This is my second post here. My name is Jérôme, I’m from France. I’m testing Devonthink Personal and I think it’s awesome. No flattery here, I mean it. Obviously, I’ll have tons of questions but for the moment I only want to explain why I’m using DT and ask one question, the big questions will come later on — I don’t want to discourage you
Basically I’m trying to organize my 680 GB musical collection, organized in shows, and tons of files (PDFs, .txt files, notes of all sorts, URLs, newsfeeds, CDs, DVDs, OpenOffice files, etc.) and make it a searchable database instead of the chaos it is! I’m completely lost
This is what happens when you’re a compulsive collector
One thing worries me though… When I asked in my general inquiry email “Can I create links between files, for example a wiki-like link between shows (= folders) from the same tour, a link between 2 shows from a different tour because they took place at the same place?”, the reply was “As long as each database entry (each show, e.g.) is an RTF file, DEVONthink can do this.”
I don’t quite follow. Do I really need to have an RTF file for each show??? If yes, why? Each folder contains, well, the tracks (surprise!) and one, sometimes two, text file(s). I already imported a few folders to make searches when my external HD isn’t mounted.
I hope I’ll hear from you soon. Also I’ll have questions about scripting because I’m learning Python. Or should I say trying to learn…
PS—Sorry to say but I noticed some spelling mistakes in the French localisation, who can I report them to?
That sounds like a very large order. 680 GB. Wow! So I would start by suggesting that you use the Index mode (File > Index, or Option-Command-drag & drop) to capture items into your database. In other words, you DON’T want to copy everything (File > Import, or drag & drop) into your DT database, as it would become huge!
Although you can’t directly edit Indexed documents inside DT (and “unknown” file type documents will contain no words), you CAN add keywords or notes to the Comment field of a document’s Info panel (Shift-Command-I).
As you have already copied some groups to your working drive, experiment with that subset of your collection.
Wiki links can be established to groups or to documents, and can refer to the target’s title or alias (alternatively, MashedWords or alias).
RTF (rich text) is required in the document that initiates the Wiki link (or static link), because links can’t be done in plain text (although a plain text document can be the target of a link).
I don’t know all of the file types in your collection. If you want to be able to search and link to (at least) the names of all those file types, you should examine DEVONthink > Preferences > Import and, under the subheading “Files” make sure to check “Unknown file types”.
I don’t know how you have organized your collection, but I would guess from your remarks that the data includes the name of a band, a particular tour, artist names, song names, etc.
One possibility is that you could create a new “master” RTF document for each band in the collection. Do a search in DT for a band and examine the search results. You will have to get creative in working out what you might want to put in that “master” document. Certainly, the band name and perhaps some links to some documents that would give you quick information. Play around and see what you can come up with. Read about aliases in the Help file concerning Wiki links, for example.
DEVONthink Personal isn’t scriptable. DEVONthink Professional has a very extensive AppleScript dictionary and comes with a good many existing scripts and some Automator workflow examples.
So if you plan to get into scripting, you might take a look at DEVONthink Professional instead. Also note the Scripting threads on this forum. A recent thread concerns how to automatically add text to the Content field of specific documents within a database, for example.
All in all, I predict that DT (or DT Pro) can add new levels of compulsion to your collection compulsion, perhaps with very satisfactory results.
Thanks. We would appreciate correction suggestions. Please send them in a message to Support. (Click on Help > Support and that will open a message in your default email application, ready to go when you fill it in.)
Argh! That’s exactly what I did, drag & drop. Only for a small portion of my collection, don’t worry. I’m still testing but I’m 99% sure you’ll have some of my hard-earned €uros for Devinthink (Personal or Pro?), it’s an amazing piece of software!
Is there a “limit” for the size of a database in DT? Or does this limit depend on the RAM I have on my Mac?
Interesting. I’ll do that.
I did. Almost everything is in FLAC, I also have files in mp3 format. The videos are in mpe format. BTW, I even have a few XML files!
Exactly. Plain and simple. I tried to include the name of the venue but sometimes this data is not known.
Actually there’s only one band, with different personnels. My collection is organized accordingly. I’m starting to understand what you mean by “create a master RTF document.”
Hmm… I didn’t notice DT Personal isn’t scriptable. I’ll probably have to switch to DT Pro then
On the other hand, I only started off Python 10 days ago, so I’m really a beginner. I’ll see. I can always upgrade to DT Pro later on, right?
One more question: how can I index an audio CD? is this possible?
Practical limits to a DT/DT Pro database are available RAM and available drive space.
A 2 GB (actual content) database is quite feasible. The more RAM you have, of course, the faster it will run. My guess is that the actual imported content of text and metadata for an index import of your files would run a few hundred megabytes at most. Lots of indexed image files would increase the size somewhat, but would only be a fraction of the actual total size of the indexed images, QuickTime media and so on.
If you purchase a registration for DT Personal and later want to upgrade to DT Professional, you can request a 'coupon" that will let up upgrade for the difference in price.
I think you could index an audio CD by inserting it in the optical drive. A display of the files will become available in the Finder. From DT/DT Pro you could select File > Index, navigate to the Finder listing of the CD files and select it. Alternatively, you might use a CD cataloger program that is capable of producing a text output of all the indexed CDs, then capture that text document into the database. Perhaps there are apps that provide a great deal of information about the songs, artists, etc. on an indexed CD. Certainly, iTunes does! For that matter, you could import all your CDs into iTunes (if you have enough drive space?), display the iTunes Library and capture the display as searchable PDF+text by ‘printing’ it as a PDF document into DT/DT Pro.
Bill, I’ll try to index an audio CD tomorrow and I’ll tell you how it goes.
Waaaah, I’m rediscovering my collection. Especially now that I’m starting to understand how DT works. Did they really play this tune on this tour? The search function is excellent. OK, you’ve got one more customer. You got me hooked All i need to decide is whether or not I upgrade to DT Pro now.
I’ll have another problem: how can I index a DVD audio? Hmm… I’ll have to find a workaround. I think I’ll have to rip the audio track first because obviously Apple computers aren’t equipped with DVD audio players. Mustn’t be a big deal.
iTunes creates an XML file for the playlist. Can DT read an XML file?
Indexing audio CDs is so easy it’s almost embarrassing.
2 questions about Devonthink Pro. The learning curve is a bit steep but it’s worth it.
Is there a way to always have the tool bar in a database? I have to select View > Select Toolbar. i couldn’t find an option in the prefs to always have the toolbar.
When I select a group or a folder, or whatever, and click Shift-Option I, the Information panel comes up. But I don’t understand what DT means by “URL” in that case…
The Help says “Devonthink Professional comes with an export plug-in that allows you to export your data to the built-in note viewer of 3rd and 4th generation iPods.” Does it work with 5th-generation iPods?
Why not capture the web page as a PDF? You can “print” it either in portrait or landscape mode (using Page Setup). Select File > Print (or Command-P).
When the Print panel appears, press the PDF button and select “Save to DEVONthink Pro script.scpt”. Then choose the location to which it will be placed in the database.
If you want to use the Capture image, probably the best approach (since your database is mostly Index-imported) would be to save it to a folder on your hard drive. Then in DT Pro choose File > Index to capture the image. It will display in your database, but remain linked to the external original image file.
Or activate the Groups floating panel (in DT Pro, Tools > Show Groups. Then make the Finder frontmost and Command-Option-drag the image file to the desired location in the floating Groups panel. That also results in an Index-import.
Or select the image directly in Capture (if that’s possible – I don’t know) and drag it to the desired location on the Groups floating panel. That would be an Import-import and copy the image to your database Files folder, I think.
Experiment and settle on a way that’s comfortable and works for you.
So far I indexed about 80% of my music and some videos. My database is 20.8MB now. Finally, after years of chaos, my collection is organized. Well sort of, because there’s still a lot of work left.
I would like to thank Devon Technologies for their efforts.
Use the command Help > Install Add-ons to install additional plug-ins & scripts. Afterwards switch to Mail and select “Add message(s) to DEVONthink” or “Add mailbox(es) to DEVONthink” in the global scripts menu extra (located in the right corner of the menu bar). Warning: These scripts will flag the mails added to DEVONthink.
I noticed something somewhat confusing with the name of my database. When I started toying a bit with DT Pro, I gave it a ‘temporary’ name. But when I started to understand how it works, I indexed more files and changed its name in File > Properties of the database. But the ‘old’ name is still in the menu when I select File > Open recent. Is this only me?