49 Responses to “The Metadata Screencast: Part Three”

  1. Michael Newsom

    these articles have really changed the way i use my computer. i’m very close to leaving the finder behind forever.
    the one comment i’d like to make is that you should turn off file vault if you plan to add tags with quicksilver. searching by tag works but you’ll have to add tags one at a time in the get info box until you decrypt your home directory.
    file vault also seems to shut down a lot of automator actions.
    keep the screencasts coming!

  2. Chris Pickett

    I’ve been following this from the first screencast, it’s been a great segment so far.

    I’ve got a project, called ZODAS, it has around 100 files (give or take), so I’ve tagged all of those as zodas, then some as zodas & module, etc. My problem is that now I get a list of 100+ files when I do a show files matching, is there anyway to specify more than one tag in qs? Or possibly get it to list the other matching tags at the top of the list of files?

  3. I can confirm Naga’s comments. Tagbag will find files tagged without the ampersand even though it lists tags with ampersands. The problem I’ve always had with tgbag was I can’t resize the window. I need it to be wider. If any of you have tried using Punakea you’ll know why. It adds a whole heap of text befor and after the tags.

    Has anyone looked into Spotmeta? It looks like a great app, the problem I have though is it won’t play with QS. I can find the tags with spotlight but not QS.

    As always, great screencast, thank you.


  4. Spent yesterday trying to get Quicksilver to work and gave up.
    Tried again to day and realised I’d been missing the “tab” key out!! D’oh!

    Thanks for the screencast. Now to the brave New World of tagging. :)

  5. Love the screencasts. What I like is that I can downlaod them and then play them big when I am in the train, or waiting for a plane somewhere in QT. This one only plays in the bowswer and I can’t play it when I am not connected.

    I hate that. Could you go back to the old days where you could downlaod the QT file?


  6. I’ve just discovered something about TagBag. It’s never worked for me, and apparently no one else, as well.

    I figured out why.

    It doesn’t like the ‘&’ before the tag, I believe. I have some tags on my computer that I don’t know where they came from. They’re just normal words, and I clicked on one by accident, and it opened a Spotlight search window, with it searching Spotlight comments with that tag.

    Just thought you guys would like to know that.

  7. Hi, Thanks for the great demo on tagging. I haven’t tried it just yet but you’ve convinced me to dive in head long. How about iphoto and itunes, can you tag those files or am I stuck with the photo description and mp3 id info? Is there a way to tag them in batches?

  8. Thanks, I’ve installed the Spotlight & Scripts plugins & I can now right arrow into tags to view the results :)

    What I’ve opted to do is tag files AND keep them arranged in folders. I have a client’s work folder well arranged & don’t really like the thought of throwing everything in 1 folder. But do like the idea of tagging files so they are easy to quickly bring up in spotlight or a smart folder from Quicksilver or Punakea.

    In the client’s work folder at the moment I have 272 clients. Then in each folder there’ll be a ‘project1’ folder, a ‘project2’ folder etc. So (almost) all files in the project1 folder would be tagged ‘&clientname.project1’, ‘&clientname.project2’, ‘&clientname.project3’ etc.
    Those files that I know I won’t need to hand quickly all the time I don’t tag & can still find them in the organised folders if ever needed.

    It’s possible to set up a trigger that once you’ve selected the files in Finder you can tag with one step. I set up a tagging trigger ‘Finder Selection, TAB, Add Tags’ & bound it to a hot key (CTRL, Option +T).

    This is easy enough with Quicksilver. Select all files in a folder, hit CTRL, Shift+T (or whatever you set up for your trigger) & type singapore ants (Quicksilver will add the prefix so in Spotlight comments it would be ‘&singapore &ants’).
    It won’t tag files in subfolders (but in column view it pretty quick to select files in a folder, tag them, move to the next folder, tag them etc.) Or like Daniel H says you could set up an Automator workflow.

  9. As it’s already been said – to be able to arrow into the catalog of tags and the underlying files:

    try installing the Spotlight plugin, and the extra scripts plugin. I believe both will help in this. (I’ve found that making sure the scripts are marked in the Catalog/Scripts area is a safe bet too)

    I’ll be preparing a longer response to the rest of the questions thus far – most likely in a full blog post tomorrow.

  10. Jono, I had the same problem. And there’s a way to fix it for a time.

    Activate QS, type “tag,” hit enter to “show entry in catalog.”

    As soon as the pref window comes up, you can close it. Now you should be able to right-arrow into your individual tags. I find I have to do this every time I resart QS. I think it’s just a matter of re-indexing the files.

    Good luck.

  11. Thank you Phil and E.J. I did get it to work by bringing up Quicksilver through the regular hotkey and then pressing command-G.

    Apparently, you can do it in one step by pressing command-escape, but this only works with certain applications. For example, it works in Finder, but it does not work with Path Finder (which I use for file management).

    On a different note, I have another question for Nick and I do not remember this being covered in the screencast. How can you tag with words that have spaces? I am sure you can do that in Default Folder X, because you manually prepend each tag. However, how can you tag this way in Quicksilver? For example, if I wanted for a tag to be “civil procedure”, Quicksilver prepends both of the words with & and makes them into 2 different tags.

  12. Is there a way to bulk tag files – eg if you have a project folder about ants in singapore and want to tag everything in it at once with ‘ants’ and ‘singapore’ – can this be done via terminal commands or with available software?
    Interesting post!

  13. Basically, when I click on the file and then use my Quicksilver hotkey, I get a blank Quicksilver box. Is there a preference that I do not have enabled which is causing this?

    This isn’t done using the regular quicksilver shortcut (cmd+space or whatever you have it set to. It’s actually a trigger in quicksilver to bring whatever you’ve highlighted into quicksilver. Mine is set up as cmd+g. You can set it in the QS preferences in Triggers-Quicksilver-Command Window with selection. Also, make sure in preferences-extras that you have Pull selection from front application instead of Finder ticked.

  14. VEry interesting and clear screencast. I dabbled in taggins all my files in this way a while ago but didn’t really find it that useable, I’m tempted to give this another shot now though.

    Andy: The way I bring the selected file into the first QS pane is by command-G. But it does like there is a setting somewhere to do it automatically.

  15. I am teetering on the edge of tagging all my files and seeing if I can live without finder or quicksilver/spotlite file lookups. There are however, still a few niggling uncertainties holding me back.

    First of all, I’m not certain of the best way to go about tagging all of my existing files. I saw suggestions from the previous post to use a script that would embed the file’s folder name as the tag. But I’m not sure this is the most effective approach. Is there a better way?

    Also, I’m uncertain about handling nomenclature. What naming conventions work in a way that is clear, consistent, meaningful, and memorable?

    And this leads to another uncertainty. How to manage all those tags? For example, what if I find that a particular tagging approach isn’t working for me (e.g. too many inconsistencies in use). I decide I want to re-tag all the associated files using some new convention. Quicksilver doesn’t quite seem appropriate on a large scale and other applications, such as Punakea, operate too much outside the operating system for my taste.

    Perhaps the greatest thing holding me back is the conceptual leap. I can see advantages and disadvantages in folder hierarchies and tags. As mentioned by others, with folders, a file can exist in only one place even though categorically it may fall into many different areas. But then, a folder hierarchy is like a mind map. If I am uncertain of a file’s location, often I can find it by following the folder tree as if it were a line of thought frozen in time. But in that, perhaps it is too rigid. Yet it seems that because tags are so free form and independent, they lack the semantic relationship inherent to the nested structure of a folder hierarchy. Or is that relationship actually not so important and we’ve just been trained to think it is?

    I’d be curious to hear thoughts on this, particularly regarding the conceptual shift and whether tagging really does make it easier to find something you know you have, but just can’t remember how to get hold of.

  16. I second the problem that Jono mentioned above. I can see the list of tags in the catalog, but using the right arrow does not show the files with that tag, as it did in your screencast.

  17. Fantastic screencast and one that has actually encouraged me to organize beyond just folders, seeing how simple it actually is.

    For some reason though, I cannot replicate the behavior in Quicksilver, where the file that you select is embedded when you invoke Quicksilver.

    Basically, when I click on the file and then use my Quicksilver hotkey, I get a blank Quicksilver box. Is there a preference that I do not have enabled which is causing this?

  18. One thing I can’t replicate in the screencast…

    I invoke Quicksilver & type ‘tags’ to show the File Tags (Catalog). Then right arrow to show the list of my tags, but when I right click on an actual tag nothing happens. In your screencast it displays all files tagged with that tag name (searches the tag).

    I’ve looked at any possible actions I that should possibly be checked & all seems fine. Maybe it’s becuase the catalog isn’t set to to search my whole home folder? (unlimited folders deep)

  19. Eric Hamilton

    Nick. Great webcast. This is precisely the workflow that I’ve been using for the past six months with the QS tag plug-in.

    Off-topic: what is the app does the robot represent in your menubar?

  20. I started using Quicksilver to tag my files but then I found I could still list the tagged files via QS but when I used ‘get-info’ on the files, the comment wasn’t in the spotlight comment box. Any idea as to why? Has this happened to anyone else? I’m also having the same problems with TagBag as Jono – it doesn’t work and I have to force-quit it. This is quite the tragedy, as it seems like just what I’ve been looking for in the past.

  21. Highest praise for Quicksilver and anyone who helps others use it. That means you Nick.

    A potential problem that I will soon run into (as my amount of tags increase) will be the Quicksilver Tagging Module’s lack of alphabetization. The tags don’t seem to be listed in any order. Is there any trick to fixing this little oversight?

    Another question about your setup. In the video it looks as if your QS bezel has a brushed metal look. Is that accurate or just some video artifact?

  22. Thanks, I’m really enjoying your screencasts, & you’ve already got me hooked on tagging. (In fact I couldn’t wait for this screencast so I already went out & looked into how to tag with Quicksilver as well as using Default Folder X).

    I’ve tried to use TagBag on 2 different Macs but can’t get it running. (Doesn’t show tags, uses a lot of CPU & end up having to force quit it).

    Punakea looks promising so I’m looking forward to new features in that in the future.

    Thanks again & keep up the good work.

  23. I’m sure you’re disappointed that the first comment isn’t about the contents of the screencast (don’t worry, it was ver helpful), but what I’d really like to know about is that desktop background. I’d love to grab that…