Mac: Adium = IM++

Since I got my Mac I’ve been using iChat as my instant messaging tool. Not only was it the right price (free), it also supported video chats. I’ve become quite fond of the video chats, though it is really a tiny fraction of my IM conversations.

What iChat was missing was the way it kept track of my IM conversations. Sure, they are all logged but getting access to them meant opening text files, one for each conversation. What I really wanted was what I had in Trillian: a complete log of every conversation I had ever had with a person in a single location.
I had heard many people mention that I should look at Adium as a replacement to iChat but until today I had held off, mainly because Adium did not support the video chats. I decided I would give it a try anyway. I’m really glad I did!
Adium is about as customizable as anything I have ever seen. You have access to every possible event, pushing them through Growl, and you can change the appearance and behavior of everything I could think of.
Fonts, colors, sizes, borders, themes, alerts, sounds, etc. You name it, Adium can probably customize it. In addition it supports the three main IM locations that I need: AIM, Google Talk and MSN Messenger. It supports a lot more than just, but those were the ones I cared about.
On the chat log (history) front, I can pull up a list of every one of the contacts I have chatted with in Adium and scroll through our conversations. Wonderful – just what I needed. I’m still looking to get my 14MB of chat history in Trillian over and into Adium but it doesn’t look like there’s a solution to that challenge right now.
There’s also been extensive discussion in the Adium blogs, forums and support tickets about adding video at some point in the future. For now I think I’ll be spending most of my time in Adium and just pop into iChat if I need to do video.