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Meta: Another “Spotlight Improved” Search Tool Wannabe

Published June 8th, 2006

Meta takes Apple’s Spotlight technology to a whole new level

Meta Search SoftwareYou’ve gotta say one thing about Spotlight… it sure has inspired a lot of innovative developers to try to make a good thing even better. This is Meta version 2, but I don’t remember seeing a version 1. In fact, the company’s motto is “Software for Humans Since 2006″, so it can’t have been around long. Already, I use MoRU and NotLight, and I’ve got two or three other Spotlight products on the waiting list to be evaluated. Still, my first impression of Meta is quite positive, influenced to a great extent by the extremely helpful and detailed “Help” pages I wandered into. Besides search, Meta also lets you tag files and edit or append Spotlight comments, so in this they’re emulating the functionality that SpotMeta is building. The software is $20, a little more than MoRU, but worth trying out.

Update 6/13/06: Well, it didn’t take long to realize that this software isn’t for me. As much as I love learning new things and learning new scripting languages, I really don’t have either the time nor the inclination to learn Spotlight’s very complicated and powerful search syntax, let alone the thousands of possible meta data keys you can use with it. That’s what I want my GUI to do. But Meta puts together only a handful of fairly high-level searches with this language for you: Movies, Chats, People, This Week, Last Week, etc. and expects you to fill in the blanks if you want something customized. That’s OK, thanks. MoRU does a much better job on this score, and NotLight is also very helpful at putting together boolean expressions, but they don’t expect you to have to type the syntax and know the grammar.

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