How can I get an email alert when a web page changes?
October 4, 2008 7:27 PM   Subscribe

I need to automatically refresh a web page and be alerted via email (or run an applescript) when it changes.

There are a few commercial apps that do this, but they're Windows based and I'm on a Mac. I'd also prefer something that's freeware. There's also a couple Firefox add-ons which will automatically check a page for changes, but none that I've found allow for an email alert (or to run an applescript).
posted by tamagosan to Technology (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Change Detection. I think it will do exactly what you need.
posted by plasticbugs at 8:00 PM on October 4, 2008

Page2RSS teamed up with either RSSFwd or Feedblitz
posted by mysterious1der at 8:08 PM on October 4, 2008

Unfortunately, those won't work. I have to automatically refresh the page to stay logged into the site.
posted by tamagosan at 8:16 PM on October 4, 2008

Internet Explorer allows you to subscribe to a page as a Favorite, check it on a specific schedule, and e-mail you if there are changes. It's super easy if you can dig up an old Mac version of IE, and a little more hidden on the PC (you could run it under Parallels).

My other idea if that doesn't work is to use Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Get someone to manually check the page for you two or three times a day.
posted by Jeff Howard at 12:45 PM on October 5, 2008

Run this every few minutes or whatever from cron:

curl -s -b session_id=DEADBEEF | md5 | tee new - | diff -q - old || echo ' has changed' | mail -s 'IT CHANGED!' && mv new old && osascript /path/to/your/AppleScript

Replace with the URL you need to watch, "session_id=DEADBEEF" with whatever cookie name and value your browser has stored for that site, and with your e-mail address.
posted by nicwolff at 2:03 PM on October 5, 2008 [2 favorites]

Oh, you should run curl -s -b session_id=DEADBEEF | md5 > old first to avoid getting an error the first time it checks.
posted by nicwolff at 2:05 PM on October 5, 2008

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