Wrongly referred to as a “web crawler”, FileScout won’t help you look for URLs on the Web (which is what Web crawling is about) but to grab the contents, on a file-by-file basis, using a URL of your choice as a starting point. The “Crawl Page” option will display in seconds every single component present the web page whose URL you used for the search. All text and media files – JS, JPEG, PNG, ICO, PHP, HTML, MPEG, AVI, MOV, and ASF files, among others – will be carefully extracted and listed, giving you the chance to preview them in your favorite browser before downloading them. You can arrange them alphabetically, by extension, URL, and even file size. When first displayed, the files listed come without a file size, but you can tell the program to retrieve and display in bytes the size of the file or files you’re interested in. The so-called “Deep Crawl” option will perform the same operation to all the pages of the site in question, regardless of the URL you use as source.
Downloading the files you select and saving them to disc is very easy – just select the files in question and click on the download option in the context menu. Though the absolute lack of feedback on the program’s side may lead you to think that nothing has happened or is happening, the files are actually being saved to the desired destination folder. Not knowing which files have been effectively downloaded and saved and which are still pending or in progress may be more than just a nuisance when the download breaks for whatever reason. Thus, when dealing with entire sites with hundreds or even thousands of tiny files, there is no way to know if and when the download has finished. This worrying lack of information somehow renders the program’s resume capabilities useless.
It would also have been nice, and very convenient, if FileScout would have included an option to filter the file extraction beforehand. This would allow you to extract only the images, the video files, or the HTML text from the selected page or site in one go. A thumbnail view of all image and video files would also be a great add-on to the program’s functionality, especially when dealing with file names that are but strings of meaningless digits. Despite the absence of these surely enhancing features, FileScout offers you a very interesting and original functionality – at least – worth trying.
- Crawls entire sites
- Preview capabilities
- Resumes broken downloads
- Grabs all downloadable files
- Lack of feedback while downloading
- No download filters