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