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" https://www.ghacks.net/example.avi
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.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.