My preferred organizer
If you own as many icons like I do, folders of icons just don't cut it anymore. You need something more robust to manage it all. My preferred tool for that is CandyBar. It does its job quite nicely. However, it doesn't hurt to check out the competition, especially when the developer is Belgian.
Meet IconBox 2
IconBox is being developed by ChickenByte & The IconBlock Ltd. Back in the day (about 8 years ago) IconBox 1 was the very first icon organizer for Mac OS X. With version 2 the developers decided to completely rewrite the app with a brand new interface and lot’s of extra features.
IconBox 2.0 is one App with 4 modes.
Your collections are called "Boxes". You can just drop a folder of icons and a new Box will be created with the same name of the folder you just dropped. Same goes for the iContainers format that CandyBar is using. Both can easily be imported into your catalog by using drag and drop. You can also create "Groups". A "Group" can have any number of sub-boxes. You also have "Smart Boxes", just like iTunes Smart Playlists. These folders are constantly being updated based on the criteria you have set. From the "File menu" you can also import your CandyBar collection. I couldn't verify that with mine as I have too many items. The Export feature packs some interesting options like exporting as a .zip package, the iContainer format, or as ICNS, png, tiff, jpeg, and gif.
In the demo version that I used you can only import 250 icons. That's what I did to test it out. However, during my tests of the application I changed my mind, and wanted to remove a bunch of them so I could add a few others. I moved them to the trash. The application kept on saying that I can only use 250. After a minute I realized that what is in the trash, is also being count, so I tried to delete what was in the trash. This had me startled, I didn't saw a way of doing this immediately. Trying the usual stuff like going to the "Edit menu" and looking for Delete (was grayed out), the delete key, command-backspace, clicking on the Trash icon with second mouse button etc, no dice. Apparently after some frustration I found out that if you want to delete what is in trash you have to go to the "File menu" instead. A bit un-logical imho.
The Customize feature works just like the one in CandyBar, with one exception. I didn't notice the same functionality as the "Use These Icons" in CandyBar. This functionality is smart with some collections as it knows which icons it needs to be apply to. This way you don't need to do every icon one by one. The rest is quite similar with a way to either customize "System" icons, "Application" icons, "Volume" icons, or customizing your "Dock".
The tools section is the one feature that really sets IconBox apart from CandyBar. Right now there is only one feature available called "XRay". The "XRay" feature scans your "Application" folder and shows all Applications that it finds (except the ones that are in a folder). When you click an Application, you are able to peek inside the contents of that particular application. In other words you take a peek into all the icons that particular application is using. You can filter the icons it finds by type (png, tiff, pdf, icns). You can export "selected items" or "all items" or open it with Preview.
Icon of the Day
The "Icon of the Day" is a nice idea to discover more icons within the application. We all know that it isn't easy to find great looking free icons. What I don't understand is that there is no way of browsing the previous days. You only see the one of today. Personally I would have added a way to go back to discover older ones, as I don't see myself booting up the app daily just to not miss an icon.
Next to "Icon of the Day" you get "Icon Sites", 15 recommendations of icon sites. Some are better than others but that is just personal. Overall the quality is quite high.
Lastly you can search http://www.iconfinder.com/ from within the application. Just enter whatever item that you need and you'll get the results. In the example below you'll see that I searched for idea.
Except for the Trash debacle I didn't experience any issues. Adding all the features up it seems like a worthy competitor to CandyBar. I personally think that which one you'll opt for will come down to personal taste. Both fit in nicely within Mac OS X. If you doubt I recommend that you try both for the extended period of the demo. IconBox 2 ($24.99) is little bit cheaper than CandyBar ($29). IconBox has its place within the other famous Belgian Mac applications, CSSEdit and Espresso.