Tag archive: spotlight

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.

FileSpot update: 2.1

FileSpotFileSpot, the Spotlight utility that I so loved, has been updated to version 2.1. This update adds Quick Look support, fixes a date-constraint editing problem under Leopard, and shows search results as they are being built instead of waiting until the end.

For the most recent release notes or to download the new version, visit the FileSpot download page.

Leopard’s Spotlight: actually useful

Matt Neuburg has posted an excellent article called Spotlight Strikes Back about the primary differences in Spotlight from 10.4 to 10.5, including some tips and tricks on using the new boolean operators and so forth under 10.5. Although I’m not a particular fan of Matt’s NotLight (preferring FileSpot), his observations and advice are right on target.

Definitely a useful article to read if you use Spotlight much (for finding tagged files, for instance), although it doesn’t have anything to do with tagging specifically. (Thanks to Daring Fireball for the link.)

FileSpot on sale today only

FileSpotAlthough I didn’t know a big sale was coming when I wrote it, I reviewed FileSpot three days ago and now it’s on sale today, September 19th, 2007 for 40% off at the MacUpdate Promo.

FileSpot is a fantastic program that I highly recommend for everyone, and you can’t beat today’s price. Check out my review if you want the full scoop, or download the program for yourself and marvel at how easy it makes using Spotlight.

FileSpot review: indispensable Spotlight enhancement

Distinguished (9)FileSpot ($20) is distinguished, highly recommended, and Tagamac’s choice. I have assigned it an arbitrary numerical rating of 9 out of 10. (about Tagamac’s rating system)

Straight to the point: FileSpot is a Spotlight utility whose simple and intuitive interface makes amazingly powerful searches available to everyday users in a way that Spotlight never dreamed of. Despite some minor flaws, FileSpot is a tool that should be downloaded by anyone who searches their computer. [read more...]

File system tagging

The fact is that people usually want to tag their files, but unfortunately file system tagging is still one of the most difficult and onerous tagging activities. Although there are a number of different tools now to choose from, if you want to use tags in your file system you will likely need to roll your own solution to some extent.

There are two main categories of file system tagging software: software intended to help you tag your files, and software that you can use to roll your own solution. Keep in mind that the focus of this series of articles is on helping you find software; coming up with a workflow will still be up to you (although I’ll be publishing some workflow advice down the road). [read more...]

FileSpot update: 2.0.2

FileSpotFileSpot, a Spotlight searching utility, has received a minor update to 2.0.2, apparently bypassing 2.0.1. This version includes improvements to the startup demo dialog, better license key validation, and a way to report validation problems.

Unfortunately, release notes are only available through the in-program Sparkle updating, so for details you’ll have to check for updates from within the program.

FileSpot 2.0 released

FileSpotFileSpot, the Spotlight searching utility that is the updated version of MoRU, has officially come out of beta today. FileSpot allows users to do far more complex Spotlight searches than is possible with the default OS interface, and features a number of improvements over MoRU including TagBot compatible tagging and tag searches, deeply nested search logic (allowing you to create very specific searches very easily), a tabbed interface, and the ability to export searches as Finder Smart Folders. As of the third beta, FileSpot spots a new metallic icon as well. (Honestly, I liked the old one better; this one’s a bit chunky.)

If you do much of anything that involves Spotlight, you owe it to yourself to at least try FileSpot. It is a very advanced search utility, and may be a key ingredient in any file system tagging you do. Additionally, there are some cool new features planned for upcoming versions that are definitely worth getting excited about. FileSpot is $20 shareware with a 30 day trial period and a 50% discount for owners of MoRU.

FileSpot update: 2.0b2

FileSpotIt’s a relatively busy day for Tagamac today; besides iGTD and iPhoto, FileSpot, the Spotlight searching utility that is a much-revamped version of MoRU (thanks to all the readers who pointed this out to me!), has been updated to beta 2. The second beta is a minor release that adds capabilities to the contextual menus, allows the user to set where they want smart folders to be saved, and fixes some bugs.

You can download the new beta via the FileSpot download page.