Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Download All Files as ZIP

Hi All,
You talk, we listen. We have been resisting implementing this feature for some time, but now after publishing it, we can say Yes, it's quite nice to be able to compress the entire package into a smaller ZIP.

So what exactly does that option give you?

First, it gives convenience of downloading all files in one click. See the screenshot?


This is how it looks. We added an option below the file list which says "Download all files". Once you click on it, a ZIP file is created and your browser will ask you to download or open the file.

Second, the ZIP format helps to compress the package files. So if you download the ZIP, it will actually be a bit smaller than the sum of all parts.

This comes at a price. We are still undecided on using strong compression algorithms. The problem is that the better the compression, the slower the process gets and the more CPU power is needed for it. Instead, our developers decided to shift the balance towards the faster compression. That of course does not make the ZIP files very small and tight. But the purpose of our web site is not to create the smallest archive files. We are constantly looking for better user experience, which means speed and responsiveness for a website like ours.

You might notice that the Download all files option does not show up for all packages. That means that either you opened the package from a mobile device or your package is too large. Some mobile devices can't open ZIP files without special applications, therefore we don't recommend people to download ZIPs to their Androids or iPhones.
If you are coming from a laptop or a desktop computer, then you can use the Download all files as ZIP option with no issues.

We threw in a couple of cool options on top of that.

First, the ZIP file will not contain duplicate files even if the package does have duplicates. If we detect there are the same files in the package, only one of them will make into the ZIP, and a Readme.txt file will be added explaining why certain files have been excluded.
Second, the ZIP file will always include the Description.txt file if the package has a description. Sometimes, the package owner may include meaningful information about the package in the Description field, so we decided to append it to the ZIP in the form of a text file.

Let us know what you think, you know the address: EmailLargeFile.Net/Contact.aspx

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