What is there to like or not like about zipping up files on a Mac? To like? Grab the file or files, right click, select Compress, done.
To not like? No password protection. No encryption. Windows users often get messy files. Your Mac’s zip is just zip and the computing world has many, many different kinds of archive and compression formats. What can you do?
Archive Magic, Mac Style
My job requires me to move files all over the world and everywhere in between. Mac to Mac. Mac to Windows PC, Linux PC, web and file servers here and there.
Plain old Mac zip just doesn’t do the trick.
Enter a handy, useful, flexible, try-before-you-buy utility named Entropy.
Like any good archive tool, it zips up files in a bunch of useful formats that other computers will understand and appreciate. It even filters out those annoying Mac .DS_Store files that clutter up folders in Mac archives.
Even better, Entropy lets you view what’s inside the Archive without opening it first. That’s a handy time saver, as is the ability to search within an archive of hundreds or thousands of files and folders.
Archives can be created via drag and drop in zip, tar.gz, far, 7z, tar, and tar.bz2, but over 30 types of archives can be opened.
Anyone who creates or uses archived files and folders on a regular basis knows the advantage of security. Entropy encrypts archives in multiple modes, using standard AES-256 bit encryption, which can be opened by most other popular archive tools.
If you’re a Finder user, Entropy lets you create and extract archives right from within the Finder using the right-click Services menu (or, use Services in the Finder option in the Menubar.
Preview also works. Just press the space bar to bring up Mac OS X’s Quick Look, and you can view most files with ease.
Zipping up files for archiving or sending to other Mac users is a breeze. But when you send to Windows users, a little extra care must be taken to ensure a safe and clean ride. The same holds true for uploading files to remote servers. Entropy is totally Mac-like in use, non-geeky, and you get two weeks to try it out. Nicely done, but it’s Intel only, and Snow Leopard or Lion only.