Downloader for X Review

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Downloading using the FTP and HTTP protocols
  • (6 more, see all...)

Downloader for X (also known as D4X) is a neat application for those of us who download lots of stuff from the Internet. It saves us from many frustrations that an integrated download manager used to give us and replaces it with an easy to use, yet powerful, download application. It supports reconnecting and resuming on connection timeouts, it has a download queue for multiple files, support for simultaneous downloads, and many other features for powerful downloading. Unfortunately, many download managers for Linux don't support full integration with X11 browsers and D4X is no exception. Everybody would like downloads to start in a powerful download manager as soon as they click a download link. So far, from what I've noticed, this only happens while using KGet, but that's another story. D4X does provide some kind of integration, but through a Drag'n'Drop basket and through a clipboard monitor. This means that if you found a download link with Konqueror and you want to load it into D4X, you will either have to drag and drop the link to the download basket, or right click the link and select copy location. For the last method to work, however, clipboard monitor should be enabled from the general options window (which is disabled by default).

From what I've noticed, the author has always chosen to focus on functionality rather than appearance. This resulted in a powerful and full-featured but rather ugly and bloated application. The first time I've opened D4X, I felt quite disoriented because the application had buttons everywhere, the window was divided into three sections and I had to load a download before I could be certain what each of them does.

Adding downloads to D4X could be a rather difficult task for inexperienced users. When you manually add a download or the clipboard monitor intercepts one, the "Add new download" window opens. This window is divided into 6 tabs: Main, Common, FTP, HTTP, Proxy and Time. In the first tab, you can configure general downloading options, such as file URL, where to save it, how to rename it, whether to start downloading right away or just add it to the list, paused. From the Common tab, you can select more advanced options such as timeout for reading from socket, timeout before reconnection, rollback after connecting and more. The FTP and HTTP tabs include more advanced options as well, such as user agent, depth of recursing, whether to use passive mode for FTP transfers and more. From the Proxy tab you can, of course, configure proxy related options such as whether to use a proxy for downloading this file or not, the proxy type and more. The last tab, Time, incorporates a very useful feature: a scheduler. From here, you can choose when to start downloading this file: today at 14:30, tomorrow, or even on 21 August 2159, the possibilities are limitless because there's a calendar incorporated, which enables you to choose the year, month, day and hours you want this download to start. Pretty neat. Unfortunately, not many people would know what every option from every tab does but luckily for them, the "Use default settings" feature could be enabled at any time.

Once the download has been started, the left part of the window will show the Main queue, the right part will show the file names being downloaded, along with their size, the download speed, percent completed, ETA, URL and so on, while the main window's lower part is dedicated for logging; here will be shown what really happens through a download.

From the right side toolbar, you can go through other D4X functions. The first button opens the main downloads window, second button opens the main log window, third button opens the URL-Manager. The forth button opens the FTP-search window. Although I've selected all the FTP search engines, popular searches like firefox, fedora or mirc returned 0 results. Too bad. The last two buttons will open the Filters and Scheduler windows. Here, you can select a date for a certain action to be taken. For instance, you can schedule D4X to exit, stop downloads or limit the global transfer speed at a certain date.

D4X can be customized through the Options window, found in Options / General. Here you can customize the level one and two speed, the download folder, downloading limits, FTP and HTTP protocols options, Proxy options. Appearance options can be customized from here as well, such as interface options, application sounds and themes. Unfortunately, the themes function will only change the buttons icons and not the whole application interface. Also, from the options window you can personalize how D4X should integrate to your desktop environment (whether to open the Drag'n'Drop basket, enable the clipboard monitor or both). The clipboard monitor can be customized to ignore and catch certain extensions only.

The Good

Downloader for X is a download manager for X11 which supports reconnecting and resuming on connection timeouts, has a download queue for multiple files, support for simultaneous downloads, and many other features for powerful downloading. It can easily be used by both beginners and advanced users.

The Bad

It doesn't offer a complete integration with X11 browsers. Clicking a link in a browser will not be enough to start the download with D4X. You have to either use the drag and drop basket, or enable the clipboard monitor and right click the link in the browser and select copy location. Moreover, D4X offers a lot of features, many of them very useful but also, few of them are pretty useless. For instance, the FTP-search returned 0 results, no matter what I was searching for. I think it would be nice if the user could manage the FTP search engines, as in add, edit or remove them. Also, it would have been nice for the themes function to change the whole D4X appearance, and not only the buttons icons.

The Truth

D4X is a very powerful download manager for X11 with a lot of functions and features that offer complete control over your downloads. Unfortunately, D4X does not offer a total integration with X11 and its browsers. Also, if you're crazy for eye-candy applications, you'll either have to settle for buttons icons only or switch to another download manager.

Check out some screenshots below:

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user interface 3
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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