transloader3

With Transloader 3 finally publicly available, I’d like to invite you on a tour through the app and its functionality.
In Part V, we discussed logging in to websites for files that require authentication to be downloaded.
In this Part VI, we set up Link Actions to customize Transloader’s behavior on a Mac when a link is assigned to it.
I’m so glad you’re joining me for this – let’s get right into it.

Table of Contents

Part IStarting Downloads Remotely on Macs
Part IIDive Into Transloader’s iOS App
Part IIITransloader Siri Shortcuts on iPhone and iPad
Part IVPreferences and Settings
Part VLogin to Download
Part VILink Actions
Part VIIFile Actions

Part VI – Link Actions

You might come across a link that you’d like Transloader on the Mac you’re assigning it to not to download, but pass on to another app, or Automator Workflow instead.
That’s where Link Actions come in. With a Link Action, you define a rule, and if that rule applies to a particular link assigned to the Mac, that link gets passed on to the app you select, instead of being downloaded in Transloader.
Let’s start with an simple example: FTP links.

Setting up a Link Action

Transloader doesn’t handle FTP(s) links, so having a Link Action for links with that URL scheme would be a great idea.
By default, Transloader tries to send links with URL schemes other than http(s) to an app on your Mac that can handle it – or it fails the download.

Actions are easily set up. Open Transloader’s Preferences, select Actions, click the + button at the lower left and select Add Link Action.
You’ll be asked for a bit of input:

For the “Rule” part of the Action, you can select “if host contains”, or “if URL scheme is”.

A host ist the main part of a URL, like eternalstorms.at in https://eternalstorms.at/transloader .
Note that for hosts, Transloader uses a partial search, so if you were to specify “youtu”, the Link Action would apply to all links that contain that string, for example “youtube.com”, and “youtu.be”.

A URL scheme is the first part of a link, like https, or ftp – basically anything that comes before the first ‘:’ in a link.
Here, Transloader uses an exact match (though ignoring upper- and lowercase), so http will match http, but not https.

In the case of setting up a Link Action for FTP links, select “if URL scheme is” and enter “ftp” (or select it from the list).

Now click “Select App or Automator workflow…” to do exactly that.
If you have an app installed that handles FTP links, it’ll be automatically pre-selected by Transloader (in the case of FTP links, it might even be the Finder) for your convenience. But feel free to use any app you think would fit best.

And we’re done!

Congratulations, you’ve just set up your first Link Action.
Whenever you assign an “ftp://…” link to this Mac now, it will be sent (in the above’s screenshot’s case) to ForkLift, instead of being downloaded within Transloader.

Using an Automator Workflow

Instead of “regular” apps, you can select Automator Workflows that you want to handle the links.
Perhaps you don’t want to download the link at all, but turn it into a webloc file in Finder? That might be handy for, say, links to apps on the App Stores. Let’s get that going!

Creating an Automator Workflow

Launch Automator, select New from the File menu and choose Workflow. This will save the file in a format Transloader will be able to run as a custom user script later on.

From the left panel, drag over a “Run AppleScript” action and copy down the following:

Update the destination path to your liking – in particular, change “matthias” to your own account’s short name, and you’re done – you can quit Automator now.

Back in Transloader, create a new Link Action, select “if host contains” and enter “apps.apple.”, to make this Action affect any link assigned to this Mac that contains that string (most likely, App Store links).

For apps in the macOS sandbox to be able to run user scripts, they need to be placed in a certain directory, functioning as a form of consent of the user for the app to make use of your script.
Each app has its own folder; for Transloader, it’s /Users/yourname/Library/Application Scripts/at.EternalStorms.Transloader/ .
You can either navigate there manually, or let Transloader help you a bit along the way when you set up a Link Action. While it can’t place the script into the folder itself (that would totally circumvent the purpose), it can open that somewhat hidden Application Scripts folder for you:

Click “Select App or Automator workflow…”, and instead of selecting an app, click “Go to Application Scripts Folder”. Transloader will show a new Open dialog, with the Application Scripts folder pre-selected. Right-click it and select “Show in Finder” to go there directly, so you can place the workflow you’ve just created into it. Afterwards, select the workflow in Transloader’s Open dialog. Save the Action, and you’re done.

Assigning an App Store link to this Mac now results in a webloc file being created.
A more elaborate Automator workflow would maybe create that webloc file, like we did above, and then continue to pass it to another app, like I’m doing with Yoink:

A Link Action I’ve set up for App Store links – they’ll be forwarded to Yoink, instead of Transloader attempting to download them.
Wildcards

If you’d like Transloader to forward all links to an app or workflow, you can use an asterisk ‘*’ as the URL scheme or host.
Be aware, though, that this will result in Transloader on that Mac not downloading any links you assign to it, like, at all.

Sending Commands to Macs with Link Actions

You could also come up with your own URL schemes, like “putthismactosleep” (they can be just about any string).
On a Mac, you’d set up a Link Action that would look for links with that URL scheme, and then run an Automator workflow to put the Mac to sleep. Were you to assign a link with that URL scheme to this Mac now (“putthismactosleep://” would suffice), it would go to sleep upon receiving it. There are lots of possibilities.

Exporting and Importing Actions

You might notice that Link Actions are local to the Mac you set them up on, and won’t sync across your Macs.
There’s a reason for this: Apps or Automator Workflows you select on one Mac might not be available on another, rendering the actions that use them defunct. Now, I want to improve this with a future update, but up until at least v3.1 (work in progress), that’s just how it is.
However, you can manually export and import actions:

To import Actions on another Mac, double-click the file you’ve exported on it.

For extra convenience, the last 15 values you’ve used in Actions (like “ftp”, or “youtu”) are synced across your Macs, so that when you want to set up similar Actions on different Macs, you won’t have to do everything by hand.

Summary

You now know how to customize Transloader’s behavior for certain links – with Link Actions.
You’ve got the power!

In the next Part VII, we’ll continue with Zelda Actions – whoops, no, my mind wandered there for a second.
In Part VII, we’ll explore File Actions. They are executed after a file was downloaded in Transloader and come in handy to sort downloaded files into folders, for example.

It’d be awesome to see you then!

Links

Transloader Website (with a free, 15-day trial for Mac)
Transloader on the Mac App Store ($4.99 / €5.49 for a limited time)
Transloader on the iOS App Store (free)
Transloader Usage Tips

Read more

With Transloader 3 finally publicly available, I’d like to invite you on a tour through the app and its functionality.
In Part IV – the part most readers so far have called the most exciting blog post in the history of blog posts –, we configured Transloader’s preferences and settings to our liking.
In this Part V, we’re taking a look at a brand new feature in Transloader 3: logging in to be able to download files that require authorization.
I’m so glad you’re joining me again – let’s get right into it.

Table of Contents

Part IStarting Downloads Remotely on Macs
Part IIDive Into Transloader’s iOS App
Part IIITransloader Siri Shortcuts on iPhone and iPad
Part IVPreferences and Settings
Part VLogin to Download
Part VILink Actions
Part VIIFile Actions

Part V – Login to Download

For some downloads, you need to log in for them to work. Apple’s Developer Downloads webpage requires a login, some Google Document files require a login to Google, and I’m sure there are at least two more.

For these cases, Transloader 3 comes with a new feature: logging in to websites.
You can log in to websites at any time, either manually beforehand, into sites you anticipate to download repeatedly from, or for specific downloads, after they fail due to missing credentials.
Most importantly: this can be done from any device.

Advance Login

On Mac, you can log in to websites beforehand in Transloader’s Preferences.
Select Login Cookies – Login…, and a browser will open, allowing you to navigate to the website you’d like to log in to.
On iPhone and iPad, it’s just the same:

Here it is in action:

Logging in to redshift3d.com to be able to download the demo subsequently.
By the way, if there’s a “Remember me” checkbox, be sure to select it.

When you click Save Cookies… in the browser, all cookies accumulated during that browsing session will be saved on the device you logged in on, and synced to iCloud.
Thus, when I try to log in to the same website on my iPad, I won’t have to, because I already am:

Wanting to log in to the same website I just logged in to on my Mac, I find I don’t have to, because cookies have already synced to all my devices.

When I assign the demo link to my Mac for download now, it’ll work as expected:

Privacy Policy and Disclaimer

Transloader (or any of my other apps) does not collect or transmit any data to me, or 3rd parties.
What you do with Transloader is between you, your devices, and Apple’s iCloud.
Nevertheless, please use this feature with discretion. If you feel uncomfortable having login cookies synced to iCloud, please refrain from doing so. Additionally, at any time, you can delete all login cookies in Transloader’s preferences.
You can find my privacy policy here.

Login after download fails

Another scenario would be trying to download a file, only to find out you need to be logged in to make it work.
That’s where “Login and Retry” comes in. It’ll allow you to log in to the website in question, after which it will tell the Mac to try the download again.
Here’s how it works from an iPad:

After a download has failed because of missing credentials, I log in to the host website and retry it, which then finishes successfully.
Summary

Now you know how easy it is to download files that require authorization on their websites – either beforehand, or after attempting to download.

I sure hope you’ll join me next time for Part VI, where we’ll take a look at another new feature in Transloader 3: Link Actions. They make it possible to send particular links to other apps or Automator Workflows, instead of downloading them in Transloader. You’ll find them quite handy – I’m sure!

Links

Transloader Website (with a free, 15-day trial for Mac)
Transloader on the Mac App Store ($4.99 / €5.49 for a limited time)
Transloader on the iOS App Store (free)
Transloader Usage Tips

Read more

With Transloader 3 finally publicly available, I’d like to invite you on a tour through the app and its functionality.
In Part III, we built custom download workflows with Transloader’s Siri Shortcuts on iPhone and iPad.
In this Part IV, we’re going to look at all the preferences and settings the app has to offer on both macOS and iOS.

Table of Contents

Part IStarting Downloads Remotely on Macs
Part IIDive Into Transloader’s iOS App
Part IIITransloader Siri Shortcuts on iPhone and iPad
Part IVPreferences and Settings
Part VLogin to Download
Part VILink Actions
Part VIIFile Actions

Part IV – Preferences and Settings

Let’s look at the Mac app first, as it lets you set up everything from download settings, Link- and File Actions, to login data, whereas the iOS companion app only contains a subset of those preferences (logically, because it doesn’t accept downloads, for example).

General
It doesn’t get more “General” than that.

“Launch Transloader at login”
Launches Transloader when you log in to your Mac. And with v3.0.1, it actually works, so, how about that?

“Show menu bar icon”
Transforms Transloader into an app that runs mostly in the background (and in your menu bar), instead of appearing in your Dock. If you’re like me and have it running all the time, this might be a nice preference for you. Plus, it has this animation, so, go ahead. Select, deselect, select, deselect. I know you want to. I’ve been doing it for hours for the video below:

“Prevent Mac from sleeping”
I’d only use this if you have a constant need to download and basically never want your Mac to idle-sleep as long as Transloader is running. It’s there for convenience, but recommend: I would not.

Downloads

“Save downloads in”
Ye olde folder selection, for where downloads should end up.
With a File Action (see Part VII), you can fine-tune this.

“Maximum simultaneous downloads”
‘Default’ means no restrictions by Transloader itself, but macOS might limit in ways it sees fit.

“Download priority”
Here’s what Apple says about the API I’m using for this – perhaps you can make sense of it:
“To provide hints to a host on how to prioritize URL session tasks from your app, specify a priority for each task. Specifying a priority provides only a hint and does not guarantee performance.”

“Open links leading to websites in default browser (…)”
As an alternative to Transloader’s “Login to download”-feature, if this is selected, Transloader sends links that lead to text/html (and such) websites to your browser. Chances are the text/html site is a login page, and if you’re logged in to that site in your browser, the download will start there.
If you deselect it, the download will fail in Transloader, notifying you about it on your devices. In that case, you could use “Login and Retry”, if it’s actually a file the link leads to, requiring a login.

“Prevent Mac from sleeping while downloading”
This prevents your Mac from idle-sleeping while downloads are active. A more sensible alternative to the one before. You know, the one that I’ve put in the app, but couldn’t recommend?

Notifications

Transloader on Mac can show you local and push notifications.
Local notifications for when a local download finishes or fails, push notifications for when a download finishes or fails on another Mac.

Actions, Login Cookies

Those are for stretching this blog series as thin as possible. Nah, I’m just kidding, those are really, really cool, so I thought I’d dedicate one part to each of them.

iCloud

Transloader is powered by iCloud, so basically anything you do runs over it.
If you should ever decide to restart fresh, you can use this button to completely wipe Transloader’s data from iCloud. A blank slate. It came in handy during development, believe you me.

Settings on iPhone and iPad

Transloader on iOS lets you configure your remote notifications (there are no local ones in the iOS companion app, since it doesn’t download itself), your login cookies (see Part V), and delete all your iCloud data.

Summary

As far as preferences go, I think it couldn’t get more exciting than Transloader’s. Wouldn’t you agree? Especially the ones on Mac we didn’t talk about!

Speaking of which, I hope you’ll join me again next time for Part V, where we’ll talk about an awesome new feature of Transloader 3, spanning across the Mac- and iOS versions of the app: “Login to Download”. I’m very happy how that turned out!

Links

Transloader Website (with a free, 15-day trial for Mac)
Transloader on the Mac App Store ($4.99 / €5.49 for a limited time)
Transloader on the iOS App Store (free)
Transloader Usage Tips

Read more