Saturday, March 15, 2008

For something that purports to be quick, that sure took a while...

There's been a bit of a bruhaha around Macheist and Speed Download, but it *may* be coming to an end. 

Speed Download 4 was bundled with Macheist, but, like, two days after Macheist ended, the company upgraded to Speed Download 5. 

If you (meaning I) had bought Speed Download directly from the company, it would have been a free upgrade. But since it came bundled with Macheist, it was not, even though it was supposedly a full license. 

Me? I got the email and ignored it. I had just got Speed Download, and had used it maybe once. I wanted to explore what it could do before spending money on an update. And it felt a bit cynical, to release a major whole number upgrade so soon after Macheist. I know that this is the way things go in technology, but it felt more calculated than the iPhone price drop.

Anyway. I wasn't that concerned, and I kinda ignored the whole thing, but apparently it blew up into a big mess for the company, who actually responded to the criticisms in an effort to explain what they were doing. Even John Casasanta, Macheist director, felt the need to comment

Anyway. Today, TUAWS announced that there was a resolution, or at least a potential resolution, to the whole thing. Speed Download 5 is available for Macheisters to download, for free, for the next two weeks or so. 

I've been using Speed Download for the last couple of months, and I'm still not convinced it is something to spend money on, as I am not the sort to sit there and agonize over how slow something is downloading; rather, I click on a link, and let it download in the background, and when it's done, it's done. I like the way SD notifies me through Growl when it is done, rather than having to go look a la Safari. 

But that's just me, and that's just the way I roll. The trouble with a program like SD is that if it is working properly, it is all but invisible, handling the back end of downloads, probably more effectively than Safari, but as I say, I don't download enough that I notice the difference. And if connections are being dropped and picked up automatically, again, it is a background process for me, and I don't notice. 

However, the new interface looks sweet, and I'm a sucker for a sexy interface. So, I downloaded the new one. (Which took a surprisingly long time using speed download. I know. I watched it. But maybe it just felt long because I was watching it. I don't know. And that's the problem with speed download. It's tough to prove that it is faster situationally, even if it is actually faster, empirically.)

It has built in FTP, but looking at it for a grand total of five seconds, I'm not sure I'm wild about the interface. But I'll play with it, and see what I think. And I may report back here. 

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