Stuffit Deluxe 2010's Nifty New Features Work Best for Small Files--At Least for Now

Stuffit Deluxe 2010 ($50, 30-day free trial) is the latest iteration of Stuffit, which is the dominant file compression protocol in the Macintosh world. Stuffit handles all the common, and many uncommon, Windows protocols as well--zip, rar, tar, gzip, and more--but then so do WinZip, PKZip, and the like. Given that general compression performance is very similar across the board, what does Stuffit 2010 offer in terms of bells and whistles? There's one major new feature added, but as of this writing it's a mixed bag.

Stuffit Deluxe 2010 screenshot
Stuffit Deluxe 2010 is easy to use overall, but its new SmartSend feature could use some refinement.

The main new feature of Stuffit Deluxe 2010 is Stuffit SmartSend, a feature which helps get around the fact that as file sizes bloat, adding attachments to e-mail becomes more complex. I am sure everyone has experienced the pain and heartbreak of getting a "bounce" on a 10 meg file, or having mail vanish because it contains a file type which the local network admin has decided is a risk. (For example, it's very hard to e-mail .exe or .bat files to someone behind a decent corporate firewall--not without reason.) SmartSend can be set to filter by both file save (for example, over 5 megabytes) and file type, and then, instead of e-mailing the file, it will e-mail a link to the file, either to an FTP site you have specified or to Stuffit Connect, a separate online file service with up to 2 gig of storage which you get access to as part of your purchase (but Stuffit Connect isn't accessible with the trial version). It's a great idea, but how well does it work?

Well, it's a great idea.

I was unable to send a moderately large file--about 150MB--to the service. It simply hung during upload, constantly resetting the progress bar. This bug has been confirmed by the company and is in the process of being remedied as of this writing. I was able to send a smaller (about 7MB) file without much trouble. Even if my first upload issue were related to my system or connection, the entire process is not as convenient as it should be. Stuffit SmartSend doesn't integrate with your mailer of choice; you need to use it as a standalone function, either via the Stuffit program or by selecting from a right-click menu in Explorer. Second, the process is unintuitive; you create an archive, you "SmartSend" it, then you decide whom you wish to inform about the presence of the file. Given the hoops you must jump through, it's not significantly easier than just uploading the file to an FTP server and then e-mailing the people you want to access it.

Users of Stuffit 2009 will probably find this upgrade worthwhile, and the SmartSend feature is likely to useful in many circumstances. It's just not as useful as it could be or perhaps will be, with a little more development time.

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