Folx – An Automatic Download Manager for Mac

“Hi, my name’s J and I’m a Downloadaholic.” I took a deep breath, tried to avoid those sympathetic eyes, and continued hesitantly, “I can’t let a single day pass by without clicking on those tempting download buttons. I could spend hours just staring at the download progress bars.”

I could hear the murmurs among the members of the DD – Downloadaholic D’Anonymous. My heart beats faster. Still I continued, “I tried to stop, believe me I did. And I almost succeeded. You see, I’m crazy about downloading, but I really hate everything I had to go through to download the files.”

I paused again and glanced at the group leader. He nodded as a sign for me to continue. I cleared my throat and said, “What I really hate about this whole thing is that I had to manually manage all the downloaded files individually. And if there were hundreds of new files every week…”

Several people nodded, understood.

“Then why didn’t you stop?” asked the lady with a ponytail on my right.

I looked at her and said, “I met Folx Beta.”

An Automatic Download Manager

Even though each and every new modern browser has its own download manager (or plugin), nothing can beat the flexibility of a stand alone application. There are plenty of options for Windows, but for Mac users, Folx might be the best answer to the need for a free stand-alone download manager.

07_download_window

The first thing to do after downloading and installing the app is to go to the adjust some preferences. Go to Preferences (Command + Comma).

There are several tabs. We’ll start from General. Here, users can set things like the maximum active task, user agent, and connection type.

01_folx_general_preferences

Then there’s the Folder tab where users can set the location of the downloaded files.

02_folders_preferences

Unless you connect through proxy server(s), you can skip the Proxy tab and go directly to the next tab. The Scheduler tab would be very useful if you only connect at certain times or want your downloads to be active only at specific hours.

03_scheduler_preferences

You can use the Speed tab to set different speed limits for individual browsers. To do that, you must set the Speed limit type to “Auto” because the options are greyed out when set at ‘Unlimited’.

04_speed_preferences

From this Preferences window, we can see that there are two future download abilities that are still unavailable in this beta version: Torrent and ed2k.

05_future_features

Do the Download, dude!

Now for the fun part: downloading the files. If you set Folx’s preferences to automatically catch the download from your browsers, it will do just that. Another way is to select then drag and drop the link to the dropbox. You can move the location of the dropbox easily by dragging it.

06a_dropbox

By default, a New Task window will pop out every time a new download about to start. Users can adjust individual settings for each download – including adding tags to the file – from this window.

06b_new_download_task

Everybody knows that tags are an important factor in good file management. It also opens other possibilities in managing the downloaded files, such as assigning Automator Actions to automatically move series of files with the same tags to a certain folder.

The New Task window is also the place to set how many segments (threads) of a file to be active at one moment. This option is important because some download servers only allow one active download segment.

This window may be deactivated in the preferences

For further information on the features, please read the Documentation.

Personally, I think this app is a nice free download manager and has the potential to be better.

Do you have alternatives to a free stand alone Mac download manager? Or do you prefer to use the built-in (or plugin) download manager in your browser? Share your thoughts below.


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Jake

Too bad it doesn’t offer support for Rapidshare premium accounts (via browser cookies). Guess I’ll stick with iGetter for now, which has the nice feature of sending cookies from the browser.
Also, Folx doesn’t seem to ‘catch’ a download from a browser link.

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Kelly

I agree that this app is very nice and useful. I have a lot of great features for free.

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Loh

I still prefer Jdownloader which allows me to download Rapidshare, Megaupload and others easily.

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not happy

twice now folx has died after downloading about 2.6GB of a 3.3GB file – this program is utter crap

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