Wednesday, 6 July 2011

WiFi File Explorer: Batch Transfers, Multiple File Uploads/Downloads, Bulk Moving Files Around ... Or Whatever You Want To Call It.


WiFi File Explorer allows you to ‘bulk’ upload and download files and directories between your Android device and computer, but some users don’t find it obvious how to do this or get easily confused by the prospect.  I will try to explain as best I can how this can be achieved depending on the scenario.

Firstly, it needs to be understood that web browsers are limited to handling one file request at a time when it comes to downloading files.  This is because of the obvious security reason that you don’t want some malicious website automatically saving loads of files to your computer without your permission, so you must authorize each one.  Similarly, you can’t just select a whole directory to upload to a website because it could be massive with loads of sub directories – it’s just not supported by web browsers.

Downloading a Directory
To download a directory, just click on the ‘Download’ action in the directory’s row.  It gets around the fact you can’t download multiple files at once by zipping the directory up so it appears as one file, and also provides the benefit of being compressed so the transfer is faster.  Just unzip the file once it has downloaded to your computer and there is your directory – simple.

Downloading Multiple Files and/or Directories
Use the check boxes in each row to select the items you want to download and then simply click the ‘Download Selected’ button.  Similar to downloading a directory, you will get a single ZIP file containing everything you wanted to download – just unzip it.

Uploading a Directory
Do the reverse of downloading a directory.  Zip the directory on your computer and upload the resultant ZIP file.  Then once it has uploaded, simply use the ‘Unzip’ action in the uploaded ZIP file’s row and you have your entire directory on your Android device (delete the ZIP file afterwards to free up space).  Again, this is a good way to transfer large amounts of data as it is all nicely compressed.

Uploading Multiple Files and/or Directories
Firstly, if you haven’t done already, then make sure ‘Multi-select Upload’ is enabled in the application settings.  This simply means you can use ctrl/shift clicking to select multiple files to upload, rather than having to build the list by selecting them individually (it also requires Flash to be enabled in your web browser).  Now, simply select the files you want to upload, whether they be individual files or zipped up directories.

Uploading a Massively Huge Amount of Data
Just like uploading a directory, zip it all up on your computer, upload the ZIP file and unzip it once it has uploaded to the Android device.  It’s the most efficient and quickest way to bulk transfer large amounts of data using WiFi File Explorer’s mechanisms.

So there you have it - all very easy really, once you know how.  Now, it may appear a little fiddly compared with the usual copy/cut & paste that you are used to on your desktop computer, but then WiFi File Explorer is running on an Android device and using a web interface and so has to work inside those limitations.  WiFi File Explorer is designed to be simple to use and the whole idea behind it is that it only requires a WiFi network and a web browser to work, with no additional software installed on the computer.  It’s this simplicity that has led to its popularity and widespread use and I hope you find it useful for all your data transferring needs.

37 comments:

  1. I just bought the pro version of WiFi File Explorer. Instead of the user zipping and unzipping the files, can't the application itself do this? This will make it easier to upload/download directories.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The application already automatically zips the files when downloading (just tick a selection of files and click 'Download Selected' and you'll see for yourself).

    I could add an option to 'Auto-Unzip' ZIP files that are upload to make bulk-uploading quicker (which is a great idea!), but there is no way a web page can itself create a ZIP file before uploading - it's just not possible; a web browser is not allowed that kind of control over a computer's files system, for the obvious reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't get the uploading. Can you give a little more of a step by step?
    I have a file I want to upload on my desktop. I connect the phone to the browser through wifi. I see all the download buttons. Now what?

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Courtney, please email me at pauldyble82@gmail.com and I can give you some support :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Can you please add an option to dissable info message after connection established? It's a bit booring to click "Ok" every time.
    Also, a button to turn WiFi on/off will help: I have WiFi switched off most of the time for energy saving.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Also, when downloading a file with cyrilic name the default name for the file becomes incorrect. The name inside zip archive is also incorrect.

    I know it's not a straitforward task to corectly encode the non-ASCII file name in the HTTP header, but the UTF-8 encoding is, in my opinion, the best choice since it is correctly handled by Firefox and Chrome, only IE requires ANSI encoding. Also, Firefox does not handle spaces inside file name correctly, but i don't know if it's good idea to replace them with _.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It would also be nice if the app had an option to just store files (without compression) into the zip archive. This would be useful when downloading the camera .jpg files, for example. Or perhaps consider some rudimentary autodetection based on file extension, although this seems less ideal. My pictures download was coming down at around 250-300 KB/s, which is on the slow side, and I'm guessing it might be due to the compression overhead, since my phone's CPU isn't the speediest.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi,

    This works like a charm!! Thanks Dooblou! Can you please tell me how the transfer is possible through wifi.. If I upload a file will it be counted by my wifi provider as uploading cost.. If I upload 70 MB to my phone, will this 70 MB be charged on my account that's what I want to know..

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Varun, it all works on your local WiFi network (no extra servers involved) so your data usage remains completely unaffected :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It would be great if I were able to select a folder for upload. Would it be possible to select a folder for upload, on which occasion the app would create the folder including subfolders on the phone, and then upload the files in there?

    ReplyDelete
  11. After I have selected a file and uploaded it when first opening program it wont let me select any files after that button just doesnt respond is it just me

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great app!

    But where is the settings option?

    ReplyDelete
  13. So...What's the upload size limit? I tried to upload a large movie file and got an error(unable to copy at this time) about zero bite files.

    ReplyDelete
  14. moving a 600 mb file and got error.
    Atleast you should convey the limitations.
    is this what i paid for.

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Saurabh, there are no limitations to the file size you can transfer (upload or download). Please contact me via email and I will support you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. After trying a couple others, a very strong recommendation by a friend brought me to your wireless app. I'm trying to do a backup using the multiple file zip methods. I've saved it directly to the computer, directly to the phone and copied over, and I can't open the zip file. Reports it is invalid.

    I've been at this all day. It's a gig backup (if it got everything) compressed. Suggestions? lorelleonwordpress at gmail

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Can't upload anything to my Toshiba Thrive using wifi file explorer pro I always get a server i/o error.

    ReplyDelete
  18. @lbyer123, please contact me and I'll explain the issue with the Thrive.

    ReplyDelete
  19. @lbyer123, http://dooblou.blogspot.co.uk/p/contact.html

    ReplyDelete
  20. dooblou this is the best app i've bougth ever, thanks alot

    ReplyDelete
  21. Is it possible to transfer my Itunes with this app? I bought the pro version.

    ReplyDelete
  22. How can I do a general search for say multiple .jpg files? Some reason my pics are as if they got deleted but when I stream my phone to a dlna enabled tv I can see the file name but I cannot view them on the phone it self. I know on a windows pc I can do a search for multiple .jpg files like this *.jpg in the search field but when I try to do this with wifi explorer it acts as if it were doing some thing but nothing loads and it just sits there idle. Any help on this matter would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @Bruce, if you search for any files while viewing a directory near the top level, then as the search algorithm is pretty crude, it can take a long time to display the search result. Just be patient and eventually you will see the results.

    Paul.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Paul:
    How do I Zip- backup
    1. data,
    2. system settings/system ?
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Is it possible to copy a file from a computer to the Android device using the free version? I don't care about bulk uploads, just moving one file would be fine, but I don't see any way to do this.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  26. HTC One V
    Same problem. Server error :/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Bought PRO version, I can see and delete and/or create folders but every upload fails with server I/O error. I am using Acer Iconia, on port 5001.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Is there any way to change the transfer rate to allow more kb/s at a time?

    ReplyDelete
  29. You know, I like the app--but every single time I upload a file to my Kindle Fire device, I have to reboot the device to find/see the file *on* the device. If I don't, the file is never visible to me. It's going into the Documents folder, so it's not like it's being put in the wrong place. Is this a Droid issue, or is there a step I'm missing on the browser interface that could "synch" the device so I don't have to reboot it all the time? Thx! (Other than that, I love it).

    ReplyDelete
  30. I was downloading a (large) batch-zip file from the phone, but the download was interrupted somehow. Was the batch.zip created & stored on the phone some place and is now taking up space on my phone's tiny internal storage (or is the zip file "streamed"?)

    If it's created + stored, please let me know what folder it's in so I can delete it.

    ReplyDelete
  31. VERY useful and solid app. I know the frustration that Developers feel when fielding questions from customers less familiar with these technologies. But reading through your responses, your patience and willingness to assist even the "dumbest" of questions is commendable. THANK YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Do you have any plans to eliminate the need of Flash to process batch uploading through the browser window? After the recent 0-day bugs against Flash, I uninstalled it and miss the functionality. In the other hand, great app.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I bought this app on amazon & i like it.
    @dooblou If you make an option that allow user to choose zip multiple file/ Folder or Download the files separately like "Wifi files transfer", it would be a great app.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would appreciate being able to upload a whole directory. If you queue all files in a chosen directory for upload, you would still only do one file request at a time. I know it is possible in Chrome since WiFi File Transfer Pro works this way (Firefox doesn't support it).

    ReplyDelete