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Can Alfred search my WD MyCloud?


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Hi @nesdroc, welcome to the forum.

 

In a word, no. Alfred uses the same system metadata index as Spotlight. If it isn't indexed by macOS, Alfred's search won't see it.

 

That said, navigation mode still works on non-indexed files, and you can search the drive easily enough with a workflow. I think @vitor's Google Drive workflow can index and search any volume, not only your Google Drive.

 

 

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Hi and thanks for the welcome @deanishe

 

I was afraid so from what I had been reading. Interestingly, I had come across the Google drive workflow, which is why I thought just perhaps... Wasn't aware that it was kind of a universal workflow, so I will check it out again. So far just trying Alfred for the first time and getting ready to go forward with Powerpack.

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3 hours ago, nesdroc said:

Wasn't aware that it was kind of a universal workflow

 

Yeah. It works around Google Drive's rotten support for indexing by creating its own index of a volume based on standard FS metadata. In theory, it should work with any volume.

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It just tried pulling it down, though there seems to be some checks set up to be looking for Google Drive services and such. I'm still new to Workflows, so haven't gotten the reverse engineering of them down 100% yet. 

 

However, the path to my WD MyCloud Home on my machine is 

/Users/user/Library/Containers/com.wdc.WDDesktop.WDDesktopFinderSync/Data/volumes/3456789/User's My Cloud Home

..I don't know if the number changes each time is mounted. I tried adding this path to Alfred's search scope, but so far I'm not hitting anything. Anyway of knowing if Alfred is able to search this? 

 

Whereas the Google drive workflow initially just points to,

/Volumes/GoogleDrive/My Drive

 

I can obviously try and change the path and see if it can gather something, but that still leaves me a bit at loss with all the other things going on in the workflow. Is there a simple boiled down test I could do perchance? 

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10 hours ago, nesdroc said:

I don't know if the number changes each time is mounted.

 

Why don't you remount the drive and find out? A location that changes on each mount is the reason Google Drive doesn't work properly with Spotlight.

 

10 hours ago, nesdroc said:

I tried adding this path to Alfred's search scope

 

Like I said, Alfred uses the same index as Spotlight, so that won't help.

 

10 hours ago, nesdroc said:

I can obviously try and change the path and see if it can gather something

 

The workflow obviously can't index the drive if you don't tell it where it is.

 

10 hours ago, nesdroc said:

Is there a simple boiled down test I could do perchance?

 

Run ls -lR /path/to/the/folder in a shell. If that works, so should the workflow.

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Thanks for the breakdown. So, I went through the items..

 

On 1/14/2022 at 11:55 AM, deanishe said:

Why don't you remount the drive and find out? A location that changes on each mount is the reason Google Drive doesn't work properly with Spotlight.

So far it's been having the same path after each reboot.

 

On 1/14/2022 at 11:55 AM, deanishe said:

The workflow obviously can't index the drive if you don't tell it where it is.

I've had the path added to Alfred for a while now, but Alfred is not showing any results. Thought the reason why it didn't show up in Spotlight was because Spotlight didn't look in ~/Library/* but that Alfred would if told to.

 

On 1/14/2022 at 11:55 AM, deanishe said:

Run ls -lR /path/to/the/folder in a shell. If that works, so should the workflow.

This works! 

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2 hours ago, nesdroc said:

I've had the path added to Alfred for a while now, but Alfred is not showing any results. Thought the reason why it didn't show up in Spotlight was because Spotlight didn't look in ~/Library/* but that Alfred would if told to.

 

It isn't that Spotlight doesn't look in ~/Library, it's that the folder isn't indexed by macOS to begin with.

 

As Alfred uses the same index as Spotlight, it can't find anything in there, either. Your Search Scope defines where Alfred looks, but it doesn't change what gets indexed in the first place.

 

The purpose of Vítor's workflow is to index and search directories that the system doesn't. It doesn't care about your Search Scope because anything that belongs in there is, by definition, out of scope.

 

You have to configure the workflow's search paths separately. It's all in the instructions. Don't make it index more folders than strictly necessary.

Edited by deanishe
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Thanks for explaining it in more detail @deanishe. I don't know much about how Spotlight works behind the scene. A shame it has to be so complicated. Remember I used Everything back in the days on Windows, indexed whole system as far as I know.

 

I've now installed, setup, and run @vitor's Google Drive workflow and can confirm that it works out of the box for WD My Cloud Home. 

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15 hours ago, nesdroc said:

I don't know much about how Spotlight works behind the scene. A shame it has to be so complicated.

 

It's not really Spotlight's fault. Spotlight doesn't index ~/Library by default because that's where application's keep their private data. It's up to the individual application to tell macOS which of their data it should index. Similarly, it's up to virtual drives like WD MyCloud to make the data available for indexing.

 

Spotlight doesn't work (properly) with Google Drive or WD MyCloud because Google and WD have half-arsed the Mac implementations of their clients.

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