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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers Pick of the Week
The macosxhints Rating:

[Score: 8 out of 10]
This handy little application, which Macworld's Dan Frakes looked at back in 2004, is great for moving files and folders quickly between machines on a local network. DropCopy puts a small mostly-transparent circle on your desktop (along with an optional dock icon and menubar icon). Run a copy of DropCopy on each of your machines, drag a file over the circle on one machine, and the names of the other local machines will then pop-up right next to the drag zone. Continue dragging onto the destination machine of choice, and the file is transferred.

You control the notifications and warnings, as well as the destination location and other related preferences. You can even change the drag zone image (and sounds) by simply replacing a few files within the application package. Also, if you control-click on the drag circle and choose a machine, you can send a quick pop-up message to the chosen machine (and the recipient will have the option to reply).

I've been using DropCopy now for a couple weeks, and find it more convenient than keeping aliases to each of the other machines. With DropCopy, I just start a drag, hit F11 to clear the screen, drag into the DropCopy circle, choose a machine, and off goes the file -- I have its preferences set to never ask for confirmation, so it all happens dialog-free.

DropCopy isn't perfect -- the program won't copy resource forks by default, for instance. It can do so, but you'll need to remember to hold down the Option key before dragging. Also, DropCopy sends folders by first creating an archive of that folder. When you transfer a relatively large folder, you'll experience a delay as your host Mac first creates the archive (you can see this in the status window below the drag zone), then sends the archive. On the receiving end, however, the archive is automatically expanded, so it's seamless for the user. Finally, I think DropCopy needs an in-between price point ($10 or $15) to cover those with more than three Macs, but not enough to qualify as a large network. For while I find the tool useful, I wouldn't fork over $25 if I needed it to cover all four of our Macs (I rarely transfer anything from our older PowerBook, so I don't run it there).

There are other tools that handle network transfers, of course, and it's quite simple to build your own system of aliases and hotkeys that would work nearly as well as DropCopy. I just like how well DropCopy works, and find its drag-and-drop interface elegant and easy to use.
  • Currently 1.78 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (9 votes cast)

DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers | 9 comments | Create New Account
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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers
Authored by: Bruno Grieco on Oct 24, '06 09:57:19AM
I would give it a score of 9.

It does exactly what it's supposed to do. The resource fork problem isn't much of an issue if you're running OS X only. I've experienced a "numb" interface only when transfering a folder with 300Mb of images. In that case the archiving takes some time.

My wife is a big fan of it. She frequently asks me why PCs don't have a "Black Hole" and why it's so dificult to transfer files from one to the other. It's a great productivity enhancer.

I had one problem, with the panther version, trying to connect two machines. It simply wouldn't run. But also, the machines were networked together with a cross cable and would get there IP thru the internal modem. Somehow it's still hard to connect them thru the normal way.

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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers
Authored by: ars on Oct 24, '06 11:24:19AM

I have been using it too to transfer files between two Macs. I have had one issue at one point. When sending an application, it would be unpackaged as a folder at the other end, but I can't replicate it right now.

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Dead link?
Authored by: ianadams on Oct 25, '06 12:11:43AM

Is anyone else having troubles with getting their page to load? seems to just not come up at all.

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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers
Authored by: phljoe on Oct 25, '06 03:37:35AM

Hello. I'm sure this is a nice app, but why not just enable Bonjour iChat messaging for your local network and you can just drop files onto user's names in the buddy list?

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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers
Authored by: robg on Oct 25, '06 12:52:26PM

Because that would require interaction with iChat, not to mention having it running on both machines.


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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers
Authored by: eduo on Oct 25, '06 05:05:42AM

I like DropCopy but can't help thinking it has more potential than is currently obvious.

It, to me, could work as a shortcut for transfers of several kinds. It currently transfers files between machines that are running it over bonjour, which is good enough. Still I'd add a few things:

1.-Set-up transfer of resource forks as a preference

2.-Set ZIP archive as a preference

3.-Display progress bars (small ones, in the circle icon itself or as growl windoids)

4.-Add ability to create new transfer types to specific places (FTP, SCP, SFTP or SMB transfers to specific servers, dropcopies to remote machines, transfer of files to other accounts in the same machine, etc.) and they show in the same list as the current Bonjour list (after a separator, if anything).

I'd love to get rid of all the aliases and shortcuts and applescripts I currently use where I can drag a file to the Xbox for viewing, or to the PVR for firmware upgrades or to the desktop of my wife's account, etc.


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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers
Authored by: seb2 on Oct 25, '06 06:56:00AM
If that's what you want, you should definitely have a look at our ‹bertragen widget. It also offers Bonjour transfers within local networks -- and has the ability to set archiving as default option -- and allows transfers to FTP servers.

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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers
Authored by: macshome on Oct 25, '06 05:57:59AM

How well does it deal with other EAs beyond traditional forks? Really though, it should look for named forks by default as it's part of the HFS filesystem. Every file has a fork even if it isn't used.

Breaking my server to save yours.

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DropCopy - Drag-n-drop local network transfers
Authored by: neffs on Oct 27, '06 04:04:11AM
I'm using the ‹bertragen widget at home.

You'll have to activate the Bonjour feature on the back of the widget. It also features ftp upload.

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