Tag archive: 10.5

Yojimbo 2.0 released

Yojimbo 2.0Yojimbo 2.0, the next version of the oh-so-simple file library from Bare Bones Software, was released today. Feature highlights include an improved Quick Input panel, the ability to tag and otherwise categorize PDFs when you “print to Yojimbo”, an improved drop dock with customizable contents and tag collections (that will apply the tags they filter for when you drop an item on them), and scads of improvements to the basic tagging system. Although I knew it was aiming for simplicity, Yojimbo has always felt like it sacrificed too much in an attempt to attain that goal. Tags can now be renamed, combined, and otherwise manipulated through the new tag and label manager. Additionally, instead of creating a collection for every tag Yojimbo now features a “tag explorer” that shows you related tags and allows easy filtering for items across the database.

Yojimbo 2.0 is a $20 upgrade for existing users, and costs $39 for new users. If you purchased Yojimbo on or after January 1, 2009, version 2.0 is a free upgrade. The program now requires OS 10.5.7 or higher (including 10.6). If you’ve been looking for an easy way to store notes, URLs, PDFs, application license information, passwords, and much more without the overhead and complexity of other solutions, Yojimbo has always been a great option, and with version 2.0′s improvements to the tag browsing system, I highly recommend giving Yojimbo’s free 30 day demo a try. For more information about the update, see the release notes.

Leap 2.0 released

LeapLeap 2.0 was released today, finally bringing Ironic Software’s OpenMeta tagging system to their flagship product. In addition to OpenMeta tagging and ratings, Leap 2 sports a revamped, simplified interface and significant speed improvements. Tags are no longer stored in a database or cached to files on your hard drive; Leap now relies solely on OpenMeta for all of its tagging.

Leap 2 is available for $59 with a 10 day demo, or $19 for owners of Leap 1 (to get the upgrade price, install Leap 2, launch it, and click the “Upgrade Now…” button for instructions). For more information, see the release notes.

Using OpenMeta with eyes open

When Tags and OpenMeta were released within a day of one another a few weeks ago, I was ecstatic. Using Tags felt like magic (assign a tag, and it’s instantly shows up in Spotlight! Wow!), and OpenMeta’s open source release promised to lower the threshold for other developers to implement this fantastic tagging solution in their own apps. I wondered what the catch was, but Ironic Software advertises that OpenMeta uses no secret APIs, and Gravity Apps when I asked merely said that they were using extended attributes.

This turns out to be only half the story, however, and should you be a developer or user considering OpenMeta (or Tags) as a solution for your tagging needs you need to use it with eyes open. Although the technology OpenMeta uses is completely on the level, the way in which it achieves instant Spotlight availability is based on exploiting Spotlight’s preferential treatment of metadata that is identified as coming from Apple. This doesn’t mean that you should swear off OpenMeta and Tags (I’m still using them), but before you go tag-crazy you definitely need to consider the risks. [read more...]

HoudahSpot adds OpenMeta support

HoudahSpotEvery so often I get emails asking why the heck I’ve never mentioned HoudahSpot on Tagamac, and the answer has always been the same: it doesn’t offer any easy way to work with tags. Fortunately, those days are at an end. HoudahSpot, one of the few Spotlight enhancements that is still actively developed, was recently updated with support for OpenMeta tags such as those used by Tags and Deep, allowing you to build complex search queries involving tags easily and quickly.

HoudahSpot 2 requires Leopard, and is available for $25 with a 14 day free trial. Like other Spotlight enhancers, HoudahSpot gives you an easy way to construct and save complex searches without needing to rely on Apple’s less-than-ideal tools. If you’ve been as miffed at FileSpot’s apparent abandonment, then HoudahSpot definitely deserves your attention.

OpenMeta officially released

Yesterday was a big day for tagging; aside from the release of Tags, Ironic Software officially released OpenMeta, their new open source framework for tagging miscellaneous files using extended attributes (xattr) on Mac OS X 10.5. In addition to the OpenMeta code itself, they also released Tagger—a free utility for tagging, rating, or finding files using OpenMeta—and OMTool—a command lined utility for working with OpenMeta metadata. Both utilities are available for download from the Ironic Software homepage.

The exciting part about OpenMeta is that developers finally have a standardized way to assign and read tags on files (other than the less-than-ideal Spotlight comment hack of yore) which has the potential to free users from getting tied down to a particular solution. Aside from Tags and Deep (the first of which is compatible with OpenMeta, the second of which was the first program to use it), MailTags is also in the process of joining the OpenMeta bandwagon (not available in public builds yet, unfortunately). Hopefully software like Together, EagleFiler, and others of that ilk will also begin to incorporate OpenMeta, allowing users to tag and find files across the system and their various tagging programs without needing to keep all of those programs running.

DevonThink 2.0 public beta released

DevonThinkBig news for those interested in file organization! Devon Technologies yesterday released a public beta of the long-awaited DevonThink 2.0. Among other things, DevonThink 2.0 offers the ability to open multiple databases at the same time, a completely revitalized interface, a web interface to your database, saves files to its database as-is (thus allowing them to be edited by external programs), smart groups for sorting your files, and at long last adds tagging (sort of). DevonThink has always been one of the most feature-rich file libraries available, and with version 2.0 it at last is a bit more friendly. If you need a lot of power and automation (particularly sorting/grouping automation) and don’t mind sacrificing the Finder-friendly approach of Together or EagleFiler for a database, then you’ll need to give DevonThink 2.0 a serious look.

The downside to the first public beta is that it doesn’t actually have much in the way of tagging support. There’s a place for tags in the Get Info window, but you can’t edit them (the contents currently defaults to the groups for a document). However, tagging (and presumably auto-tagging, given DevonThink’s long dedication to auto-sorting) is definitely on the radar for the final release. For more information about what’s new in DevonThink 2.0 and to download see the release notes and DevonThink 2.0 page. The first public beta will expire at the end of January, and upgrade options will be made available at the DevonThink website soon (they have announced, however, that users who purchased DevonThink 1.x after July 1, 2008 will receive a free upgrade to 2.0). DevonThink 2.0 requires OS 10.5.

Ironic Software releases Deep 1.0

DeepIronic Software, makers of Yep and Leap, yesterday released a new image searching and tagging program called Deep. Deep offers a unique approach to image searching by combining filtering by tags/keywords, location, size, and aspect ratio with color palette matching. As you build your search in the top portion of the window, the results are displayed in a carousel below with navigation reminiscent of cover flow. As with Leap, tags include not only keywords that you’ve assigned to your images, but folder names, as well, providing you with a very complete list of keywords even if you’ve never tagged a photo. Unlike Leap and Yep, however, Deep is not focused on organizing photos. Although you can add tags to a photo, the program’s primary focus is on finding photos that are similar to one another, leaving the task of organizing, importing, or editing those photos in the first place up to software better equipped for the job. Interestingly, Deep doesn’t use a database; all of its metadata (including tags and color data) is included inside the extended attributes of your image files.

The awesomeness of Deep does come at a cost, however: Deep not only requires Leopard, but is Intel-only. It will not run on PowerPCs. Deep is available for $34 or as part of a package deal with Yep and Leap for $69, and the application includes a 21 day free trial. Definitely check out the manual for some very useful tips and tricks on using the software; although Deep is simple enough to pick up and use immediately (or almost immediately, given the need to index the colors of the images on your hard drive), there’s definitely more to the program than meets the eye.

TaskPaper 2.0 released

TaskPaperIn case you’ve been living in a box, the three most compelling options in the world of Mac task managers are: Things (if you like a simple, beautiful interface), OmniFocus (if you need lots of powerful features), and TaskPaper. TaskPaper eschews the standard feature bloat of GTD applications and provides instead the minimum tools you need to manage your tasks easily and effectively. TaskPaper task lists are plain text (so you can take and edit them just about anywhere) but enhanced with features like automatic formatting, archival of completed tasks, and easy filtering/searching of your task list. TaskPaper 2.0 adds a fantastic new search system (watch the screencast), a Things-style quick entry window to add tasks from anywhere on your computer, drag and drop organizing, a customizable theme system, Applescript support, and an even more attractive user interface.

I strongly recommend TaskPaper even to people who think their needs are met by more complicated software. There is nothing like using a minimalist tool like TaskPaper for a couple of weeks to learn exactly what features you can live without and which you desperately need in a task manager, and for many people TaskPaper will be the solution that finally gets out of their way and lets them complete their tasks rather than fiddling with them. TaskPaper 2.0 is a free upgrade to users of TaskPaper 1 (although it now requires OS 10.5), or is available for $29.95 with a free trial.

MailTags update: 2.2.2

MailTagsMailTags has been updated to version 2.2.2 (or possibly 2.2.3; the release notes disagree with the rest of the site). This minor release mainly includes enhancements to improve efficiency when working with Mail Act-On and IMAP, but also includes numerous bug fixes and adds seven days to expired trial versions for those who want to try out the new features and fixes.

For full details, check out the release notes.

EagleFiler update: 1.4

EagleFilerThis one deserves its own post: EagleFiler has been updated to version 1.4. This free update includes a tag cloud window, the ability to search within individual PDFs or web archives, preferences for importing Spotlight comments, the ability to display Word 2007 docs (.docx) and OpenDocument Text (.odt) under 10.5, the ability to capture from several third-party email clients and competitor Together, a slew of other improvements and fixes, and finally (drum roll, please)…custom smart folders! At long last, EagleFiler supports smart folders, and boy was it worth the wait. Smart folders in EagleFiler 1.4 can be organized into other folders, include an arbitrary number of conditions optionally nested within Any/All/None criteria, and best of all you can attach “actions” to smart folders. For example, if you have a smart folder that searches for all items with the tags “task, today” a normal action allows you to drop a document on the smart folder and have those tags added to it automatically. The only big downside of smart folders is that you can only create and edit them if you’re running 10.5. They will be usable under 10.4, but you won’t be able to modify them.

Despite its unprepossessing version number, EagleFiler 1.4 is a big and worthwhile update to an already fantastic product. For a full run-down of the many changes and additions in version 1.4, take a look at the release notes. If you have never given EagleFiler a try, now would be an excellent time to give it a whirl.

Clicky Web Analytics