The folks over an Unsanity are infamous for their powerful, and practical applications/modifications for Mac OS X. This time they have released the Chat Transcript Manager. Its goal is to make it easier to glean important information from the chat logs generated by iChat and Adium.
Most people now use OS 10.4’s Spotlight to search their chat logs. It is true that Spotlight makes the process easier than ever before. But Chat Transcript Manager not only does a great job of searching the chat logs, but it also does an excellent job of organizing them. The program makes it amazingly simply to filter the logs by dates. For example, with one click you can view all chats from today, or all chats from last week, or even last month or year. You can also filter for conversations that contain and email addresses, links, or pictures. I my case, this made it easy for me to locate the chat that contained an important screen shot from a person that I chat with constantly, and subsequently have hundreds of log files for. And, if you would simply like to filter for all chat’s with a given user, there is a filter for that as well.
And, naturally, Chat Transcript Manager has a search function that makes keyword searches a snap. It also does a nice job of displaying the chat logs as well as printing them. I would prefer to see the chats displayed in iChat’s user interface style rather than its own, but that is a personal preference. Since the application is designed to work with Adium logs as well, it makes perfect sense that the developers would avoid emulating any specific chat client.
Though Chat Transcript Manager currently only supports iChat and Adium, it is reasonable to expect that support for additional clients will be forthcoming. The features of 1.0 make it worth the $10 shareware fee if you need to glean information from your chat logs from time to time.
Download the fully functional demo from Unsanity and test drive it for yourself!