Archive for February, 2009

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.

Together and EagleFiler updated

EagleFilerBoth Together and EagleFiler received minor updates recently. Together has been bumped to 2.2.6, an update which includes some minor bug fixes for Applescript behavior, syncing encrypted files, and Quick Notes with invisible characters. EagleFiler is now at 1.4.4, an update which includes numerous fixes such as a more streamlined capture workflow from Apple Mail, improved error messages when running into problems importing from various programs, and many other minor improvements.

For more information, see the Together release notes or EagleFiler 1.4.4 blog announcement.

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.

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.