Oh how i wish.. folders and files suit a lot of people, and a lot of cases, But sometimes, When you’ve got a lot of data, it’d be nice to be able to access files via a progressive search..
For example, Right now, To access a Hilltop hoods album i might use:
K:\Media\Music\Hilltop Hoods\The Hard Road\
Thats simple enough, and both have their places, Organising music into structures like that is good, and makes finding things much easier.
But what do you do, when your browsing remotely, through a media center, that doesnt have a keyboard, and instead requires you to scroll down the list item-by-item, I might have thousands of artists… Finding H is going to take awhile..
One solution to this is to break it up more:
K:\Media\Music\H\Hilltop Hoods\The Hard Road\
Now i can jump straight to the H’s without too much trouble.
But what if this could be done automatically?
Tags:\filetype\m\mp3\release-date\2007\starts-with\h\HillTop Hoods\directory\The Hard Road\
Now that might seem a rather long file path, But in reality, it’d be much faster to locate a specific file or folder, by using the meta-data of the files, it’d be possible to drill down and return a smaller list of files to scroll through. For example, Another path could be:
That’d only return items created last week, which also exist within the “Music” Tag (In this case, The Music tag would automatically be added to the file as it exists in K:\Media\Music\ and/or since it realises that a mp3 file is a Music file).
Another one could be:
There are certain projects for the Linux(And mac) desktop which allows this sort of functionality, but they’re more of a drill down based on tags that the user gives a file.. Whilst it works fine for sites like Flickr, it doesnt exactly apply well to local files which contain lots of meta data already.. Or for that matter, It doesn’t apply to me either (As running a Linux/mac desktop isn’t something I’m going to do again anytime soon, A Linux desktop just isn’t for me)
I can dream I guess.. I mean, I’d write it myself, Except I haven’t done Desktop Programming in a fair while, And dont think i’d go too well writing a file system driver. Last time i looked into this (I was still on XP, so say 18~24 months ago) It was near impossible to get your hands on the required software from Microsoft, Now, It looks like they give it away(As they well should). Combined with a database with a decent structure, shouldn’t be -too- bad for speed lookups..
One question i can think of it, What about writing files to the disk? Well.. The only idea i can come up with there, is that it’d have to only allow modifying files, not creating them..
Edit: Ok, So Vista’s search folders originally looked like a good solution, But it never did fit for me.. Looks like windows 7 has improved a bit, but still not what i want.. For now, To ease access, I’ve created a “Shortcuts” folder, Which is basically a folder full of Symlinks (Yes, Vista+ supports them) linking to the latest media items i’ve got, or anything i want quick access to.