With today’s 7.5 release ABFR is now getting towards the mid-way point to the next major upgrade and it is time to take stock of what’s happened since.
Version 7, of course, was a complete rewrite and that allowed a major step forward to be made. After close to a decade of pretty-much-monthly updates it was high time to do some clean up work.
Looking through the change history since the 7.0 release, a lot of the 14 (!) releases dealt with the fact that version 7 is a stand-alone application as well as a contextual menu item.
The ongoing “Should the Rename Button Quit the Application or Clear the Preview?” saga reared its ugly head again in the recent About this Particular Macintosh (Verdict: “Very Nice!”) review.. if I had one email from everybody who thinks that it should or should not quit, I’d have a lot of emails.. well actually I do.
In version 7.4.5, I thought I had finally settled this dispute by making the behavior configurable along the “Have your cake and eat it” ideology. Now I start getting emails that argue that having to tick or un-tick the check box to change the behavior is a bit sluggish.. ah, well.. how about making both options available via the “File” menu..
.. and throwing in a keyboard shortcut while we are at it.
When I rewrote ABFR I left out a few of the more exotic features, some because I reasoned that “nobody is using this stuff”, others were pushed out of the initial scope to make time for more generally useful features.
Version 7.5 should now complete the transition by adding the last missing feature from version 6.9.6: alphabetical sequences are back!
The reasoning behind them is that sequence numbers can take up a lot of space in a file name, e.g. you need 9 digits for the first 10 billion sequence numbers (0..9,999,999,999).
I think this is fine for most people given that your file name can be up to 255 characters long, but it is true that using the 26 letters of the alphabet instead of only 10 digits (suckers) is more compact yet 🙂
In other news, Apple apparently has removed the ability to read mp4 tags of (moderately) “Fair Play”-encoded files from Quicktime and thus the mp3 tag renaming feature no longer works with m4p files. Thanks Apple!
Apple now also seem to be using “bundles” (i.e. files that are actually folders such as OS X applications) for document files in GarageBand and A Better Finder Rename now makes sure that it doesn’t ruin your files by renaming the contents of the bundle as well as the top-level folder.
The “File List” features also see some minor user-requested improvements and that’s all until next month..