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I download many files every day that I store on my hard drive (scientific papers in my case, but could be any file).

To know about their public availability and share them (months) later, I would like to store the download URL along with the file. How can I associate the download source with the document in the smartest way possible?

The best idea I have had so far, but haven't found implemented is:

  • a browser plugin, that stores a URI shortcut of the same name in the same location on the file system, for every download made

Any ideas whether this or an alternative exists?

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I am thinking it doesn't have to be a browser extension, maybe there is also an online solution to this. Maybe in the direction of social bookmarking? – Hauke Feb 3 '10 at 14:40
Assuming this is Windows? (On a Mac, it's always recorded in the metadata attributes, even when an attachment is saved from an email. See mdls -name kMDItemWhereFroms <filename>, or…) – Arjan Feb 3 '10 at 15:25
Yes, Windows. Good point. – Hauke Feb 5 '10 at 11:28

How about the Save Link in Folder add-on for Firefox? You can add any folders to the dialog, and when you want to save the link of something before downloading, simply right-click the link and choose the folder to save it in.

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This may be a bit over the top, but if I were doing it, I would grab all the data out of the Firefox download manager database, then just save that incrementally as an easily search able file via CSV. In my mind rather than having a bunch of files that contain the names and original links, I would have all that data contained in a more convenient search able format (opinion). Depending on download frequency and the size of the file I might make this (lets say spreadsheet) file once a month or so. To accomplish this (and obviously this depends on using Firefox) I would.

Install Sqlite manager for Firefox.

Open downloads.sqlite in the profile folder. something like C:\Documents and Settings\man\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles \WhateverYourProfileIs\downloads.sqlite

Go to the "Export Wizard" tab.

Set "Separate Fields By" to "Comma".

Export, then open in my program of choice.

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