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iChat Log Viewing Software

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There are three pieces of software out to view iChat log files. Only one shines. The rest have problems. Logorrhea (great name, huh), iChatViewer, and iChatAnalyzer are the three apps looked at this comparison.

iChatAnalyzer 0.2.1b

VersionTracker still lists this app as beta. This app makes a line chart of your chats! Wow. What is this for? It relies on iChat to actually view the log files. The search function is slow, and when I double-click on an entry in the search results window it will NOT open the chat. This app might be better to look at once it has matured a bit. In the Read Me it does state that this is the developers first OS X app. I hope the future releases have more to offer. The two reports that can be generated are not useful, not formatted in a friendly manner, and IMO contain way to much information then I want to know.

iChatViewer 0.5.1

This app is a little better. It tells the begin and end time, With this data there should be no problem adding the total chat time on the UI, because that info is not there yet. I really like the simple UI of this application. That is its best feature. It too also needs to use iChat to view the log files though. I don’t really like that. Show in Finder is also a nice feature. The search also uses the same UI, opening the results in a new iChatViewer window. The only thing I would like to see in this app is inline log file viewing. That and the elapse time of the chat, in big, bold, numbers.

Logorrhea 1.2.1

Now this is a polished application. The main reason I like this app over the rest is it shows the chats inline, not having to use iChat to view them. The search also highlights the search term in yellow, which is a very nice feature. Great Job! Logorrhea also can reveal a chat in the Finder. You can export chats out of Logorrhea but it seems that it exports all of them, not just the one that is selected, this a bummer. Concatenating all the chat data into one large text file does not make any sense to me.

I wish it showed the begin, end, and elapsed times of the chat. That would be my only suggestion for this wonderful application. Maybe in a future release.

Originally posted on Breaking Windows.

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About Ken Edwards