Accelman: a file manager with a host of powerful tools and options

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Accelman is a dual-pane “File Manager” with a wide set of features ranging from multiple file management panes to a full-featured image viewer and editor, archiver with support of 15+ formats, media player and playlist editor, as well as a host of file and folder management tools.

Accelman, which used to be a paid program but just turned freeware, is a so-called dual pane file manager (commonly also referred to as a “Windows Explorer Replacement”).

It brings together one of the most thorough and impressive range of features that you can get for a program in this category; however, because of the extensive features, I will resist making this review into a re-iteration of the features list and attempt a more holistic description.

Therefore this review will be structured into (a) a PROS section, (b) a CONS section, and (c) a listing of my top 10 favorite features that Accelman provides.

1- PROS:

  • Multiple panes: with the ability to drag-and-drop to arrange them. It also comes with pre-set defaults that emulate the layout of other popular file managers, and will let you save your layout scheme for later use.
  • One stop shop for most file types: Accelman includes a built in image viewer/editor, a zip/archiving program, and a text editor/viewer with syntax highlighting. All of these are above average in their own right and support numerous formats (note: this does not preclude using an external app if you want to). It also incorporates a playlist manager and a surprisingly versatile media player. And, if you have Acrobat Reader or MS Office installed, can be used to view PDF and Office files.
  • Sophisticated file management tools: such as filtering throughout, mass renaming, searching for folders, files, or text, the ability to take directory snapshots for later comparison, folder bookmarking, batch file-attributes editor, files merge/split, folders comparison, changing file associations, etc.

2- CONS: (and wish list)

  • Less might have been more: ironically, this program has so many features as to make you (at times) wish for less. Does a file manager really need a built in media player?
  • Unintuitive design: this program has a learning curve. Unless you are willing to fiddle around with it endlessly you will need to dig into the help section in order to figure out how to perform some operations.

Wish list:

  • The option to supersede Windows explorer. In the sense that you could click on a folder and have it open in Accelman rather than explorer.
  • Filtering: for some reason my filtered file results always included compressed archives (.ZIP, .RAR, etc). Not sure if this is a bug or if I simply couldn’t figure out how to keep those out.
  • Media player: audio files would end abruptly mid-way through. A bug?
  • PDF: native PDF viewing would have been cool, and/or the ability to specify an external PDF viewer aside from Acrobat Reader.
  • One thing that would have been cool is if some of the components (e.g. the media player) came in the form of optional plugins or add-ons.

3-My top 10 Accelman features (in no particular order)

  1. Branch view: is a folder view whereby all files located within a folder and all of its subfolders are pooled together (i.e. the folder structure is ignored). Can be rather useful; however, I would have liked to be able to se the number of levels that this would drill down into.
  2. Store directory state: you can take a (recursive) snapshot of a directory and then come back at a later point to see how it has changed (select new/changed files, non-changed files, or show files that have been removed).
  3. Accelman color groupsTagging: a system of “marking” files and folders is in place. You can add your own tags and it provides a color groups system where different tags display different color background for your icons. Strangely, no filtering infrastructure is in place for your implemented tags (i.e. you cannot filter by all objects tagged “personal”, for example). Pity, as this would have made this program much better compared to others in its category.
  4. Bookmarking: you can bookmark files as well as folders, which is cool.
  5. Creating HTML lists: out of folder contents. Useful for instantly creating a browser home page from your bookmarks folders, for example.
  6. Local search: search for folders, files, or text. Powerful options include specifying scope (folders), file masks, and attributes (size, date, etc). Searches can be saved for later use.
  7. Recent files/Recent folders: maintains thorough (and seperate) recent folders and recent files lists.
  8. Image viewing: incorporates image viewing, conversion, and editing functionality that supports a wide range of image types (30+ formats, including PSD, PSP). The image viewer is better than many other image viewing/editing programs out there, imho.
  9. Calculating folder sizes: a must have feature (select folders then press Alt-G, or use the command in the “Manager” menu).
  10. Verify data on removable media: good feature if you need it.

The verdict: if you (a) like your programs to have a lot of features, and (b) are interested in a good, solid, file manager then you will like Accelman. If this is your first experience with a file manager program of this sort (or if you like simple, straightforward software) you might be in over your head. That said this is a powerful program overall that has a lot to offer.

Version Tested: 3.5.0 build 3600

Compatibility: Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista.

The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver. 3.5.0 build 3600 of the program here.


 
 
 
  • Joe

    My favorite over-the-top file manager is UltraExplorer

    http://www.mustangpeak.net/ultraexplorer.html

    but I tend to use FreeCommander for its portability, full feature set, fast operation, and ease of use.

    http://www.freecommander.com/

    I’m surprised you haven’t reviewed FreeCommander yet, especially since so many people said they prefer it to Xplorer2 in the comments of that review.

    Just my $.02.

  • AccelMan seems pretty cool, but it chokes on my system (XP SP3, behind firewall) after I try to import the license. I tried to do it using the text of license file first, and license file next. In both cases, it could not start after I re-launched the program. Now I see the AccelMan executable running, but it does not show any windows. Too bad. Looked interesting to me. Maybe it’s an isolated incident on mys system and other people will have better luck with it.

  • justinol

    this is not freeware. it has a nag at the bottom on the version i downloaded.

    i too reccomend ultraexplorer (especially the superb beta) or cubicexplorer.

  • Samer

    @justinol,
    It just became freeware, but you are required to download a free registration key (from the downloads page). It worked for me.

  • Unreal Commander is a good option too.

    http://x-diesel.com/

    Very similar to the best but, alas, not freeware Total Commander

  • justinol

    @samer.

    thanks mate. missed the registration key.

    always on the lookout for explorer replacements.

  • Thunder7

    I installed it got the key file!.
    And at the bottom it still says buy!.

    I agree with justinol
    “this is not freeware. It has a nag at the bottom on the version i downloaded.” And I wrote them and complained about it!.
    It is a nice program, however that nag screen destroys everything!. I download and use freeware and open source because it is free!.

    I have paid for a few shareware programs because there where awesome enough for me to buy!.

    This is not one of them!.

  • idodialog

    Looks free to me, don’t see a nag, but a hassle to use the registration. Jeez I’m glad I didn’t pay for it, starts really slow (on my XPsp3), the tree garbles itself occasionally, I’m not keen on the address bar at the bottom but all-in-all it seems competent. I really like the Favorites bar but xplorer2 (even the free one) is just more solid and flexible.
    But this started me off again for the perfect file manager – I swear I’ve used pretty well ALL of them at one time or another, I think this is a disease of some sort and I caught it here again!
    Really – PowerDesk, Xplorer2, are hard to beat but then I haven’t tried UltraExploer for ages — here goes..

  • blogward

    I tried this – I’ve used Directory Opus for about two years and wouldn’t be without it on Windows, but I’m always interested in a free alternative. AccelMan has too many bells and whistles and not enough under the hood for me.

  • Doesn’t seem to work on my Vista Home Premium 32-bit with UAC on… Or probably load incredibly slow so I need to end it with Task Manager..

    Manage to start it once. Play around a little bit. Interesting file manager, but I can’t stand the load time..

  • Intrinsic

    Like Blogward i use Directory Opus, and using a windows machine without DOPus just feels sluggish and inefficient. I’ve been using it since the early 90s starting on the Amiga 😀 It’s the 1st program i’ll install anytime i reinstall windows along with IrfanView and Opera, they are the 3 programs i can’t do without.

  • Carbonize

    Yes but this is free where as Directory Opus is not.

  • AccelMan is Trial Ware, evolution for 30 days. Well if we are talking about trial products, then try Directory Opus, it is the best amongst Explorer replacement solutions.

    http://www.gpsoft.com.au/

  • Samer

    Accelman is FREEWARE.

    Enough already with people saying its shareware or trialware. I am using an unrestricted version that I downloaded off the developer’s site.

    You have to download the REGISTRATION KEY FILE. This is provided on the download page for you.

    The reason this exists is: the developer decided to make their shareware program freeware, so they released the registration key.

    If you are unable to get the reg key or to make it work, copy and paste this key into the program (click on this link):
    http://tinypaste.com/4a191

    This key was provided on the developer’s website earlier. Note: copy and paste past
    “key=”; do not include “key=” in the actual pasted key.

    Note: as I write this the developer’s site seems to be down. It will probably be back up soon.

  • philippe

    Thank you very much samer

  • Brent

    The project home page link you provided goes to a 404 Not Found page. The domain account has been suspended.

  • Samer

    The developer’s site seems to be down. It will probably be back up soon.

  • Barry

    The program home page seems to be seriously broken for a couple of days now. Anybody know what’s going on?

    -barry

  • do not install whatever you do

    i tried to cancel a file copy and it deleted my sys32 folder and made my system unbootable

  • Niko

    Thanks Samer

  • Pat McCarren

    AccelMan home page is not available; I get a 404 error on 7/0/08 @ approx. 2050 EDT

  • omega

    the home page is back up – the developer let their domain expire. accelman looks to be $29.95 now – perhaps the key was a limited time trial like they did on giveawayoftheday.com .

    well, it was a good deal for free, but it is a bit quirky for $29.95.

  • joekicker

    No, why do you keep writing this, people? It is NOT $29.95. It is freeware. There is even a large explantion on the home page “Our products are now freeware.”

    You can download the registration code from the home page or from the Tinypaste site above.

  • WideScreenWiz

    I tried saving a playlist and a message popped up saying for that feature I had to purchase the software. When I clicked the How to Buy button, it took me to their website which said their software is free, and just install a registration key. When I did that, the same thing happened, with the same results sending me in circles 3 or 4 times before I uninstalled this garbage in disgust. There are no free lunches, folks.

    • Samer

      @ WideScreenWiz: I just re-installed the software, imported the registry key that they provided on their webpage, and created and saved a playlist with no problems whatsoever.

      It is obvious from what you describe that the issue is with the successfull registration of the software. Try saving the registry key (right click “save as” on the link) and then import that from the program.

      No free lunch? I see more free software every day than I can possibly review in a lifetime.

  • The DataRat

    .

    Installed ok, but won’t run on my 64-bit Vista machine.

    .

    The Computer Rodent

    .

    • Samer

      @ Datarat: I was able to run this on my 64bit Windows 7 machine a couple of months ago. However, there are better free file managers out there.

  • Julia

    The latest version of this software (version 3.5 build 3600, which is 4 years old, and the same version which was reviewed here!) is definitely not freeware, it’s a 30 day trial, which I can confirm having just cancelled an installation for this reason.

    Thanks to all their messing about, they successfully got a lot of free publicity from freeware review sites, and a lot of downloads from freeware download sites. It’s bad behaviour but it didn’t pay off. The Flexigensoft site now consists of a fake “automotive blog” full of non-content. Atrocious.

  • drhouse

    Julia needs to get laid or something.

    I got this from another file host website and ran it under Windows98 compatibility. I entered the reg code from a previous post on here. The prog is kind of gay compared to today’s standards, the ‘mark’ feature could have been useful even if newer file managers used it. The reg key allowed changing themes through one menu, but not through another. Whatever…