Path Finder 5 Released

Cocoatech has released a new version of my favorite OS X File Manger. This is a paid upgrade ($20) from earlier versions, and $40 for new customers. I installed the latest version through Path Finder’s own software update feature and this installed the thirty-day evaluation version. It’s pretty much a given that I’ll buy the upgrade but it’s nice to be able to check it out. Path Finder 5 requires OS X 10.5 or later. Tiger users need to stay with PF 4.

I’ve just installed the upgrade so I can’t say how well the features are implemented, but things I’m looking forward to are:

Dual Pane File Viewer – the drop stack is handy but sometimes I was to compare two directories and now I can do it side by side rather than opening a second browser window.

Network Share Browsing – It’s nice to be able to browse network shares in Path Finder itself. It was annoying to have to switch back to Finder (or if it could be done in the previous version it was well hidden.) Screen sharing can also be started directly from Path Finder. (It wasn’t obvious to me at first – Under “Shared” there are two entries/icons for each device found that supports both file and screen sharing. One is for screen sharing the other for files.)

Cut/Past of files in the same browser window – I used to swear every time I tried to do this but since I’m now out of the habit I wonder if I’ll even notice.

There’s a bunch of other smaller changes and Leopard optimization along with Leopard eye candy and a coverflow view.

I’ll be interested to see how people react to this being a paid upgrade. From the perspective of what I see there are some nice additions here, but I’m not sure the visible feature list justifies a full version bump. It does require OS X 10.5 so it probably needs a full version bump for that reason alone but is it worth paying for? Well, yes, at least for me. I’m not sure when version 4 came out, but version 4.01 was released in January 2006 so it’s been over two years. I started using it in January 2007 and every upgrade since then has been free. I have no problem spending another $20 at this point for an updated version. It does appear this version took a lot of code re-writing for Leopard optimization and it’s new file share abilities. No word (that I could find) about a free upgrade for recent buyers.

On the other hand twenty buck is twenty bucks. Since I have a 30-day grace period I’ll probably check out Forklift which has a 15-day evaluation version.