21 Responses to “Metadata in OS X: Part Two”

  1. Thanks Jono.

    I’m thinking of buying a Tiger installation CD off eBay – though I’m not certain how ‘safe’ that is. The key attraction is that I’d probably get it for 50% or less of the retail price.

    If tagging is the main reason I am making the investment, any reason I should buy Leopard from a retail store?

  2. Yea, tagging would only work with Tiger or Leopard as Spotlight was introduced with Tiger (tagging uses Spotlight technology in Tiger), so wouldn’t work with Panther or any version of OS X earlier than Tiger.

    If you’re only just thinking about upgrading now you might as well wait until next month & buy Leopard.

  3. Awesome series! I just discovered Quicksilver and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing. You’ve opened my eyes.

    It sounds like I need Tiger to benefit from tagging though. Is this the case? I haven’t upgraded from the original OS X my G4 came with when I bought it in 2003.

  4. How can I obtain the functionality TagBag has with the @-sign? I have decided using the &-sign because of the better integration in spotlight, but I can’t click the tag in TagBag to open smart folder.

  5. Binh Trinh

    I just upgraded my G4 ibook to a macbook this morning. All metadata were not transferred to my macbook. Must be difference in the intel OSX. I know the metadata is kept on the old system somewhere. It would suck to have to re tag all my files again. Does anyone know how to transfer the metadata? Will much appreciate… :)

  6. i read your article on lifehacker recently, and i like’d your idea of saving things to the desktop as a means of knowing which files still need tagging.

    this whole ‘metadata’/tagging stuff is new to me. but then i thought why don’t you create a ‘folder action’ attached to the ‘desktop’ folder that will bring up a dialog to add spotlight comments and then move the file to documents, when ever you save a file to the desktop?

    just wondering what your reasoning was.

  7. I started using Quicksilver to tag my files but then I found something curious. I could still list the tagged files via QS (and maybe via the finder, I don’t remember) but when I physically “get-info”‘d the files, the comment didn’t show up. Any idea as to why? Has this happened to anyone else?

  8. Hello!
    The problem with spotlight-comments is their fragility, they donot preserve properly when copied, so I believe SpotMeta would be an answer. BUT that project seems to have stalled, it recently went open source but I’ve seen no development over the last 1.5 years. I had some trouble on my system, some files didn’t show up even though they had metadata/tags by SpotMeta and though I at first got a response from the developer nothing followed.

    What really is needed are a way to savely and reliably either link/connect or embed tags (in)to the files and a much better interface for Spotlight to “do away” with traditional filing-procedures. It is still not clear what we will get with Leopard, just an easier (masterable without programming skills) boolean search is not enough.

    Just my 2 cts.

  9. I tried used Punakea, but I found it way too buggy. Actually, I downloaded it on a whim before reading your previous article. I remembered seeing it after Punakea crashed for the third time in a row trying to tag a single file, and I read it and followed it, and I’m in love.

  10. Nick Murphy

    Leopard will hopefully add tagging to the open/save windows and the finder using OS X built-in xattr tags. At present it can only be used from the command line and is not Spotlight searchable.

    If those two things change then you actually could get rid of traditional folders. All a folder really is is a property of a file telling you where to find it.

    If I had a folder today called “Business” I could instead tag everything that belongs in that folder with the attribute “Business” and then create a smart “folder” that contains everything with the tag “Business.”

    This would allow people to organize things similarly but allow way more flexibility because I could make another “folder” that looks for files tagged “Business” but also with a 2007 creation date and call that “folder” Business 2007.

    I really hope this is coming and we do away with the current folder structure.


  11. scralpha –
    I have used those apps in the past. But they sort of fall into the group I mentioned, of tools that didn’t survive my workflow. Punakea was one I liked, but just wasn’t for me. You may get more out of it though, especially if you’re not much of a Quicksilver user.

  12. scralpha

    Great series, this. I had been playing around with tagging in QS and in the Finder, and trying to collect some apps that would help. TagBag seems something like what I’m looking for. The ability to tag-on-save (for free) has eluded me so far, though. Considering using a folder action for that, but that seems clunky.

    Also, check these on TUAW:
    I haven’t tried them, but was wondering if you had.