NeoDownloader makes it easy to bundle Web downloads

Good software–like good tools–often takes a tedious task and makes it a whole lot more bearable. That’s precisely what NeoDownloader ($40, 30-day free trial) does, making it easy to download images, songs, and videos in bunches.

Say, for example, that you happened upon a Web page with a bevy of stunning images from one of NASA’s explorations. You could click through every image manually and then go through the process of right-clicking and choosing “save image” on each one, but that kind of repetition gets old in a hurry. You could also use a browser add-on like DownThemAll or Bulk Image Downloader, but many of those work in only one specific browser (such as Firefox).

Instead, you can fire up NeoDownloader and simply paste in the URL of the page where you found the images. After a few quick clicks to step through the project wizard, the program goes to work and automatically pulls down all the pictures for you. Because NeoDownloader can process up to 20 requests at once, downloads complete very quickly.

NeoDownloader offers plenty of customization options to give you full control over your downloads. To avoid grabbing low-resolution images, you can specify a minimum file size or pixel dimension. Everything that falls below your specification will be skipped, leaving you with only big, beautiful images. You can also restrict image types by extension (like .JPG, .PNG, and .GIF), specify audio or video formats only, and even enter your own custom file extensions–which is handy for downloading a series of .ZIP or .RAR archives. Advanced users can utilize NeoDownloader’s custom parser to set up extremely intricate download filters using regular expressions. This extreme flexibility is one of the program’s key advantages over similar programs like MetaProducts Picture Downloader.

The program also provides a built-in previewer (with full screen and slideshow modes) which lets you take a look at your freshly-downloaded files right inside NeoDownloader. Want to send some of your finds to a friend? Simply select them and click the email icon, and NeoDownloader attaches them to a new message using your default mail client.

What if the files you want to download are hosted on a private server–say, one on which you have a paid account? That’s not a problem for NeoDownloader either. Just open up the project settings for your site and click the starting address tab. There you’ll be able to enter your username and password, and the program can then log in just like you would if you were viewing the site in your web browser.

At $40, NeoDownloader might seem a bit pricey–but if you frequently find yourself stumbling upon websites with vast numbers of pictures, songs, or video clips that you want to download, it’s money well spent.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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