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ForkLift 2, slick file management, fast file transfers

ForkLift 2 was officially released this week. This is the second generation of the FTP client-cum-Finder replacement, and it brings with it a veritable shipping palette full of new features.

When it comes to file transfer, ForkLift 2 has just about all the bases covered: FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, iDisk, SMB, AFP and NIS, with impressive speeds and FXP copy capabilities. You can connect directly, as you would in a standard FTP browser, or you can mount the disk in the same fashion that the latest version of Transmit does. This allows for access to remote files from any application, remote editing and some additional file management tools. ForkLift can save "Droplets," similar to other FTP clients, which give you a drop target for uploading to a specific server and folder. You can also set up a sync between any two folders, remote or local, and save the set as a "Synclet," a small app that will run the sync automatically.

The interface is slick, with a few features that make this a killer app for me. It maintains the original ForkLift's two-pane, tabbed interface, and it adds a Favorites panel, better progress meters and extensive keyboard navigation. My favorite new feature is the Stack, similar to what Path Finder has, where you can temporarily collect files on which to perform mass actions. You can turn any file selection into a stack, and you can have multiple stacks going at any time. Another feature I love is Workspaces, which lets you define pairs of folders to open at the same time. It sounds simple, but if you do a lot of filing from one folder to other subfolders, it's a very nice time-saver.

The tool set is pretty impressive, too. From being able to create both aliases and real symlinks to splitting and combining large files, it brings in a ton of functionality that Finder has always been missing. It even has a Trash App command for removing an application and its data, à la AppZapper. Selecting files is a breeze with the advanced search, filter and selection tools. ForkLift even has a multi-rename feature for performing mass filename changes.

I won't try to detail every one of the new features -- it's an extensive list. I will say that I think ForkLift 2 brings to life a truly integrated file management environment that combines the best features of leading FTP apps and file managers. A single-user license is US$29.95, and ForkLift 1 users can upgrade for US$19.95. There's a family license available as well, which covers all the Macs in your household, for US$49.95. You can find out more, and download a free trial, at the BinaryNights website.

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