As I move back and forth, using both Windows and Linux, one thing really stands out for me as I compare programs on each platform. It seems as if in Linux, the adage of using one tool for one chore really applies, while in Windows it isn’t uncommon for one program to in reality have many tools, all bundled together in a single interface. I’m not saying one is right and the other is wrong, because there are instances when both do the job well.
I love iTunes, because it allows me to shop for music, listen to music, and transfer music to my iPod, and I love Banshee on Linux for the same reason. However, I also like single purpose tools like some of the scripts I’ve reviewed on Linux, which are only there for a single purpose (such as transcoding music). The Windows software I’ll be looking at today – FilerFrog, is an example of a program with tons of features, but all neatly wrapped up in a single interface. And after using it for a while, I have to say I really like it.
FilerFrog has an insane number of uses. It can act as a file renamer, supporting search and replace, alphabetizing, autonumbering, and appending to either the beginning or end of the file name. And it can do this on a single file or on a batch, where it really shines.
FilerFrog also allows you to split large files into smaller chunks for uploading to the Web, and can combine files that have already been split. If you download a folder full of files, only to find that the folder contains another folder (which then contains the files you want), FilerFrog is able to move the files to the level where the second folder is, and can then delete the now empty folder. If you want to move a single item up a level (for instance, if a file is in your Documents folder, which contains your Finances folder which finally contains your Taxes folder, and you want to move it out of the Taxes folder and into your Finances folder, that’s just a click away).
If you’re working with images, FilerFrog can help there, too. You can use it to resize by percentage (25, 50 and 75 percent are built-in, but you can do a custom resize as well), and convert to JPG. If you want to add a logo or create an image album, FilerFrog can do so with ease.
If you have a large group of files you need to list in order, FilerFrog can create that list. And for basic tasks, FilerFrog can do such mundane chores as copying and moving files to and from different spots on your hard drive.
FilerFrog really shines in two areas. First is customizability. If you have a set group of tools you find yourself using over and over, it’s simple to add them to your Favorites, which means they’re close at hand, even closer than they’d be by navigating through the hierarchical menu system. Second is the fact that FilerFrog remembers what you’ve done in the past. If you find yourself moving files to a certain location, FilerFrog remembers that location.
It’s a pretty brilliant tool, and the new version (2.0), is free. (When I visited the website there were still banners offering sale prices, but clicking through the banner took me to a page where I was informed FilerFrog is now free. Yay!)
As a warning, I have heard stories of it sucking up lots of memory, or of right-clicking not working well, but I’ve experienced none of those things. The first time I started up after installing it, Windows Explorer unexpectedly became unresponsive, but after forcing it to restart, things have been fine. FilerFrog can be downloaded from filerfrog.com, and while it is free, donations are accepted.