Looking for Explorer replacement

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by bgoodman4, Dec 10, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    I have a good music organizer (MediaMonkey) but its not really suited for what I am doing, which is, simply searching the collection by artist file name and then checking to see if I have the track already. I think an Explorer type program will do this better than a music organizer because thats one of the major functions of this sort of program. Maybe I should go to an indexing program but I suspect the "play the track" capability would not be there.

    I am not sure what you mean by categories. I can say that I have found the 2 most versatile and complete explorer replacement programs are Directory Opus and XYplorer. They both are very versatile and as complete as any I have looked at and much more so than many. The most versatile in terms of user interface customization is accelman but I found the program very confusing to use. DO & XY are both similar enough to Explorer that being able to use them is relatively quick & painless. There is no need to spend a lot of time digging through help files and dedicated forums to try to figure them out. Then, for the power user with specific requirements there is a whole lot of features that take the programs way beyond Explorer. Some reading would no doubt be nec to get these extra features functioning smoothly but at least its not nec to start from scratch as would be the case with a number of the other programs I looked at.

    I should also like to say that SpeedCommander looked quite good but the lack of an English help file is a killer as far as I am concerned. If it were not for this I would probably be considering this one as THE one.

    I should also say that I have been in contact with tec support for xplorer2 and the effort to help was significant even though unsuccessful. I really did appreciate the prompt and detailed replies to my questions and I don't know if there is something about my PC configuration that prevented some of the issues from being resolved but as it stands the program is not suitable for me.

    At this point its a matter of actually using both DO and XY for a while on a daily basis and seeing which of these excellent programs I am most comfortable with. Once I make a final decision I will let you folks know just to finish the thread off.
     
  2. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    Yes, this is certainly a very nice program. I am a bit leery about lifetime licences as it has been my unfortunate experience to find that lifetime sometimes means until the developer decides to abandon the program, and at least occasionally that means fairly quickly. At least that has been my experience on 2 occasions. One of the programs was abandoned less than a year after I bought the lifetime licence and the 2nd one was abandoned about 2.5 years after the licence was bought. In both cases there were no upgrades between the time I bought the licence and the time the program was abandoned.

    I suspect it almost a self fulling thing. If the developer of a program sells enough lifetime licences, unless the program is truly exceptional and very difficult to replicate or surpass in functionality, at some point sales will dry up and the software will no longer be viable for further development. At that point it will be abandoned.

    PS: that mini-tree feature in XY is real nice.
     
  3. Banshee

    Banshee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Posts:
    548
    I have been using Directory Opus for a couple of years now and never looked back.I'd get that if I were you.:thumb:
     
  4. Minimax2000

    Minimax2000 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Posts:
    204
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Agreed. Let's hope for the best. If the developer were to abandon his product he should have the decency and awareness to pass the project on to other developers or make it Open Source/GPL.

    I am normally wary of Lifetime licences but this is an exception showing my gratitude. My behaviour should also be understood as incentive for further development.
     
  5. WYBaugh

    WYBaugh Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Posts:
    122
    Location:
    Florida
    +1

    I had been looking for the perfect explorer replacement over the years and finally talked myself into bying DOpus. It's expensive but well worth the money.
     
  6. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Posts:
    333
    Location:
    Topeka, KS, US
  7. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    Thank you for this, I will take a look at it (I have just downloaded the trial version).
     
  8. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    I have been thinking about this and I believe it might just be the best solution. Especially since I intend to set my PC up as dual screen in the new year. Up until now I have had to accommodate everything on one monitor so it was essential that I could configure my browser and source of mp3 collection data on the same screen at the same time. Not the easiest thing to do with many programs. With dual monitors I could do this easily. The only issue is that some files have the same name except one will be XYZ 1 and the other XYZ 2. These denote the same song done by the same artist but as a different version (and no difference in the name). This distinction tends to only be noted in the file path name, not the track tag. This worked fine in the past when I was searching using Explorer type programs. Not sure if I could make it work with a music organizer.
     
  9. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Posts:
    2,404
  10. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
  11. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    Well, after testing 10 apps and narrowing it down to 2 contenders I have made a decision. The 2 contenders were Directory Opus and XYplorer. Both apps were excellent but XYplorer beat DO to a large extent because of 2 features. The first is the Mini Tree view the 2nd, and more significant feature is XYplorers ability to save different interface configurations and the ability to load these with the click of a mouse (well 2 clicks actually). Apart from the 2 features mentioned I found nothing that I would want to do with DO that I could not do with XY (at least none that I believe I would ever want to do) with one notable exception (I may be getting this feature confused with another app but I think it was possible with DO) and that was to be able to have file sizes shown as either bytes or megabytes/gigabytes. I must admit I did not do an exhaustive comparison of the two programs features but I did look at a lot of them and I came to the conclusion just expressed.

    The fact that XY is cheaper than DO did not hurt but as you will see below the gap in cost between the 2 programs, while generally significant, is currently much smaller than normal (details below).

    I must admit that I found both DO & XY to have a more cluttered interface than I was used to with ExplorerPlus but I will get used to that. In addition it would be real nice if either or both programs had a free floating separate search results window and viewer like the one I had been using.

    Somewhat unfortunate is the fact that I missed a discount on the program from Bits De Jour (November sometime) but thats life.

    For those interested in picking up a copy of DO I should mention that the publisher is having a year end sale with a discount of 30% off. Details may be found at http://www.gpsoft.com.au/
     
  12. Chubb

    Chubb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Posts:
    1,967
    It is actually Nov 2008 (51% discount):
    http://www.bitsdujour.com/software/xyplorer/

    It's lifetime license will increase from € 29.95 to € 49.95 in Jan 2010. So I am looking for a Christmas discount. :'(
     
  13. virtumonde

    virtumonde Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Posts:
    504
    Regarding the dispaly config In Opus,Settings-lister layout-save this layout-and you can save as many as you want-and of course create a button to easily switch between them.I use dual vertical 99% of the time
    Under tools-folder options-you can configure the display for every folder to show what size & other settings you want.
    One other nice setting is the toolbars,you can drag&drop applications to them(useful if u prefer a clean desktop-i know i do),or you can drag a toolbar to desktop -a la stardock
    Anyway there are to many things you can do with this app...If u still have time to test it..on their forum under Buttons & Toolbars there are many examples of this program versatility
     
  14. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    It is pretty clear that I did not do as exhaustive a comparison as I could have, or perhaps should have. I suspect both programs have capabilities that I am not aware of.

    I did forget to mention one feature that XY has that I do not believe DO has, and it is a real important one to me. So important that there really is no chance that I would consider DO over XY at this point (unless of course DO also has a similar feature and I missed it, possibly not even then as I have become comfortable with XY and comfort/familiarity is an important factor too).

    The feature I am referring to is the ability, when you left click on an image in the preview pane, to have the image immediately enlarged. I have attached 4 screen shots. The first is the preview pane showing an image that I have selected. The 2nd image is of the screen of the PC when I left click on the preview image. I should mention that dragging the cursor at this point moves the focus of the enlarged image so you can really get in and see various sections of the shot. The 3rd attachment is the preview image when left clicked on but this time with a setting that enlarges the preview image to fit the dimensions of the screen. The final attachment shows the choices available when setting this feature. All that is nec to call the settings up is a right click on the preview.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpg
      1.jpg
      File size:
      165.6 KB
      Views:
      8
    • 2.jpg
      2.jpg
      File size:
      83.4 KB
      Views:
      2
    • 3.jpg
      3.jpg
      File size:
      157.2 KB
      Views:
      1
    • 4.jpg
      4.jpg
      File size:
      176.7 KB
      Views:
      6
  15. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    By the way, one of the main complaints that I had with XY (and I think DO too but the various programs have begun to blur in my mind) is the amount of screen space wasted by the preview pane. As you can see from the first attachment above there is an awful lot of wasted space in the pane. I would really like to be able to define the space (and placement) of (specialty?) windows, especially this particular one.
     
  16. Minimax2000

    Minimax2000 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Posts:
    204
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Yes it would be nice to have the panel dockable to the right side so the vertical list space can be used more efficiently.

    You can vote for this feature (no. 08 in the list) on their forum:
    http://www.xyplorer.com/xyfc/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4382&sid=4c55ff41d9a29e1218c35e30c7599f85
     
  17. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    I voted but evidently its not something the majority (or even many) folks would like to see being tied for last place with 4 % of the vote. Guess it will not happen any time soon.

    Thanks for the link though.
     
  18. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Posts:
    2,404
    Enjoying reading this thread bgoodman4.

    Slightly off-topic, and this doesn't help in your quest, but have you tried using 'Finder' on a Mac?

    That is one slick explorer program. Especially the ability to see what has been opened in the past day, yesterday, week etc. Its best feature is 'previewing' files like you showed above.

    Except its preview function, 'the eye', called quick look, is instant, and scrolls through images, documents, movie files as quick as you would with the arrow key just highlighting files in windows. It opens on top of windows, instead of in a preview pane wasting space.

    Its spotlight search function is one speed machine to search your comp. Sadly, I don't think there is a program with the same preview speed.

    QuickLook feature
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqjH0_E4pxQ&fmt=18

    Finder and Cover Flow
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPgxoGMaaR0&fmt=18

    Detail
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3737

    Doesn't help, but just shows you how much better these windows programs should be, and we're having to pay for something which still doesn't cut the mustard.
     
  19. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    No, I have not tried the program since I am using Windows. ------ Thanks for rubbing it in though. Maybe one day Windows will be as good as Mac but probably not in my lifetime.
     
  20. inka

    inka Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Posts:
    426
    Here are two apps I've used. Both work as advertised.
    They LISTEN to the audio from each track, create a database of samples for comparison, and output a similarity report.

    They are both startlingly accurate (few false positive matches).

    If you have multiple copies of a song, the comparison app will recognize them as being similar even if one file is 96Kbps and other is 320Kbps (or whatever). Additionally, similarities are recognized regardless of differing file formats and regardless of differing filenames. While using the app, you can also edit the tags of the music files.

    In the registered version of these apps, you're able to delete files from within the interface. During trial use, it's easy enough to Alt+Tab to an explorer window to perform any desired deletions though.

    Although both apps seem to handle (ignore) any leading or trailing silence, neither of them can match a "clip" against the file it was extracted from. In other words, comparison is only made "from beginning of song". Another thing I found that foils comparison is "timeshifting" -- if you have altered a song by time compressing it (same pitch, different duration / different beats per minute) neither app will recognize its similarity to the original.

    When I initially tested the apps I dove right in, pointing at the root directory of my 4000 song archive & directing them to compare all songs within the set. As I recall, the "step one" (sampling and database creation) took about 80 minutes to complete. If you save the database for later comparisions (against groups of newly downloaded files) additional comparisons only take a few minutes.

    AudioDedupe
    http://www.mindgems.com/products/Duplicate-MP3-Finder/Audio-Dedupe-About.htm

    AudioComparer
    http://audiocomparer.com/

    ps:
    If you use Sandboxie, you can run the setup for AudioDedupe in the sandbox, then also run the app in the sandbox. Discard from sandbox once you've finished using it. (Each time you run setup in a fresh sandbox, you start anew with a 30 day trial.)
     
  21. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    Thanks for the suggestion however you have misunderstood what I am doing. I want to know if I have the song so that I do not purchase it again. I assume the apps you mentioned require both tracks to be on the drive being tested. Not what I am after I am afraid.

    Just out of curiosity,,,,,,how do the apps handle extended versions of songs? Many/most extended versions have significant sections of the song that is the same in both versions. Can your apps tell the difference or are they reporting the 2 tracks as the same?
     
  22. inka

    inka Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Posts:
    426
    Yes, those comparison apps work only for music files already onhand.
    As for recognizing extended versions, yes, if the beginning(s) of the tracks are the same. On the other hand (your question reminds me to mention) recognition often fails for live vs studio recordings of the same song, because a live recording usually has applause etc at the beginning of the track.

    Aha. Check out the find function in the freeware Foobar2000.

    http://www.foobar2000.org/
    http://praj.wikidot.com/foobar2000 {-- describes the foobar2000 'TypeFind' feature
     
  23. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Posts:
    3,223
    Sounds good, I will give it a try sometime in the next few days. Thanks for the info.

    EDIT: ------ it sounds like in order for the Foobar plug-in to work for me I would have to create a play-list of every track in my collection and update it each time I add new tracks to the collection. Is this the case or am I misunderstanding how it works?
     
  24. DOSawaits

    DOSawaits Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Posts:
    469
    Location:
    Belgium
    +1 Fantastic explorer, haven't used Windows explorer in years.
     
  25. rolarocka

    rolarocka Guest

    Yes same here. I am really fast with DOpus. I have assigned various functions like delete, go up, refresh and close to my mouse buttons. Also i have a button in the toolbar of opus from their forum to burn selected files directly in Imgburn. Also double clicking on my desktop always brings up the same custom panes (dual pane, one for windows hd and the other for the files hd) for me. Dont forget FlatView. Great.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.