Partial Download, Download Part Of A File

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 1, 2011
Software, Windows, Windows software

Have you ever received a link to a huge video or discovered a link to a larger file on the web that you were not sure about? Maybe you are currently on a slow Internet connection and do not want to fill the tubes with that download for hours. A preview would be nice and that's exactly what partial download offers.

The free application can download the first bytes of a selected file from the Internet so that the local user can preview the file without downloading all of it.

That's obviously only going to work if the file can be previewed if it is not fully on the computer. That works for videos very well, but not at all for archives or files that require all data to be present before they can be displayed or loaded.

Lets get back to the 100 Megabyte video that someone posted that you want to take a sneak peak at. With Partial Download you would use the command

"partial download" target url

to do that. To download the video example.avi from Ghacks' root directory you would use the command "partial download"

Partial Download downloads 1.5 Megabytes of the selected file by default. This value can be changed to another size by adding the new size in bytes at the end of the command, for instance 150000 for 150 Kilobytes.

Users do need a program that can play or display incomplete files on the system. Many video players can play incomplete videos, VLC or MPlayer variants can do that for instance.

Partial Download is a handy portable tool for users who want to download part of a file to preview it on their computer. The program could do with a gui or browser and email client integration to make that process more comfortable.

The software has been released as part of Donation Coder's Nany 2011 challenge. Download and additional information are provided at the project website at Google Sites.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anand said on January 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Jonathan, sorry to say “Partial Download” can not download from middle.
    To get this feature you may use Curl

    To get the middle portion of a video, the http server must support it. “Partial Download” uses simple http connection, so can download from any server.

    The goal of “Partial Download” is to “look before you leap”.

    Curl is best for your requirement, where you know about the video and now want a portion of it.

    Further I am the sole developer of it, as of now, and working on GUI and other options for it.



  2. Jonathan said on January 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I want to download the middle of a video. A 10 minute video has 5 seconds I want to keep, starting at 5:20, so I want to download 5:20 to 5:25. Can “Partial Download” be modified to enable that?

    I can imagine wanting 2 or 3 clips from a video, so it would be even better to be able to download 5:20-5:25, 6:00-6:15 and 8:40-9:10, for example – either as one file or as 3 files. Can “Partial Download” be modified to enable that?

    The second request would be ideal, but I hope the first ability is enabled soon, and released before anyone starts working on the 2nd ability.

    Are volunteers contributing to the code? (I have zero coding knowledge, but I hope people are participating in this very cool project.)


    1. David said on July 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Hi! I do have the same problem. Did you find an answer on how to start a download from the middle or any time?

  3. Anand said on January 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you, kyrathaba.


  4. kyrathaba said on January 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Nice job, Anand!

  5. kyrathaba said on January 3, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Hey, Anand, congrats! Nice piece of utility software.

  6. Anand said on January 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Dear Visitor,

    The sole purpose of “partial download” is download the part of the file, in the background. Using a download manager, user will have to keep an eye on the download bar and manually pause/cancel the download.

    Before developing the application, I used to do this and found myself sitting on the desk and looking mostly at the download bar. Now I give the url to “partial download” and do my work.

    Gui and other option are on drawing board, but I want NANY 2011 to complete first.


  7. Visitor said on January 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I think it’s not necessary to use this program. Every external download manager can stop downloading of the file at any time. Then you can resume from that position.

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