10.0.1.22 (Sep 27, 2010)
Way back before iTunes there was Apple's QuickTime Player. The only quick thing about it was how fast it became the most often featured application in the famous Interface Hall of Shame (google for it if you don't know what i'm talking about). It was indeed a head-scratcher: how a company revered for its supposedly intuitive UIs and user-friendliness in general could produce something as stinky and unusable as that.
The UI Hall of Shame hasn't been updated in years. A large number of the annoyances it describes have been eradicated from all kinds of software, as coders and designers gradually took note or just grew some common sense. But Apple ain't one of those.
iTunes is still a usability nightmare. It is also bloated and slow. And for all that nuisance, it won't even handle many formats that other, free and commercial media players do.
This is what happens when software is made to first satisfy lawyers, intellectual property owners and shareholders, with no real consideration for your actual users. Stay well away.
3.5.1 (Sep 17, 2010)
Another entrant in the competition to make a media player totally unusable to most people over 20!
This one wins hands down in the category of "Make all the important buttons tiny and devoid of contrast so that they can't be told apart or clicked confidently". Also in the category of "Put important functions where the user least expects to find them" - like the [x] close buttons in the upper right corner of one window, and the upper left corner of another.
And hey, developers! With Aero glass, Microsoft finally managed to design a pleasing UI, and the standard window interface has been pretty functional since Win95, so why not just use that instead of creating non-standard windows / titlebars that are all of (a) uglier (b) less functional (c) harder to use?
I should add that the screenshot above is in no way similar to what you see when you download and run XMPlay. Although that particular skin does indicate that the designer's ambition is to imitate early versions of QuickTime/iTunes - one of the suckiest UIs ever seen on Windows. And oh, the reason I run Windows is to have my apps imitate the Mac UI. Yeah... right.
126.96.36.199 (Sep 17, 2010)
Nice, reliable transfers, and for some reason it uploads faster than any other ftp client I've tried.
Substracted 1 star for three reasons:
1. If I get an ftp URL in email from a client of mine, in the form of
I cannot just paste the URL and have the download start (the way I can in Total Commander, for example). You have to manually aplit the URL into part and create a new site in the site manager first. This is a task for software, not human fingers.
2. You can add frequent locations to bookmarks, but there is no "recent connections" feature. Most of the time you have to go through the site manager again. At least do away with the modal dialog implementation and put the sites in a side panel in the main window, so that it can be accessed and browsed quicker, without the modality.
3. The "Network configuration wizard" always ends up with a failure for me, which would suggest that there's something wrong with my connection - but the actual real-life connections and downloads work flawlessly. So why does the wizard spell gloom and doom?
5.2 Build 330 Beta (Sep 17, 2010)
Fantastic. Still the best - fastest, most reliable, most feature-packed downloader. Very well designed, assures a smooth flow for keyboard users.
Little touches that show considerate design: INS key to add a download is simply awesome - not Ctrl+N, not some other contortion, just hit Insert. (Provided your keyboard has the Insert key in a sane position, so choose wisely, because it's a useful key.) When the new download dialog opens, it automatically pastes the URL from clipboard, if any - simple, nice, easy, and neglected by so many software authors. Intuitive and highly useful bandwidth throttling. Very nice persistent history (if you want). Also nice are the automated categories which you can configure to put files of different types into designated folders (audio goes here, video goes there, etc.)
It's worrying that Reget Dx hasn't been updated in quite a while now, and it shows - no YouTube downloads, for example. I sure hope developers will revive Reget Dx, it doesn't deserve to be neglected.
(FileForum bug? When you use the word "Shift" (the modifier key starting with "S"), the forum software thinks you're swearing and replaces the last 4 letters with three (3!) asterisks. As in: press Ctrl+Shift+A. And I swear I did not miss the letter "F" the two times I typed the key name above)
188.8.131.521 (Sep 17, 2010)
Text entry UI is horribly designed. If you make a typo or want to change the entered string, you have to carefully backspace over it, because Esc will close the window altogether. That's really inconsiderate. Esc should clear the search box (or better, do a "select all", so you can type over the previously entered text). For an application that I would expect to use very often, this is too annoying to bother.
And the strain it adds to the system every time it starts and scans the filesystem pretty much kills the joy. I'll take Locate32 any time - just create an index once and be done with it, then rebuild the index on schedule or manually. Much better that way.