Mac Tip #229/08-February-2006
More and more applications are making a Live Search field available to help you find things.
In a regular Search field you type your query and then press something — Return perhaps — to activate the search. This is how the Search Google field in Safari works, for example.
A Live Search is different because it filters the results while you type. This is what iTunes does and it’s being adopted by more and more applications.
To see it in action open iTunes and click on the Library item in the left side Source column. I’m assuming here that you have at least some music or podcasts in iTunes If you’ve never used iTunes then you may have to content yourself with the screenshots. Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions.
I have more than 1700 tracks listed in iTunes. I may like to filter them down to those by Bach. I type the letter b in the Search field at top right and instantly iTunes removes from the display any tracks whose Name, Artist, Album or Genre etc do not contain b. That reduces my list to 988 tracks.
Now I type the letter a and we’re down to 251 items. Then c and it’s down to 57.
Finally I add the h and my list is now reduced to 43 items, including New Zealand musician Elena’s Toccata and Fugue, which I have listed in the Genre Maori, with: ‘Arranged by Janet Holborow’ in the Comment field. Curious — there’s no ‘Bach’ there.
Ah, but I select that track and choose Get Info from the File menu. Now I can see that JS Bach is listed in the Composer field.
You’ll find similar Live Search fields in Safari’s bookmarks window, iPhoto and other applications that have lists of items.
To see your full list of tracks or bookmarks or photos be sure to click the small x at the right-hand end of the search field to remove any text in there, effectively removing the filter.