BBFileScount vs. File Manager Pro

So who can out bench press, as well as compress? Who can claim their file management kung-fu is strong? That's what I was hoping to find out. Last week, we took a look at Terra Mobility's File Manager Pro. Taking a look at some of your comments, the obvious choice would be to see how these two file management solutions compare. The big difference was cost. File Manager Pro is $11.95 and BBFileScout is Donationware (please give generously). Besides the price tag, I wanted to see who offers more; does one outperform the other?

As I mentioned in my review of File Manager Pro, the features found within the application are essential to anyone who wishes to manage large amounts, and various types of files. Though my trusted BlackBerry does an excellent job of helping me manage my projects, reports and CrackBerry reviews, I always hoped to take it to another level. And now for a look at BBFileScout, as well as how it stacks up to File Manager Pro. It's going to be a zipping and extracting good time!

About BBFileScout

BBFileScout is presented by EMAC, who also goes by Matthias Marquardt. A couple of weeks ago, blogger extraordinaire Bla1ze first introduced us to BBFileScout and I was fairly excited to have a look at it. Since then, a few updates have also popped up, which does make it a formidable filing foe. EMAC developed BBFileScout to run on OS 4.3 or higher. The application has been tested on the following devices; 8110, 8310, 8330, 8700, 8800, 8820, 8830, 9000, 9500 and 9530.

main menu

As with File Manager Pro, BBFileScout's main menu gives you access to your device and micro SD card memory. Searching back and forth through the directories and files was quick and hassle free - at the top you can see which directory you are currently looking through. You can also view files and directories that are hidden. Directories and files can be added to a favourites section. Unlike File Manager Pro, the favourites section is accessed through the menu and displays as a pop-up. The favourites section is accessible on any screen while using BBFileScout.

BBFileScout handles multiple types of necessary file management functions. It should be noted, that caution should be taken when managing directories, as it could give your BlackBerry quite a headache. The application will allow you to edit, move, delete, open, rename files and directories and create new text files. To give your storage a nice clean look, you can also create directories to store grouped files. BBFileScout will recognize the type of file you are working with and will automatically choose the appropriate application to open it with (i.e. a ".doc" will be opened in Docs-To-Go).

various options to manage your files with

Also included are the options to view file or directory details, store on stack (the item most recently stored is the first to be retrieved), send file as an email attachment and of course zip an individual file, group of files or directories. Items stored on stack and be pasted to a new destination. You can press the space key to select a file. You are also able to create and manage playlists - if you're going to be manage your audio files in BBFileScout, you should be able to enjoy them too. You would have to create a Playlist directory first, and then select the files you want to add. While we are on the topic of media, I want to touch on viewing videos. Initially, when I tried to view videos through BBFileScout, I experienced the same unresponsive situation as I did with File Manager Pro. I was able to rectify this by heading over to the options menu and, under the File associations section, enable the "Force BB media content handler..." option.

access the native email composer from BBFileScout...

...or use the applications own composer

settings menu

In my opinion, the application offered a fairly decent set of options to utilize; mainly the ability to enable/disable specific functions. BBFileScout also lets you choose which directory it should display upon startup. If you want to manage your files only on your Media Card, this would help you save time on navigation. Now that we have had a look at BBFileScout and, previously, File Manager Pro let's see how they measure up.

The Comparison

Both File Manager Pro and BBFileScout offered features that the other did not. Gauging compression time wasn't really an option, as File Manager Pro offered different levels of compression. File Manager Pro also sported several search options (search for files and folders using keywords), as well as the ability to sort files by Name, Size, Type or Date - in Ascending or Descending order. Both applications are supposed to play videos, but I could only get it to work using BBFileScout. Though the process of navigating through files and directories was very similar, I found myself leaning towards BBFileScout. The application had the ability to delete unwanted images, ringtones and videos. It could also create a proper playlist from your audio files. Using File Manager Pro, I was able to delete one image before I was greeted by an error message. BBFileScout's available options included font resizing, enabling/disabling your BlackBerry's default email composer and managing custom file associations. What was confusing, was the option to disable the email composer. I was still able to send files via email, but instead using the application's composer. There was no difference in functionality to be found. When looking at size, File Manager Pro is 207.7 KB and BBFileScout is 190.5 KB.

Conclusion & Download

At the end of the day, it was very difficult to decide upon a favourite. There were many factors to consider; features, functionality, appearance and cost. I preferred how BBFileScout managed my media files; enabling me to play videos as advertised and creating playlists. Less experienced users and abusers will appreciate an easier method of deleting sample media, without the worry of potentially bricking your device. Though I would love to see more compression options, as File Manager Pro has, BBFileScout has won me over. Even if there was a difference of a dollar (plus or minus), my decision would still be the same.

For more information, and to grab a free copy (donations graciously accepted);]l of BBFileScout, click here.

For more information, a free trial, or to grab a copy of File Manager Pro, click here.