Moving files from one computer to another on your local home network is easy. Moving files elsewhere can be a problem.
Such efforts to upload and download files are beset with different protocols—FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, even AmazonS3—and require a standalone utility. Fear not, dear Mac users who wish to transmit files from here to there, and do not panic because Panic introduced Transmit 4.
The Two Methods To File Moving
The first method is easy. Mac to Mac. Your Mac uses Apple’s proprietary Apple File Protocol (AFP) to connect and transfer files between Macs. It’s easy. It’s fast. It’s built in. It works.
What about connecting your Mac to the rest of the internet world? The cloud?
Enter a list of arcane internet protocols which make the whole process seem like magic when it works, and madness when it doesn’t.
For most of the past 15 years I’ve used a dozen or so Mac and PC FTP clients—apps that move files from a computer to another computer, usually a server connected to the internet.
Much of that file transfer heavy lifting was handled on my Mac by Panic’s venerable Transmit—an elegant FTP app that added various and sundry protocols and features through the years, including the always important left-window, right-window set up that made file transfer easy for the masses.
In recent years I would gravitate from time to time to other apps that would ape Transmit or one up my favorite FTP app in one way or another. Some apps figured out that adding Amazon’s S3 service to the feature set was good (a year or more before a similar feature showed up in Transmit).
Other apps figured out how to upload and download files in the dark at up to 10 times faster than Transmit could on a bright and sunny day. If you sling a large number of files up and down the internet’s tubes, then speed matters.
Over time, Transmit got old, and used less and less.
The New Transmit Means Speed
Proving that all that glitters is not gold (diamonds glitter, too), Panic’s Transmit 4 finally enters the 21st century with an improved interface and speed to burn.
What’s not to like? Transmit 4 has more options for toolbar customization (save one very missing Disconnect button). Transmit adds the dark charcoal interface for remote sites and servers because, well, because it’s all chic and Web 2.5 and all.
Gone is the guessing game of knowing which folder you’re looking at, replaced by breadcrumb tabs which back up nicely (but have to be combined with a backup-forward button to go forward again).
The real killer feature is speed. Transmit 4 doesn’t just seem faster at moving files from here to there and back again—whether using FTP, SFTP, WebDAV or Amazon S3 or whatever—it is faster. I’ve used YummyFTP for a few years because it was notably faster than Transmit. No more.
Uploading and downloading files has been well over 10 times as fast for me, but Panic’s tests show it can improve both down and up by 18 to 25 times faster (your mileage may vary).
The new Transmit Disk feature lets you open a Favorite from the Finder, even when Transmit isn’t open. That means you can drag and drop files or save files directly to a server from a Mac app.
Sync files and folders from a remote server or site using a single button.
Re-arrange functions and features in the toolbar to customize to your needs. CoverFlow lives in Transmit 4, as does Column View, which makes it perform more like the Finder you’re already familiar with (you are familiar with the Finder, right?).
This version comes with a dual pane capability to go from a left to right upload and download metaphor to a single window (don’t ask me why, but some people like a single pane, which is lame—CyberDuck, I’m lookin’ at you).
Invisible hidden files can be toggled visible with a button click (but needs to work individually on each pane, rather than on all panes). Strangely, there’s no Disconnect button in the toolbar (requiring a visit to the menu).
Transmit 4 also pops another in the never ending stream of icon utilities in the Mac’s Menubar which adds both rapid functionality and a reason to upgrade your Mac (I told my wife I need a 27-inch iMac because my Menubar is too crowded).
Plenty of new and useful features and more speed mark everything there is to love about Transmit 2010, now finally and firmly sitting in the 21st century.