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FTPDrive has been a great utility for me, but it does not support 64bit Windows 7.

The feature of FTPDrive that is useful for me is accesing files from an FTP as local files without pre-downloading so that I can preview and watch movies from a local FTP server without waiting for a full movie to get downloaded first.

Do you know of any software which allows accessing files over FTP without pre-downloading?

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5 Answers

From CyberNotes: Map a FTP to a Drive in Windows, here's how to do that without any third-party product:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and choose the “Map Network Drive" option.
    Vista location: Along the top toolbar
    XP location: Tools Menu
  2. Choose the option at the bottom that reads:
    Vista: “Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures"
    XP: “Sign up for online storage or connect to a network server"
  3. Click “Choose a custom network location".
  4. Enter in the FTP address for the site.
  5. Enter the username for the FTP server (you will be prompted for the password when you connect).
  6. Enter a name for this connection.
  7. Finish up the wizard, and then you’ll be ready to connect!
    You’ll be prompted for the password the first time that you try and connect, but you can have the password saved after that if you wish.

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Thanks for the tip, but the problem with the approach (as with other 3rd party software) is that it would download the whole file before opening it, and if it is a 5GB movie you just want to skip through to see if it is worth watching it would take quite a while to download 5 gigs, whereas with FTPDrive I could just start watching and jump to any part of the movie just like on a local drive. –  axk Nov 21 '09 at 20:59
    
Why would it download the file? This should (in theory) behave exactly the same as a local drive. –  harrymc Nov 21 '09 at 21:05
    
indeed it downloads first the whole file to the temp directory before launching the file. –  Snark Nov 21 '09 at 21:11
    
Though the proposed approach has not been helpful, the linked article metions few 3rd party tools. I have tried netdrive and it does support random access and they promise add support for support 64bit soon, so the answer has been useful. Thanks! –  axk Nov 21 '09 at 21:35
1  
I've just tested it, and it really does copy it! Bloody MS. –  harrymc Nov 21 '09 at 21:45
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I'm not sure if NetDrive works on Windows 7, but it's worth a shot.

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I have tried it and it doesn't work on 64bit, they promise to add 64bit support, but the last version is dated 2008 so I think the project is dead unfortunately :( –  axk Apr 14 '10 at 19:29
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Have you tried opening as a URL in Windows Media Player? Ctrl+U and paste in the FTP url to the file?

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There are two new program, maybe these will support the acces over FTP without pre-loading.

First is Cyberduck, this will support map ftp drive in 4.2 version.

Source: http://trac.cyberduck.ch/ticket/5585

Second is ExpanDrive which is in beta, with 2.0 version for Windows.

We’re very happy to announce that we’re now publicly testing and will soon be releasing ExpanDrive v2 for Windows. This is the first major update to our Windows client ever and finally unifies our Mac and Windows products.

  • FTP and FTPS drives!
  • Massively increased speed and throughout
  • Dynamic reconnect support – always stay connected
  • New filesystem driver

Source: http://blog.expandrive.com/2011/06/16/expandrive-v2-for-windows-public-beta-2/

I tried this under XP with VM but, it didn't started. :(

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There is a new version of NetDrive:

[News] NetDrive v1.3.4 released (2/27/2013) - Windows8 support and a bug fix regarding ftp connection

I tested under Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit with an ~1.3 GB avi file. I opened the file in VLC Media Player and tried to seek in the movie. Works like a charm!

NetDrive is free for non-commercial home use.

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