Magellan Explorer

URL: http://www.enriva.com

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Rating: Very good

Review:

Windows Explorer is an essential tool for manipulating files in Windows. But after using it for a while, most users wish that it was a bit more customizable and had a few more features. Enter Magellan Explorer from www.enriva.com, an enhanced Explorer that combines features from Windows Explorer, File Manager, FTP, Zip and more, and adds a number of additional options.

Layout

When opening Magellan, the first thing that sticks out is the double-pane view with the ability of displaying two separate volumes in each pane. For example, you can have the contents of your C: drive displayed in one pane and your E: drive in the other, or a local drive in one pane and a network drive in the other, or a FTP site in one and a local drive in another, giving you simple drag-and drop functionality between them. A helpful tool is the drive tool bar that lets you choose drives for each pane with the click of a button.

Customization

Magellan can be customized until you get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The Preferences dialog is well laid out, and lets you customize about anything you want, such as layout, colors, settings, toolbars and much more. For example, not only can you arrange the toolbar layout and appearance, but also what buttons to show, and even add your own custom functionality by adding new applications. Some of the options can be changed in multiple places, which some people might consider redundant, others might find helpful to make sure that you don’t miss it.

Features

Magellan has quite a number of neat features that can make life easier. Below is a selection of the ones that stand out the most.

You can:

  • print out the contents of a folder on a drive, with or without subfolders, treeview or “FTP”-style, with or without attributes, to printer, file or clipboard.
  • clone a file or folder within a folder without having to copy it to another location, rename it, and then copy it back. Very handy if you want to preserve the original of a file before modifying it.
  • rename a whole group of files and give them a different extension without having to rename them individually.
  • add a description in your own words to files and folders to make it easier to keep track of items and recognizing them.
  • use Virtual Folders, accessing files and folders from one location even if they are strewn all across different folders or drives.
  • synchronize folders, e.g. your data folder and your backup folder on a different drive.
  • have single-click access to a DOS prompt for all you hardcore DOS freaks out there.
  • customize and save additional things, such as the window position, the position of the divider between the panes, and the startup location in each pane.
  • get a nice FTP integration with a whole separate FTP menu for easy access to all your FTP sites, including a nice feature to keep your connection open by sending a NOOP signal.
  • manage compressed archives such as Zip and RAR, let it install downloaded compressed software installation files, create self-extractable archives, update documents within archives and more.

Another feature it has is the ability to bookmark not only your favorite sites, but also your favorite files, folders, applications, and FTP sites, all easily accessible through the Popular menu. Though it seems redundant to have a separate Bookmark menu when everything could have been managed through the Popular menu. It uses a different way to manage, edit and organize your bookmarks, but like Internet Explorer, it is not the Holy Grail of bookmark organizing either.

Another nice thing is that you can tell Magellan to perform operations in the background, allowing you to perform multiple operations at the same time, which can be helpful if you have multiple data transfers to do and don’t want to wait until each one is completed. Of course decent computing power is required for this to work properly.

It also includes a viewer that lets you view most file types, including Hex viewing of any file.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a pretty nifty program that can make file manipulation easier, especially for the power user. Customizability is great. And in spite of all the options and features, it is well organized without being overwhelming or confusing.

Users of a mouse with scroll wheel will be happy to know that the wheel does work in Magellan Explorer.

A few minor annoyances are the redundancy of the Bookmark and Popular menu which could be easily combined, better handling of bookmarks, and enhancement of the Help system by more screenshots and a grammar check.

Another little oddity was that the View menu did not have checkmarks in front of the toolbars that were already active. They only appeared after de-selecting and re-selecting the toolbar. Also, in the right-click/Send-To menu, none of the icons that show up when viewing it in Windows Explorer, showed up.

The date handling could be improved in certain situations as well. In the Find File and Filter dialog, the date needs to be entered not only in European format, but also with a dot as a separator, which is a little awkward.

After installing Magellan Explorer, you’ll notice a new option in the right-click menu: Voyage from here. Magellan used to be called Enriva Voyager until a few months ago when the name was changed to avoid confusion with FTP Voyager. One can only wonder if the Voyage from here right-click option was left intentionally – Magellan from here just doesn’t sound the same – or if it was a little oversight.

Magellan Explorer can be downloaded as a 30-day evaluation version, an adware version that is free but displays ads, or purchased as a full version for $29.95 from www.enriva.com.

Submitted by: Alex

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