Folx Provides Powerful Mac Download Management

Anyone who downloads a lot should have a decent downloader. This is especially important when it comes to torrents. I have a couple good programs for my PC, but hadn’t considered the need on my Mac until now. Luckily, I found Folx PRO, a feature-rich download manager for the Mac.

Folx Downloader

The Basics

Conscious of it or not, most of us download files all the time. It could be a PDF, a new game via a torrent, or a zip full of photos from the wedding photographer. Browsers have done a pretty good job of downloading files for us in the easiest way they can, but sometimes you need a little more. Sadly, that often happens when you’re not prepared for it. My first time wanting to pause a large download half the way through without the option was the moment I realized the need for such software.

Folx comes equipped with the basic features you need and a few extras. Of course, the main feature is the ability to gracefully handle downloads. This is enhanced with its browser integration. In Firefox, a click on a download link sent me straight to Folx’s new download panel. Chrome required an extra click to launch Folx, but still worked well. Once a download has started, you can pause or stop it at any time. This is a big deal for those of us with a lot of irons in the fire. Speaking of a lot of irons, Folx includes a way to manage an endless sea of downloads by providing a tagging feature. Tag a download with keywords and spend a lot less time searching for it later.

Advanced Features

If, like me, you have a habit of downloading extremely large files like those provided for linux distributions, Windows previews, etc., you know the need for some advanced features that many download managers simply do not provide. Admittedly, I haven’t subjected every feature to a barrage of testing (yet), but I was pretty impressed to find a suite of features that exceeded what the site advertises. One of these features that makes this manager stand out is scheduling. With this, you can set downloads to occur on specific days and times and even tell it what to do upon starting or completing. Scheduling is a feature you or I may never use, but it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Slightly less exciting, but perhaps as important as any other feature is the interface that gives you a lot of information during the download as well as some advanced logging in case anything goes wrong. Full of detail, the interface leaves little to be desired. For the torrent downloaders, Folx allows you to pick and choose what files to receive in a torrent and which ones to not waste bandwidth downloading. And if you want to keep your cable company (or boss) from seeing what you’re downloading, plug in a proxy for privacy.

There’s a far too many gizmos and widgets in Folx to go over everything in detail, but just to give you an idea, here’s a few more features:
– Send media straight to iTunes
– Integrated torrent search
– Upload and download throttling
– Auto-resume
– Threading
– RSS integration

Conclusions

Most features are available in the free version of the software, eliminating the need for most casual users to pay for the PRO upgrade. That said, $19.95 isn’t a bad price for the added features that the PRO version provides. Either way is sure to be the right choice.

UPDATE: You can use the promo code JOE-TECH-PROMO to get 15% off of your upgrade to the PRO version.

What Would You Buy From iTunes With $10,000?

What would you buy if you had an iTunes gift card with $10,000 on it? Apple wants to give just such a card to one lucky app downloader. They are fast approaching another App Store milestone with the 25 billionth download looming. Whoever initiates that 25 billionth download may be the lucky recipient of $10,000 in the form of an iTunes gift card.

25 Billion iTunes Downloads

Some of you may recall a very similar countdown last year, in which Apple gave a $10,000 gift card to the downloader of the 10 billionth app.

Don’t have an iPhone? Apple will also let you enter via this form without having to download or purchase at all. They’ll let you enter a total of 25 times per day, too.

So… What would you buy?

Download And Install IOS 5 Early

Apple has been teasing us for a long time with IOS5 and they’re just about to release it, but if you’re like me, you want to get your hands on it early. Everyone wants to try the latest and greatest first, but there’s another advantage to diving in early. If you’ve ever tried to update your IOS on the release day, you’ve surely realized the painful wait for the software to download as millions of other people try at the same time. Grabbing this early release should eliminate that problem as well. Warning: Back up before you begin! This kind of update can be riddled with unexpected problems, so be prepared for anything.

Here’s all you have to do to update early:

(edit 1: I added a new first step, to first install iTunes 10.5 Beta 7 or higher)
(edit 2: Plug directly into the computer – don’t use a USB extension cable as this can slow the backup/restore down a LOT)
(edit 3: Want the official release now? Download the latest iPhone ISPW and repeat steps 2 and then 5-7 below – 8 id needed)

1. Install iTunes 10.5 beta 7 or higher (Win 32, Win 64, or MAC OS X)
2. Sync your device and run a backup.
3. Download the file you need from the list below. It’s around 800MB, so it’ll take a while.
iPhone 4 (GSM)
iPhone 4 (CDMA)
iPhone 3GS
iPad 2 (Wi-Fi)
iPad 2 (Wi-Fi + 3G GSM)
iPad 2 (Wi-Fi + 3G CDMA)
iPad 1 (All)
iPod touch (3G)
iPod touch (4G)

4. Extract the file you downloaded. I suggest using 7Zip if you’re on a PC. Find it at Download.com
5. Hold down SHIFT (or “Option” on a MAC) and click “Restore” in iTunes
6. A file selection box should open up. Choose the ISPW file that you extracted from the DMG file you downloaded.
7. iTunes will wipe your device and install IOS5. That’s OK.
8. After the install, it should ask if you want to restore from a backup. Say YES and choose your backup from Step 1.

Thanks to this guide for the tips.