thanks everyone for your help! I will review and give these a try.

Best regards,