I have been checking Mavericks ability to handle OpenMeta tags which are essential for organizing academic reference files. I really hoped that the tags integrated in OS X would be compatible with my existing tagging system. At the moment I have the following observations:
1. Clarification by St.ClairSoft (updated October 25, 2013)
St.Clair Software (the makers of DefaultFolderX) provided the following illuminating clarification in this Google Groups discussion thread in July this year:
The difference [between OpenMeta and Mavericks tags] is that the [file] attribute name is _kMDItemUserTags instead of kMDItemOMUserTags . … OpenMeta tag data will need to be migrated … in order to be seen natively by Mavericks. (emphasis mine – AC).
2. HoudaSpot: perfect handling of tags!
HoudahSpot seems to be the first app that made this difference crystal clear and provided a tool for migrating OpenMeta to Mavericks tags for selected files. Well done!
3. Tags in Spotlight and Finder (updated October 25, 2013 )
Initially (before October 25) Spotlight default search attributes did not differentiate between OpenMeta and Mavericks tags as shown below:
As of October 25, Mavericks Spotlight added the OMTags to its search. (However, see comment by Tom Andersen who thinks it’s just because I use a specific tagging software)
4. DefaultFolderX (updated October 28, 2013)
Tags added through DefaultFolderX are OpenMeta tags. To add Mavericks tags one need to type them in at the top part of the Save dialogue.
DevondThink 2.6 and higher advertise that it both imports Mavericks tags and exports with such tags. Indeed, I was able to tag a file in OS X and then import it into DevonThink with preserving that tag. The reverse process did not work for me: exporting documents from DevonThink did not export tags (although one could add tags as in any Save dialogue in OS X – but what’s the point then?). Neither did assigning tags in DevonThink result in these tags being available in Finder (although perhaps Finder just does not see them yet – see above).
6. Leap (updated October 31, 2013)
Leap (version 3.x) allows to assign Tags which are both OM and Mavericks. Earlier versions of Leap tagged with OpenMeta – so if you used these for tagging you may want to merge them using HoudahSpot or another tool. Leap search handles both OM and Mavericks tags.
7. MailTags (updated October 28, 2013)
MailTags assign OpenMeta, not Mavericks tags to email messages. Mavericks tags cannot be assigned to email from within Apple Mail. However, HoudahSpot can migrate OpenMeta to Mavericks tags to mail messages as well (see above).
Aleh, you wrote “as of October 25, Mavericks Spotlight replaced its “Tags” attribute with OMTags”. Is this an update of Mavericks? How does one install this change?
Thank you for your survey of tags in Mavericks.
I have noticed that this just happened in the Spotlight search window (see screenshot and compare it to the one taken yesterday). I have automatic updates turned on so it could have happened without my knowledge although the update log does not show it.
All Ironic products work with Mavericks tags and automatically keep them in sync, etc. This on our web site, and also on our blogs, etc. So not sure why there is a two line ‘not supported’ comment?
Apple essentially copied OpenMeta to make their own tagging system. They have a pretty serious bug in it, but it will probably work well enough for most people. Ironic software wrote and maintains the OpenMeta source code and has posted Mavericks updates to the source code base in the past months to deal with these new tags.
Author of OpenMeta,
Tom, thanks for the comment, but as far as I can see Leap is focused on OpenMeta tags. If I assign such a tag in Leap it does not become a Mavericks Tag.
OpenMeta tags ARE Mavericks tags on an application like Leap 3.5.3 compiled for Mavericks. I don’t know what version of Leap you are using. Perhaps this forum is not the best place for support, but we wrote Leap 3.5 – it sets Mavericks tags. Please contact support at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having trouble.
You can download the latest Leap at http://ironicsoftware.com/leap – also see the comment at the top, and the section on Mavericks there.
Is there any way you can email me at email@example.com ?
It looks like this is an older copy of Leap?
Apologies, Tom and others. I did use Leap 2.5.4. I have just installed 3.5.3 and it indeed assigns tags with are seen by HoudahSpot as both Mavericks and OM. I also edited the entry to reflect this.
OpenMeta does not mean ‘non mavericks’. If an app is built using the latest OpenMeta code, then setting tags will make tags that can be read on 10.9 and also on 10.7, 10.8 machines.
I think that the tagsOM addition to the Finder’s interface was because you downloaded Tagit (correct link is http://ironicsoftware.com) . Apple took over the word ‘Tags’ in Mavericks, so Tagit now ships with a way to search for 10.7 & 10.8 style OpenMeta tags, called TagsOM.
No, I don’t have Tagit.
It could be that you have another app with updated OpenMeta code, because the TagsOM is added by any OpenMeta app compiled with the latest code.
I sometimes use Tags from CaseApp. And Leap.
Sorry about all the comments!
A few more thoughts:
Keywords vs Tags:
Keywords are ‘built in tags’ – in other words a PDF can come from its source with tags embedded in the document. The Finder cannot change these tags – they are fixed. So Leap calls them keywords. They are stored under a different key in the Spotlight database from tags, and need a different search to find them.
Just call them ‘Tags’
Tags are tags applied by products like Leap, HoudahSpot, 10.9 Finder, etc. I think its not all that useful to differentiate between tag formats used on older OSes, like 10.8. Just refer to them as tags.
Other tagging formats
Evernote and DevonThink and Adobe (bridge) use their own internal tagging format (as far as I know), but I think when Apple has stated that they will use tagging in Mavericks that things will get better aligned. OpenMeta started it, but it will take Adobe a while (perhaps never), while timelines for smaller companies will be faster.
Apple Tags on NAS drives:
When you set a tag on a file, it resides in the ‘extended attributes’ on that file. For a search from the Finder or HoudahSpot or Leap to work, that NAS drive has to be indexed with spotlight. Most are not. There are ways to enable this. I don’t know what Apple has had to say about copying files to other OSes and ow tags will or will not follow.
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I have no problem with Mavericks tags in DevonThink now.
And Default Folder X was just updated to do Mavericks tags. The caseapps Tags application still doesn’t, but TagIt does. I’ve been having problems with Punakea even running. And all the Ironic Software stuff runs great with the new Mav Tags, as does HoudahSpot. MailTags is getting there (I’ve been using a beta, and it basically works, although MAIL certainly has issues).
I just wish that the image world would be on board; since as Tom noted “keyword” and “tag” can be applied generically it’s confusing. Applying a “keyword” in iPhoto isn’t the same as tagging that jpeg with the same word; in Aperture at least you can apply a keyword and write it to the file manually. Lightroom does this even more easily, as does GraphicConverter. I understand the paradigm of leaving originals untouched when it comes to photos, but it sure would be nice if photo applications recognized mavericks tags in the same way they do IPTC or exif metadata.
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Thanks for the thorough analysis. A couple of questions:
-Are there any downsides to using Mavericks tags over OpenMeta (e.g., cross-platform compatibility)?
-Could you recommend a tag search application? In particular, I’m looking for an application that can handle combined tag searches (e.g., “Article” tag + “Productivity”).
Reblogged this on Welcome to sabarfun and commented:
Here’s a really good article on to coalescing of open-meta tagging tools and the OS X Mavericks Spotlight based tagging system.
The article is a fantastic reference.
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