SubRosaSoft FTPDroplet II for Mac and Windows, released today, adds the ability to watch a folder and automatically upload via FTP any files added to or changed in that folder. Multiple copies of the application can be launched simultaneously, each with its own folder to watch and its own upload destination.
As the program's name suggests, files can be dragged and dropped onto the application icon to be uploaded as well. A pre-configured copy of the application can be distributed to others within your organization you want to receive files from, allowing them to simply drag and drop files onto the icon to get the upload under way. This copy can optionally have its preferences locked, so that the user can upload files even to a server requiring a name and password, without them being able to view (or change) the name, password or other connection parameters.
FTPDroplet II preferences window
In our brief use of the Mac version today it appears to work as advertised. We're able to save JPEGs out of Photoshop CS and copy TIFFs out of Photo Mechanic 3.2.7 to a watched folder and have the program quickly get about transfering them to a distant FTP server. In addition, when a transfer is underway, FTPDroplet II allows additional photos to be added to the queue by simply dragging and dropping them onto the application icon; they're transfered in the order they're dropped. And it seems to be able to chug along just fine in the background, even as we work away in Photoshop in the foreground.
FTPDroplet II isn't perfect, however. It could provide more information during the transfer: the name of the file being transfered, the destination and the throughput would be welcome additions to the sparse progress window. Also, the program appears to overwrite a file on the server if it has the same name as the one being sent, there is no option for having the source file renamed during the upload. And, for working around firewall difficulties, there is no option to enable/disable passive transfers (though by defaulting to passive, as it does, it will probably be able to negotiate its way through most networks). A quick and positive response from the program's author to a number of our suggestions leaves us optimistic that FTPDroplet II's few holes may be filled in the near future.
All in all, this has the potential to be a useful program for transferring pictures (and other files) via FTP, thanks in large part to its folder-watching capabilities and overall simplicity. A trial version of the US$15 FTPDroplet II is available; site licenses are US$40.