I’m releasing a little side project called StretchLink today. It’s an easy-to-use tool for expanding shortened links, fixing redirects, and cleaning out referrer junk from Google Analytics and others.

StretchLink runs in the OS X menu bar. You can click the icon to open the main panel from which it can expand and clean links on demand with a single click.

Even better, it can be set to silently watch your clipboard. You can turn this on with a switch from the main panel, or just right click the menu bar icon to toggle it.

When watching the clipboard, urls that you copy from the web, emails, Twitter clients, or anywhere on your system are instantly converted to reveal their actual destination, with unnecessary query strings (the ?blabla=bergybergy stuff that Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others use to track clicks) removed. By the time you go to paste into an email, a blog post, a new Tweet, or anywhere else, you’ll get the url you wanted, not the one that redirects through Twitter or Facebook, then sends information to Google, and then (maybe) finally gets to where you wanted to go.

StretchLink 1.0 is priced at $1.99, with a free trial available on the website. An introductory sale of $0.99 (50% off) starts now and goes through the end of May.

StretchLink didn’t get a beta round, but it’s been tested on a variety of my own machines. If you do run into issues, don’t hesitate to contact me. A Mac App Store release is planned for the near future, if all goes well.