Synchronize your IM chat history

By Mark O’Neill

Since I spend approximately 14 hours a day online, I tend to use instant messaging a lot. I use all of the major services via the Pidgin interface as well as Skype and Google Talk.

Which all work fine, but the one thing that really annoys me is having to find a certain message at some point in the future. I often get clients who agree with me on something one day and then deny it the next day. If you use Google Talk then it isn’t a problem as everything is logged and searchable in Gmail. But try searching your Skype chat history or your AIM chat logs, and you’ll start to see what I mean. Finding one message from say 6 months ago is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

IM-History claims to be able to help you overcome that problem and so far it seems to be doing a pretty good job of taming my wild chat logs. It doesn’t support Google Talk which is actually OK with me as I have Gmail to index what was and wasn’t said. But it is doing a first-class job of searching and filtering my Skype chats for the past 2 years as well as my logs for AIM, Windows Live Messenger, ICQ and Yahoo Messenger. Since I don’t use IRC, I don’t know if IM-History supports it but I see no reason why it wouldn’t. If someone wants to test that, please let me know what you find out.

When you install it for the first time, it will access your IM accounts and download copies of your entire available chat history (assuming you have already saved these records of course). It then runs in the background and synchronizes with your IM programs so as you chat, the IM-History logs update immediately. It stores text, photos, links and URL’s and you can then filter the messages to find what you are looking for :


It also supports multiple programs so if you have two Skype accounts or three AIM accounts, just add them all and when you log onto one of the accounts and begin chatting, IM-History starts updating.

It also follows the Foxmarks model by also offering your chat logs on the secure https IM-History website. So you can access your chat logs from wherever there is a computer with internet access.

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