Keeping media on your computer has some great benefits. Watching movies directly from your hard drive saves battery life. DVDs scratch easily, so backing up lets you have some peace of mind.
Now here’s the problem: You don’t have any visual cues as to what is what. Rather than looking for the covers and cases you know so well, you must rely on the same sterile document icon (or preview of the first scene of the movie if you have icon previews on) and the small label underneath.
The interface of SlipCover is dead simple, and filled with Core Animation goodness. The entire application works around a single window. To make a case, you drag the case(s) onto the window. SlipCover works its magic, and bam! you’ve got a case made from the first type on the list (by default Blu-Ray.) Next, you select from the drop down menu and find the case that you want.
Now the path splits in two. If you want to change a file icon to this new case, drag the file right onto it. SlipCover also has an option to save your cases for later. This is done by dragging the cases onto the desktop, or wherever you want to save them to.
There are a variety of cases available for SlipCover, though to find the best ones you must search the nooks and crannies of the web. Here are some of my favorites, as well as some good places to keep an eye out for new cases:
- Dustin Schau, one of the creators of SlipCover has compiled a nice little package of 8 cases to get you started: (download link) Starter Case
- IconPaper has aggregated several unique and very orignial cases here.
- A quick search over at MacThemes2.net reveals some hidden gems.
- This one is from MacThemes, but I think it deserves a standalone mention. Mathew Rex’s Cases
Roll Your Own
A big aspect of SlipCover is it’s community of case makers. As you may have seen in the past section. Bohemian Coding has provided a case making documentation. Very roughly on my part, a case consists of an XML file and a case state for 512, 245, 128, 48, 32, and 16 pixels.
Dusting Schau was kind enough to provide a starter kit to help you hit the ground running with your case making escapades. Available here.
Kinks In The System
As you can tell, I love SlipCover. But it has a few flaws. If you drag a file onto the case in SlipCover directly, you are getting an .ICON file. But if you drag the case away for later, you get an .ICNS file. The latter file cannot be used to change file icons.
You can see how this can be a deterrent. One work around is to put your saved icons into Candybar and export them into .ICON. Also, after closing the main SlipCover window, you can’t get another window untill you restart SlipCover.