Tag archive: file system

Ironic Software releases Fresh

FreshIronic Software yesterday released Fresh, a small utility for helping you to locate and act on the most recently added or modified files on your computer. When invoked, Fresh shows you two lists: on the top are your most recently added or modified files and on the bottom is the “cooler” where you can store files that you need to repeatedly access. Fresh also has an embedded version of Ironic Software’s free Tagit application, allowing you to tag and rate your files using OpenMeta without needing to run both programs (or even have Tagit installed).

Fresh is one of those fantastic pieces of software that targets a common problem (“where the heck is that file I was just working on?”) and provides a simple, elegant solution that you can start using within seconds of downloading the program. Even if you’re uninterested in the tagging features (which I admit I’m personally unlikely to use; I prefer Tags), Fresh is an application that will slip easily into your workflow, likely making you wonder after a day or two how you ever lived without. Fresh offers a 21 day free trial, and costs $9 to register.

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...]

Tags update: 1.1

TagsTags, my current favorite file system tagging solution, today was updated to version 1.1. This update includes drag-and-drop support for files and so forth onto the tag mode window (just invoke the window and drag away), a new tag manager with a number of useful options (including the ability to select which tags are your favorites), support for TaskPaper and NetNewsWire, an option to live without the flipping animation, an option to launch Tags at startup, and numerous bug fixes.

Unfortunately, the release notes don’t appear to be published anywhere online, but you can find them if you run the auto-update for the software (assuming you have it installed). If it’s not already on your computer, then now is as good a time as any to try it out.

Tags released

TagsYesterday Gravity Apps released a new file system tagging solution called, simply enough, Tags. Even after playing with it for less than a day, I can say definitively that Tags is the most elegant and easy to use tagging solution available on the Mac, and I strongly recommend that anyone interested in a generic file tagging solution give it a try. Using an approach to tagging reminiscent of Quicksilver, Tags allows you to tag virtually anything on your computer by invoking a single hotkey (control-space by default). And when I say virtually anything, I mean exactly that: files in Finder, emails in Mail, addresses in Address Book, bookmarks in Safari, photos in iPhoto, and the list goes on. Once you’ve tagged a few files you can find them easily simply by hitting the hotkey twice and using Tags’ searching interface, by creating a Smart Folder from within Tags, or simply by prefacing the tag with “tag:” in a Spotlight search. This is the first application I’ve used where tagging items and then searching for them in Spotlight just felt like magic; Gravity Apps has obviously paid very close attention to making Tags a first class OS X citizen.

The best news, however, is that besides being beautiful and so easy to use my tech-challenged grandmother could probably figure it out, Tags doesn’t use Spotlight comments or any other such hackery to accomplish its tagging. It instead uses extended attributes in a way that is compatible (or possibly identical) with OpenMeta, the open source tagging framework recently released by Ironic Software and incorporated into their photo tag browser Deep. For anyone who has been frustrated with the numerous limitations of Spotlight comment tagging, this is fantastic news indeed. Tags is available as a free trial from the Tags website, and when you’re ready to buy is priced at $29.

Minor updates for early December

EvernoteEarly this December Together, Hazel, StoryMill, and Evernote all received minor updates. Together 2.2.3 includes synching improvements and several minor bug fixes. Hazel 2.2.4 offers a number of crash and other bug fixes, including some minor UI improvements. StoryMill 3.2.1 fixes several bugs, including date entry problems and localization improvements. Evernote 1.2 primarily introduces a new feature for premium users only: file synchronization. Basically, premium users can now attach any file on your computer to a note and it will be synchronized between all of your Evernote clients (Mac, web, iPhone, etc.). The only limitation is that a single note cannot exceed 25 MB. Cool? Yes. Evernote has made a lot of improvements since I last wrote about it, so definitely give it a look if you need to access data from anywhere.

For more information on the various updates see Together’s release notes, Hazel’s release notes, the StoryMill 3.2.1 announcement, and the Evernote synchronization blog announcement.

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.

Minor updates for late November

EagleFilerEagleFiler and Default Folder X received minor updates in the past week or so. EagleFiler 1.4.3 includes numerous bug fixes, some new esoteric preferences, and other minor improvements. Default Folder X 4.1 removes the lag that normally existed for open and save dialogs, adds Open Office 3 support, and fixes other minor errors and bugs.

For more information about EagleFiler 1.4.3 see the release notes. Default Folder X includes information on what’s new on the Default Folder X download page.

Minor updates in early November

Several programs received minor updates in the tail end of October and the beginning of November. Hazel, a useful utility for automatically handling your files, was updated to version 2.2.3. This update includes minor interface changes, bug fixes, and the ability to use “match/does not match” with “Source URL/Address”. EagleFiler was updated to version 1.4.1, and then soon after to 1.4.2. 1.4.1 included numerous bug fixes and minor feature improvements and 1.4.2 fixed a couple issues that apparently slipped through the cracks. Lastly, PackRat was updated to version 1.7.5, a version which fixes two 10.5 specific problems with Applescript and the Synchronize with Backpack Automator option.

For more information, see the Hazel release notes, EagleFiler’s 1.4.1 and 1.4.2 blog posts, or PackRat’s 1.7.5 blog announcement.

Default Folder X on sale today only

Default Folder XDefault Folder X, one of the applications I find absolutely essential to my workflow, is on sale today, October 27, 2008 only for $19.95 over at the MacUpdate Promo.

Default Folder X has a slew of great features, but the one interesting to taggers is that you can define Spotlight comments when you save a file. This is possibly the best way to maintain a tagging system, since tagging when you save removes the need to go back over your files and organize them (which is unlikely to happen for most of us). If you haven’t tried Default Folder X yet, I strongly recommend it even for those people who aren’t interested in file system tagging. This is one of those applications that I wasn’t really sure if I needed, but then after I’d used it for a few days wondered how I’d survived without it.

Recent updates for mid-August 2008

Thanks to attending An Event Apart I’ve been in San Francisco the past few days and have fallen slightly behind on updates. There have been three minor updates in the somewhat recent past: Default Folder X is now at version 4.0.8 (some minor bug fixes), Together bumped to 2.1.6 (also minor bug fixes), and Pukka 1.7 was released (minor feature improvements to improve compatibility with the new Delicious).

For more information about the updates see the Default Folder X release notes, Together release notes, or Pukka 1.7 announcement.

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