Back in March 2005 I wrote a piece entitled Get Ready For The ‘Desktop Search’ Revolution in which I expounded the virtues of this new form of software which has since become commonplace. More than 18 months on however a little company called Datacatch has invented a very clever way to improve on them all.
Like the software by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and countless other desktop search products Datacatch ‘Librarian’ will index the contents of your computer for easy access but, remarkably, it will also let you search removable media like portable hard drives, memory keys, flash memory cards and optical discs when they are not connected to the computer!
How on earth does this ingenious piece of software do this? The answer is simple: whenever removable media is inserted or connected to a computer Librarian catches and organises details about the media and the files it contains (including file and folder information and thumbnail images) and indexes them as part of the overall database.
Consequently a user can now type a query into the search programme and not only check his computer hard disk, but all his back up drives, CDs, DVDs, even Blu-ray and HD DVDs as well as memory keys and flash media all at once. When the appropriate information is found the results will show on which drive, disc or device it is located.
Personally I love this idea and I’m stunned that (at least as far as I know) no one has come up with something like it before. A small snag is that unlike Google, M$, Yahoo, etc Librarian isn’t free though it retails for a very reasonable $39 as a direct download from the company’s website.
A professional edition ($59) extends the functionality through plug-ins and will add support for Microsoft Desktop Search in late 2006 and Google Desktop Search in early 2007. Finally, a Corporate edition (“coming soon”) makes the product networkable for multi-user environments and offers a security feature to monitor data written to discs or copied via USB or Firewire to removable media.
Bets on Datacatch being purchased by one of the major desktop search developers in the next 12 months…!