I have seen that for certain folders such as Pictures, Movies, Music, show extra information in more columns when viewed in List View in Finder.

For e.g., if I Ctrl click on one of the column names in any folders in List View, I can select the columns to view. In Pictures, I see that it includes two more properties Dimensions and Resolution.

Similarly, in Music, I can see Authors, Title, Album etc. I can see that on individual files in these folders, I can set such information using xattr on particular files. My question is, how do I mark a folder such that it shows such properties in the List View? and how do I tell which attributes to display?

I see from here that a way to make some of the properties available was to temporarily change the folder name. Is there a better way? And is there a way to customize which properties are shown?

What I have done so far:

  • Renamed the directory to Music, and got the properties as mentioned here. Selected Authors as the property to keep.

  • Then I renamed the directory back. It retained all the new columns

  • Then I deleted the .DS_store from the folder. It still retained all the new columns.

That is, the setting is not stored in the .DS_Store

  • Then I checked the mdls output of the folder before and after renaming to Music and back. The only things changed were

    --- xx.lst  2018-08-16 02:51:45.000000000 -0700
    +++ xx1.lst 2018-08-16 02:52:25.000000000 -0700
    @@ -27,3 +27,9 @@
     kMDItemFSTypeCode                  = ""
     kMDItemInterestingDate_Ranking     = 2018-08-16 00:00:00 +0000
     kMDItemKind                        = "Folder"
    +kMDItemLastUsedDate                = 2018-08-16 09:52:14 +0000
    +kMDItemLastUsedDate_Ranking        = 2018-08-16 00:00:00 +0000
    +kMDItemUseCount                    = 3
    +kMDItemUsedDates                   = (
    +    "2018-08-15 22:00:00 +0000"

So, it is not stored as an xattr in the directory.

  • Moved it elsewhere. Moving it to a different folder did not cause the columns to be lost.

So, the information is somehow carried with the directory entry.

  • Renamed the folder to Pictures. It allowed me to add extra columns other than Authors. I chose Resolution. On renaming it back, it let me keep both Authors and Resolution

So, in some way, the different properties are set differently, not based on a hard coding of particular folder types. That is, my folder is now neither Music nor Pictures in terms of the properties.

  • Moved it to iCloud. I can still see the columns from the iCloud listing.

  • Looked at the iCloud listing of my directory from another OSX system. The extra properties Authors and Resolution is no longer available.

That is, iCloud is not storing these attributes. It is somehow stored in the individual system.

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