Firefox Download Manager Slow and Annoying. Please Fix.

On my podcast, I ran through a TechTweak to continue a download if the download is taking a longer time. Little did I know that issue was more Firefox than receiving packets.

When I was beta testing Firefox, I noticed that downloading files took a lot longer and caused the browser to actually run slower. I posted a bug report on Mozilla.org. I mentioned that I downloaded several items via Firefox and IE, and I saw IE not only did a better job in downloading, it did not affect my browsing habits. I also told them I had seen this happen on more than one machine and plugins do not make any difference. They said (in so many words) this was not a big issue and marked the case “Unconfirmed”.

Well, it really is an issue. I download items on a daily basis. I run off not only fast, but slower connections. Any types of pauses inhibit my productivity. When I downloaded Bwana’s podcast, I pretty much had to babysit the download because even with it not pushing forward, it was stopping me from getting other work done.

Today I was working on an article and downloading simultaneously. When I tried to post, I got stopped big time to the point where I lost the article during post. I had the article on another program so I didn’t lose any data, however if I was typing a comment or anything I don’t save first, I could have lost what I typed. All because of a slow loading podcast.

Before the question is posed, this is a completely different machine running only 3 plugins. Once again I stopped the download and switched over to IE to obtain. IE’s download manager runs separate from the browser, and it didn’t cause any issues.

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I’ve also tried some of the download plugins. They mostly change the appearance of the download manager. I may not have found the right plugin, nonetheless I haven’t found one that actually helps.

Back in 2006, Bill St. Clair noted a slow experience. He found a solution by removing files automatically when done. I have cleared out the data, and even cleaned the cache. There is no difference – Firefox does not do a good job in downloading data. It’s been a issue for a while and well before Firefox 3 came out.

What needs to change?

Firefox should give users the opportunity to chose how they can download files. Use their download manager, IE’s manager or another “Approved” manager.

Maybe it’s how the Manager works. If it works off the Firefox engine, then maybe Mozilla should work on a seperate program to download files.

However it works, it needs to be looked at. I will be posting another Bug report to Mozilla. In the meantime I’ll just have to switch between programs to download files.

*UPDATE*

By the next update of Firefox, the downloading seemed to be consistently better. Firefox 3.5 has fixed the issues (at least to what I have seen).

About Jeffrey Powers - @geekazine

I am a podcaster and V-Caster. I love to go out and talk tech with anyone. I enjoy talking with startups because they have new and innovative technologies. You can find Geekazine at Google+ and me at my page. I also have shows at Day in Tech History, iPad365, This Week in Google Glass and a Podcast Coach at How to Record Podcasts. You can also sign up for a Helpout