Find and organize video files using HoudahSpot

With HoudahSpot, it is easy to search your hard drive for media files. Just set the Content Kind criterion to Audio, Image, or Video – and HoudahSpot will look for files of the type specified.

If you’ve ever been looking for a specific photograph, you may have already used the pre-installed sample template named “My Photos”. It lists criteria that come in handy when searching images, like pixel count.

When searching for specific video files, other criteria come into play, e.g. duration, video codec or bit rates. We have prepared a template for HoudahSpot 4 that helps you sort through your moving images: the Video template is available for download here. It is pre-configured with a set of criteria and results columns that relate to video files. Continue reading Find and organize video files using HoudahSpot

Find similar files using Find by Example

HoudahSpot gets you to your files quickly by helping you narrow down your search until only the relevant files are left over.

Find by Example lets you refine a search using a prototype file: a file that has something in common with the files you are looking for. Drag and drop a file from Finder or from the search results onto a search criterion. It will update to match that file. You just told HoudahSpot:

I want files like this one.

Continue reading Find similar files using Find by Example

Search the current Finder or Path Finder folder

HoudahSpot 4.0 comes with a “droplet” that you can install in the Finder toolbar. This small application can be found from HoudahSpot > Preferences > Advanced. Follow the instructions found there to install as a Finder toolbar item.

Finder toolbar item
HoudahSpot search item installed in the Finder toolbar

When clicked, opens a new HoudahSpot window set to search the folder shown in the current Finder window. You can also drag and drop folders onto the toolbar item to open a new HoudahSpot window configured to search these folders.

If you use CocoaTech’s Path Finder, you should download and install the Search droplet to initiate HoudahSpot searches from the Path Finder toolbar. Continue reading Search the current Finder or Path Finder folder

Inspect files and folders using HoudahSpot

The HoudahSpot Info pane shows a wealth of information about the currently selected search result. It starts with the basic attributes of the file or folder:

  • name
  • kind
  • total size of files and folders
  • extension
  • creation and modification dates
  • path
  • comments
  • Finder tags

More importantly though, HoudahSpot shows the most relevant properties based on the type of the selected file. E.g. for audio files, the Info pane shows duration and bit rate. Continue reading Inspect files and folders using HoudahSpot

Use existing templates with HoudahSpot 4.0

HoudahSpot 4.0 has been reimagined from the ground up. Every aspect of the application has been reevaluated. The result is a file search tool that is more powerful, streamlined and easier to use. On the downside,  HoudahSpot 4.0 cannot read saved searches created by previous versions of HoudahSpot.

The HoudahSpot Migration Tool can help convert HoudahSpot 3.x saved searches and templates for use with HoudahSpot 4.0. Continue reading Use existing templates with HoudahSpot 4.0

Templates for recurring searches

This post refers to HoudahSpot 3. The same general ideas still apply. HoudahSpot 4 does not differentiate “live templates” and “ready templates”. For more info on using templates in HoudahSpot 4 , see “Save Queries for Recurring Searches“.

HoudahSpot searches can be saved as documents. These persist all aspects of your customized search: query, locations, columns, sort order, etc. Continue reading Templates for recurring searches

Copy File Search Results as Tab Delimited Text

This post refers to HoudahSpot 3. The same general ideas apply to HoudahSpot 4.

HoudahSpot makes it easy to create detailed queries to find the exact files you are looking for. You can preview found files, open them, etc. Continue reading Copy File Search Results as Tab Delimited Text

Select several filter values

Tembo helps you sort through search results by providing context-sensitive filters. The drill-down views for different groups show different filters. Most filters provide a list of values found in the current search results. Select a value to see only results matching that value.

E.g. the filter sidebar for the Documents group list file types. The PDF Documents group can be filtered by author. Images can be filtered by resolution and file type. Etc.

Continue reading Select several filter values

Start a Tembo search from LaunchBar

This post applies to Tembo 1.x. Please refer to the newer blog post for the updated URL scheme used by Tembo 2.

Tembo implements a custom URL scheme. This can be used with LaunchBar search templates to quickly start Tembo searches from within LaunchBar.

Tembo search URLs have the following format:


Such URLs can be invoked by any application, launcher, script, etc. In this article we will look at setting up a search template in LaunchBar.

Continue reading Start a Tembo search from LaunchBar

Tembo: Hidden features and settings

Tembo includes a couple of hidden features and settings. Read on for instructions to enable or configure these features.

  • Default search scope
  • List mounted volumes
  • Maximum result count
  • Sort by date added
  • Grouped results: Date and time values
  • Show results with no value for the sort attribute

These settings are intentionally hidden.
If things go wrong, you may need to trash your Tembo preferences file.

Continue reading Tembo: Hidden features and settings