Syrinx 2.0 is a Capable Twitter Client

| In-Depth Review

Syrinx 2.0, now in beta, is a Mac-only, free Twitter client that is full featured, colorful and fun to use. It requires Leopard and is based on two goals: efficient workflow and customization. The 2.0 beta adds many welcome features such as search of Twitter, Retweets (RT) and auto URL shortening.

Unlike Twitterrific, which supports itself with ads mixed in with the tweets, Syrinx is donationware. The author, Mickey Roberson appears to be pouring a lot of effort into this fine Twitter client for the Mac, and donations will help keep him improving this superb software. Mr. Roberson told this reviewer that the Syrinx name comes from the fact that it's the bird equivalent of a larynx (voice box), so it literally is where tweets come from. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrinx_(biology) "It also turns out that Syrinx is another name for the pan flute, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_pipes) so that's where I got the idea for my icon. I got lucky that the perfect name also led me to a great icon idea," he said.

Syrinx main window

Syrinx Main Window

Syrinx works like most Twitter clients: a scrolling window in time of tweets from all the people (and lately, organizations) you follow. The colors of each tweet can be set to alternate to make the tweets more readable.

Features of the currently shipping version 1.3.1 are:

  • Bookmark a tweet to note that every tweet afterwards remains unread.
  • Search the tweets in the timeline.
  • Pause the stream so one can work uninterrupted for a time.
  • Keyboard control without mouse if desired.
  • A friends window to follow selected people.
  • Follow selected conversations.

Syrinx friends

Syrinx Friends

Version 2, now at 2.0b8, adds new tweet commands: retweet, open all links of a tweet, and delete a tweet. Version 2 has also be restructured, using (Cocoa API) NSTableView with custom cells, to reduce the memory footprint and improve responsiveness.

Perhaps the biggest addition to version 2 is the ability to search the Twitter database itself. Key words in a tweet, marked with a hash (#), can be searched on the Twitter server, so if you want to know what people are saying today about, say, Obama, you can search on just that word.

Often when sending a tweet with a long URL, one can exceed the 140 character limit. Under the Edit menu, one can automatically obtain a shortened URL. The tinyurl.com service is used. There are many more enhancements that can be found on the beta page.

I've been using this Twitter client for several months now, and I'm finding it to be a joy to use. I can't think of anything that's missing in the 2.0 beta, and I especially like the customizability and use of color in the timeline.

This is an app that deserves to be supported via donations, or like many excellent but free apps, it will fade under the onslaught of Twittergreed by larger developers.

Product: Syrinx

Company: MRR Software

List Price: $0.00

Pros:

Clean design, highly customizable, lots of tweet-related features, great use of color, free (donationware). Version 2 adds essential Twitter functions and URL shortening to make it a complete Twitter client. No additional software support required, such as Adobe AIR used for other clients.

Cons:

None found so far.

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1 Comments

Dave Hamilton

Does it support multiple accounts?  I know many Twitter users who find that feature mandatory, myself included.

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