Meow: a Mastodon export viewer

Hi! This is a tool that allows you to view your Mastodon export file. Just click “select a file” on the main page, choose your Mastodon archive (with .tar.gz extension) and enjoy!

To export all your toots in Mastodon, go to Preferences > Import and export, click “request your archive” and wait for it to become available for download.

Features:
  • Viewing toots and boosts
  • Scope filtering
  • Toot text search
  • Image and video attachment support
  • Custom emoji support in toots and usernames
  • Viewing starred toots and bookmarks
  • Basic keyboard navigation
  • Showing your tooting statistics!

Using Meow with Mastodon Archive

In case you want more flexibility than Mastodon's built-in export offers, you can optionally use Meow with Mastodon Archive, a tool that can download your data from Mastodon (and, theoretically, Pleroma; that setup hasn't been tested) without using the export feature. Which means that the one export per week limit doesn't apply to it. Additionally, it lets you see followers-only stars and boosts (though not bookmarks), which is impossible to do using built-in export. However, it requires a somewhat more complicated setup, and so is more suitable for advanced users.

For setup instructions, refer to the readme. After you install it and create your archive, just run mastodon-archive meow <username@your.instance> and follow the instructions. Meow will import your toots and show them in your browser!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does meow show an error instead of some of my starred toots?

A: The file you export from your Mastodon profile doesn't contain your starred toots, it only has links to them. Meow tries to download those toots from the instances they're located on. So if the toot author has deleted it or the instance is down (or some other network error ocurred), meow shows an error.

Q: When was meow last updated?

A: This version was built on October 26 2021, 15:39 UTC

Q: Who drew these amazing cats?

A: @ais05!

Q: Meow crashes when I try to open an archive

A: That shouldn't happen, your archive is probably too large. I haven't seen this happen before, please, report the bug to me (see the next section). (As you might've already guessed, some of these frequently asked questions were never actually asked, and I hope that this question will remain being one of them.)

Q: How do I report bugs?

A: Tag @meowViewer@toot.cafe on Mastodon. Preferably in a public toot, but followers-only and direct messages are ok, too.

Q: Search doesn't find a toot even though I know for sure it has the word I'm searching for!

A: Here was a text explaining the limitations of the search engine. However, I'm happy to announce that they don't apply to Meow anymore! It now supports full-text search and will find substrings in words and such.

Q: Which words are counted in stats?

A: Meow attempts to only count meaningful words, as you wouldn't want to see “a”, “the” and “is” at the top of the list. However, our list of stopwords isn't perfect, so some may slip through the filter.

Only English words are filtered. In other languages, all words are counted.

A: Toot links usually have long numbers at the end. Paste this number into the search box, click “go” and your toot should be there.

Q: Keyboard navigation?

A: You can use Tab to jump from one element to another, enter to activate them, arrow keys to switch pages.

Q: Does meow send my toots anywhere?

A: No, meow doesn't send your toots anywhere, they are processed locally on your computer. However, meow needs to connect to foreign servers to fetch remote emoji, images and starred toots. We also use GoatCounter analytics, it doesn't log any personally identifying information (a hash of your IP address, user agent and a random number is logged together with the page address and some data about your browser).

Meow is not open-source (yet?), so if you're asking yourself whether you can trust meow, you aren't wrong to question it. To verify that your data isn't sent anywhere, you can open your browser's devtools and go to the network tab. It should show all the network requests.

Q: Open-source components used in meow

A: UI framework: Vue.js
IndexedDB wrapper: Dexie.js
Gzip library: Pako
Tar library: js-untar
Date/time display: dayjs
Date picker: js-datepicker
HTML processing: DOMPurify
Calendar and reply icons: Font Awesome (license)
Charting library: Chart.js
CSS framework: Bootstrap with a modified Darkly theme
Search engine: FlexSearch

Q: Similar software?

A: Mastodon Archive Tool is a tool for searching toots.

mastodon-data-viewer.py is an offline tool for viewing and searching toots and attachments. It is written in Python and requires installation.

mastodon-archive-viewer is another offline tool for viewing toots. It supports filters for boosts, toots with media, replies, etc. It is written in OCaml and requires installation.

Mastodon Archive (GitHub) is an offline tool that allows you to make an archive of your statuses, favourites and media in both. From the archive, it can generate a simple text file or an HTML file with or without media. Unlike Meow and all of the previously mentioned tools, it doesn't depend on the built-in Mastodon export functionality.

If you find another piece of software that works with Mastodon export archives, please tell me!