Download Mangers Rock…
November 11, 2004
I vaguely remember download managers, back in the bad old dial-up days. At that point they were usually tools to resume downloads if your connection died before it all trickled in (a not too uncommon occurance). I’ve ignored them since then.
The other day I happened to run into Speed Download 2, a download manager for OS X. For some reason, I looked at it long enough to figure out that it actually rocks for broadband users. By opening up simultaneous connections, it downloads large files much faster than normal—right to the edge of the connection speed, if the pipeline in between can be driven that fast. For a test, I downloaded an hour-long MP3 from the BBC site, and it managed to come in at about 4 megabits per second—which isn’t bad on a cable connection rated at 3 megabits.
Speed Download 2 plugs into FireFox and Safari and intercepts downloads of filetypes (well, MIME types, actually) that you choose. By default, it includes all of the common compressed formats. It took about 2 seconds to add MP3 to the list. When you click to download one of these file types, Speed Download is launched and takes over the download instead. It also provides a nice little download management front end, prioritization and queuing, restarts, history, etc. It even will automatically share a download folder via Rendezvou for you.
Very nice, and well worth the $20 registration fee. Check it out.