automator Mass downloader using built in Mac tools.The Mac operating system comes with some pretty powerful tools out of the box. One of which, I am a big fan of. The Mac ‘Automator’ is a basic almost script editor which uses workflows to automate common tasks, and with all tools like this they can be manipulated to replace full blow applications.

A long time ago applications which downloaded entire websites at the click of a button became very popular. However they lively hoods are now hanging in the balance.
Using the automator tool you can replicate the way they used to work. I do often find myself browsing through galleries of images and needing to download all of them on the page. 
To build up such a script all you need to do is launch the Automator application, from the templates window select the Workflow option:
menu Mass downloader using built in Mac tools. 
Now, using the options on the left hand side, highlight the Internet icon in the library. Then from the ‘actions’ pane double click the ‘Get Current Webpage from Safari’. You should find you will now have a new item in the workflow on the right hand side. This item does what it says on the tin, it will capture the URL of the webpage you are currently viewing in safari.
Next you will need to double click the ‘Get Image URLs from Webpage’. This item will crawl the webpage and grab a list of URLs of any pictures included on the page.
Now select the ‘Download URLs’ item from the list. It’s although worth noting at this stage you will need to specify a destination for your images to be downloaded to. As you can see below I rip my images to a folder aptly labelled ‘Rip’ inside my images folder. I use this as a temporary holding area.
The next step in my workflow in a simple ‘Growl’ notification. This could be expanded on if you so wished, to include a script to email you on completion or something similar. Once done you should find your workflow looks something similar to the one below:
automator1 Mass downloader using built in Mac tools.
To save you having to build this from scratch, click here to download the workflow.
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Folx – Download Manager

On April 14, 2010, in Blog, by

1 Folx   Download ManagerRecently I have found my self at the mercy of my ISP and diabolical download speeds in an attempt to download the massive (2+ GB) download that is Apple’s xCode. Which is where my latest blog article stems from, and the latest software review.

Back in october last year I posted a blog about some sync software from Eltima software, whilst online shopping for the sync software I noticed they offered a download manager solution. Now being a big heavy user of Getright on my previous windows boxes I considered it at the time. However, being new to the world of Mac’s I held off. Until now! 
Revisiting Eltima’s site I grabbed my self a copy of Folx their download manager. Folx comes with some pretty nifty features. (all of which normally found in download managers, but non the less… Nifty)
Tagging - Folx gives you the ability to ‘tag’ your download’s to help you keep track of what it is you are downloading, and makes it easier to find once it arrives into your downloads folder.
Faster Downloads - if you chose to go for the ‘Pro’ version of Folx you get the option of splitting your downloads. Which breaks the download down into smaller chunks which it downloads and then reconstructs once the download has finished.
Torrent Search - The ability to search for and download .torrent files direct from the Folx client.
Scheduled Downloads - The ability to schedule download tasks.
Speed Control - The ability to control the speed at which Folx download’s your files. Which the added extra of being able to pause and resume downloads.
Download Priorities - The ability to prioritise downloads to ensure you most important files finish first.
Growl & Spotlight Integration - Seamless integration into OS X’s spotlight search engine and growl notification engine.
Floating ‘wise’ window - a unique status window which is small enough not to get in the way but clever enough to provide quick and easy access to all the main features of the application.
…. there are plenty more features besides the above, all of which can be reviewed on Eltima’s ‘features page
Folix is compatible with OS x 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6 and most major OS X web browsers.
Click here to download your copy now. (Approx 9.2Mb)
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