Cover Flow as History Visualization

April 25, 2009

Apple has made a big deal of “Cover Flow”, a way of visualization and manipulating a collection of images.

It started in iTunes as a way of visualizing album covers.

Cover Flow in iTunes

Cover Flow in iTunes

It’s pretty but not useful. I don’t mentally sort music by album and it’s a clumsy way to cue memories.

Then, they introduced Cover Flow as a way of browsing files in Finder.

Cover Flow in Mac OS X Finder

Cover Flow in Mac OS X Finder

Again, it’s nifty but not useful. Large images of folders and icons of file types don’t help much.

Now, they have Cover Flow for browsing my internet history in Safari, and it’s brilliant.

Cover Flow Safari 4 History

Cover Flow Safari 4 History

I remembered reading something about making my own bagels. The history search made it easy search the text of pages that I had visited. The large images made them easy to remember. This combination made it possible to find the bagel recipe I want to try. To top it all off, the whole thing is gorgeous. Safari 4’s history visualization with cover flow is phenomenal.

Advertisements

One Response to “Cover Flow as History Visualization”

  1. Alicia Says:

    “Then, they introduced Cover Flow as a way of browsing files in Finder.
    Again, it’s nifty but not useful. Large images of folders and icons of file types don’t help much.”

    Incorrect!

    It’s true that looking at a bunch of folders and file icons is not useful but that’s not what it was intended to be used for. I have found this feature extremely useful. For example, yesterday I wanted to find the application to a scholarship that I had downloaded in the past month. I just switched my downloads folder into Cover Flow and with a bit of scrolling, there it was. Normally I would have had to open several files guessing based on the vague file names going through the folder.

    Cover Flow is also useful to organizing and filing/recycling files on your desktop and downloads folder. Further more it is useful for finding which of four versions of a pdf is the one you want without opening them. It is fantastic in combination with the search feature in the finder window, when looking for files from my undergraduate repository. I find it more helpful when trying to find a file I haven’t used in 8+ months. I no longer remember what I named it or where exactly I put it but I remember what the document looks like.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: