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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app Pick of the Week
Transmit imageThe macosxhints Rating:
8 of 10
[Score: 8 out of 10]
I've been doing a Pick of the Week since early in 2002. Even accounting for various missed weeks (and, in 2005, months), that's a lot of software -- about 175 titles in all. It also represents a fair bit of calendar time, during which a product could change greatly. So in some cases, a product can actually be re-listed as a Pick, if there were enough substantive changes over time. Such is the case with Transmit 3.

The original Transmit was a Pick of the Week way back in 2002 (in what must have been one of my shorter writeups ever!). Since then, Transmit has progressed greatly, and version 3 is, in my opinion, the best yet. This is especially true if you're running 10.4, as there are many Tiger-specific new features, such as Automator support, a Dashboard widget (watch it in action), support for Sync Services, and Spotlight favorites (i.e. access favorites via a Spotlight search). In addition, there are some other great UI additions in version 3 -- column view browsing mode, a sidebar for often-visited locations (both local and remote), spring loaded folders, auto-zooming previews, SFTP and other secure transfer methods, and (hooray!) tabs, for multiple transfer sessions in one window.

I really like the Automator support; with a very simple two-action script, I can create an "upload these files to this directory" action for my most-used directories (the 'dlfiles' downloads directory on Hints, for example). So now uploading files is as simple as control-clicking on the file(s) in question and choosing the appropriate action from the Automator menu.

Unlike Transmit 1, I didn't give version 3 a perfect score this time out. Though I haven't had any issues with it, I have friends who have reported problems with high-ascii filenames, sync services not working on some servers, and some random quits. However, in my experience, it's been quite stable (no quits), and has been working great, especially since the 3.2.1 update came out. I love its very Mac-like interface and its extensive feature set. Note that there are quite a few free/cheap FTP apps out there, but if your job requires heavy FTP usage, as does mine, Transmit is well worth checking out.
  • Currently 1.78 / 5
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  (9 votes cast)

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: restiffbard on Dec 28, '05 07:21:51AM

Second that motion.

Transmit is just a slick app. I often find myself wishing I had something to upload just so I could use it.

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Free alternative
Authored by: signal15 on Dec 28, '05 08:09:01AM

It's free, and it works great. I prefer command line ftp, but this app really is good for a GUI ftp client.

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another vote for Cyberduck
Authored by: rgray on Dec 28, '05 10:57:51AM

The ability to work with an external editor was added - a feature I've found extremely useful. You can edit pages at the server, as it were. Smultron is great for this purpose.

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Authored by: Anonymous on Dec 28, '05 01:10:25PM

I also like using Cyberduck. It's free and it works very well.

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Cyberduck, not for me
Authored by: heggaton on Dec 28, '05 01:20:35PM

I started using cyberduck earlier in the year and I ended up purchaing Transmit. It may have changed now but it was buggy as all hell and for my purposes it just didn't work well. My purposes being the 'live editing' of files on a server using BBEdit.

Yes, it does have this feature but it was buggy and cludgy. Not for me.

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: bjmorgan on Dec 28, '05 08:47:22AM

I bought this one a couple years back and use it frequently. Glad to see it mentioned here.

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: xcgr on Dec 28, '05 09:34:57AM

Transmit is good. I'm sticking with Fetch myself. Great features, elegantly written, and well-documented.

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: joey03 on Dec 28, '05 10:00:31AM

Transmit has a very nice GUI. However, it doesn't work properly with all the ftp servers out there. My money is on Interarchy.

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: mahuti on Dec 28, '05 10:55:01AM

I LOVED Transmit 2.0... never had any problems with it. Transmit 3.X though... oh man it has given me some problems. Many times I need to upload and download applications with over 30,000 files in hundreds of nested folders. If ONE of those files gets skipped or screwed up, it could ruin my whole application. Transmit routinely skipped uploading files. or timed out during uploading, even during syncing. It wouldn't have bothered me so much, but the way that it uploaded the files seemed random. It would time out with half the files uploaded in a random order making it next to impossible to figure out which folders had been completely uploaded, and which hadn't. I WANT to like Transmit, but it just seems really sketchy.

YummyFTP has been my FTP app of choice since. I've had much better luck with it. Mixed results though... my business partner hasn't always had so much luck with it, I figured that had more to do with configuration, though. I tried EVERY ftp app for OSX, and the top 2 are definitely Transmit and YummyFTP. I'd recommend YummyFTP if you regularly install big PHP apps, or move large files up and down.


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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: Arturia on Dec 28, '05 11:32:15AM
"My money is on Interarchy"

Interarchy phones home, it's a spyware

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: eno on Dec 30, '05 05:09:44AM

Spyware? A ridiculous and laughable affirmation! It's called "version checking" and you can turn it off in the Interarchy preferences. I rue the day that "spyware" entered the vocabulary of the average Internet user.

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: simbalala on Dec 28, '05 05:13:51PM

I own Interarchy and have for a long time, it's great, I'll keep it and continue to upgrade it. But I played with Transmit for 30 minutes then bought the license.

The deal maker for me was the WebDAV support, my servers support it. Combine that with BBEdit editing and it's killer. I've edited using the native Mac WebDAV support and it's slow on saves, much slower than saving using BBEdit's native "FTP editing". Transmit saves nearly instantly.

It also has the advantage of not creating all the temp files which BBEdit creates when you edit via FTP. Those temp files make the modified date and time BBEdit display in its info area kind of useless and clutter up my local machine appearing in trash later to be scanned. The path info displayed in the info area is also useless, it's the path to the temp file.

I opened a remote 2.4MB MySQL backup with BBEdit via Transmit in eight seconds (3 Mbps DSL) and it didn't have to create a 2.4MB temp file on my local machine. I edited one line and saved, the Save was instantaneous.

Simple transfers are very, very fast too, I even tried the server to server transfer, something you can't do with Interarchy. It moved a 1.3MB zip file from one server to the other in a few seconds (via WebDAV). I don't think I can upload that same file to a server via Interarchy ftp in less time.

I've read that WebDAV should be faster than FTP but my experience using the native WebDAV support was to the contrary till now. I imagine that BBEdit and Interarchy will support WebDAV in future versions but this is now.

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: kms007 on Dec 28, '05 11:18:06AM

I use FTP quite heavily - and since 1999 or thereabouts, I've been a Trasmit user (back when the program was called 'Transit'!). It's an excellent program - and version 3.x is the best yet - the column browsing and tabbed browsing UI additions are so incredibly useful, as is the favorites sidebar. It's made FTP a breeze. I haven't had any problems with the program, so I'm inclined to give it '10' out of 10.

Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies"

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: ocdinsomniac on Dec 28, '05 12:22:22PM

I'm with Mahuti: I've been a Transmit fan for ages, but I've had a slew of problems with v.3, particularly involving symlinks on the server, which Transmit seems to follow extremely erratically, if at all. I too ended up switching to YummyFTP, and have been quite happy with it. Transmit is great if you don't have any problems with it. If you do, you might consider YummyFTP, which most people — myself included — seem to love.

You can find my full comparison here, if you're interested: here

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more on Cyberduck
Authored by: ngb on Dec 29, '05 01:10:45PM

I also agree that Cyberduck was pretty good for the occasional upload, but not quite up to snuff for heavy duty uploading/downloading. In my case, I upload 800 to 3000 pictures a week for the wedding work my wife and I do.

I liked Fugu a lot, but it was only ssh, not plain old ftp, and our hosting company doesn't support ssh.

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more on Cyberduck
Authored by: mflender on Dec 29, '05 09:14:15PM

I agree on FUGU. It is free and works great. I recommend using SFTP or SSH instead of FTP. FTP often sends passwords in cleartext meaning they can be viewed and used by others. Very insecure. Fugu rocks.

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Finder integration?
Authored by: aclarke on Jan 03, '06 08:55:14AM
Does Transmit 3 integrate with Finder? I don't understand why we need to use an external program for ftp or sftp at all. Why doesn't the ftp://xxx and sftp:// syntax work in Finder (for both read and write)? Why doesn't Transmit just let you mount an ftp server as a drive in Finder? This would be useful. Anything else just seems like a hack. I can do this in Konqueror and heck even in Microsoft Windows, and this is one area where the Mac really lags IMHO. If Transmit does this now, that's really good news. This seems like a "killer app" for the mac crowd and if I wasn't too busy developing other things I'd give it a whirl myself. Back in my Windows days I purchased and extensively used WebDrive and a program like that would be very useful on the Mac.

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Transmit 3 - Powerful file transfer app
Authored by: syko on Jan 03, '06 09:21:06AM

But the question is-- are there any other worthwile FTP programs that suport FTP over ssl/tsl?

Transmit was basically the only one I've found to actually work.

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