I've been reading this discussion on and off for a while, and it puzzled me. I just now read through most of it again, and I'm still puzzled. It seems unnecessarily complicated and too much like hard work.
The requirement seems to be:When a file is downloaded, how to attach:
- (a) the source webpage URL - and/or the actual download URL - to the downloaded file (once it has been downloaded), together with
- (b) any relevant notes/metadata that may be of use as a brief reminder in future as to what the possibly obscurely-named file was about in the first place.
This is arguably a common problem that we might all face at one time or another, and I have certainly found it to be a recurring problem in my experience, and it can be addressed by realising that it doesn't really need any more data capture than can be automatically captured by default at download time, and it is apparently not necessary to attach the URL metadata to the actual file.
For example, I started off with a sort of "lazy man's minimalist approach" with the following steps:
- 1. Download tool: Always download files of any variety (and especially application installer files) using GetRight (invoked via the FlashGot extension in Firefox and as an Add-on in IE).
- 2. Destination: Ensure that the default download is in all cases set to the same "bucket" - a working directory (C:\...\Download) and this is not in a User subdirectory. If GetRight finds it's downloading a file of the same name as one that already exists in the Download directory, it increments the filename.
- 3. Persistent log: Ensure that the GetRight settings are such that a single text file is used as an incremental log of each and every download - named C:\...\Download\Downloads.txt. At this point, any downloaded file can be identified by its filename and Modification date, which will correspond with the filename and download date in the log file. The log file will show the download URL for that file.
- 4. Attach further metadata: If I wanted to attach some further information to any given downloaded file at this point, I could do it in the filename or the Comment field (Alt-Z in xplorer² to replace, append or remove text in the Comment field).
- 5. Periodical housekeeping: as and when needed, move the files to appropriately structured libraries - e.g., document files to a document library (directory) and application installer files to an application archive directory and then into appropriate sub-folders representing application categories/types.
- 6. Filename preservation and renaming: In the process of doing step 5, adopt consistent file-naming conventions. Apply precise naming to document files and rename any generic-named application installer files - e.g., (say) "setup.exe" or "setup.zip" - to specific names, but keep the original name as a suffix - e.g., (say) "CleverApp v2.5.2 - setup.exe", or "CleverApp v2.5.2 - setup.zip". Thus application installer files can always be traced by the two relevant keys (name and date) in the download log text file. I have recently adopted this sort of filename preservation for scanned PDF document files sent to me in email, so that they can be traced back to the originating email they were attached to.
- 7. Replace downloads log: When C:\...\Download\Downloads.txt gets to about 2Mb, increment its name and create a new, empty file Downloads.txt. You could thus eventually accumulate incremental logs going back several years (if required), in the download directory.
Usually, I would not be too interested in subsequently tracking back any document files to the source, but application installer files were/are a different matter, so I am quite rigorous about the above steps.
My methods have changed somewhat since 2008 when I started to progressively learn how to use MS OneNote
. I now maintain and update brief installation notes in MS OneNote
for when I install applications/updates from downloaded application installer files, and - where space is not at a premium - those notes may even include a duplicate copy of the application installer files used, thus making for a self-contained set of notes and source files, in OneNote, on OneDrive, so that I could access those notes/files from any client PC. This gives ready access to acquired knowledge and a second backup contingency (I periodically back up all files to a separate primary backup device anyway).
Here's a screen clip of xplorer² showing some application installer files in my archives, displaying the extent of the metadata, most of which - and often already including data in the Comment
field - is automatically captured at download time. The download URLs are stored in the readily accessible and backed up, separate C:\...\Download\Downloads.txt
log file(s), with filename and date keys, if and when they are needed.
By the way, I quite often find that I want to access a blog post, or download a file - e.g., an update of an application installer file, a Userscript, or a document file) from a website or webpage which is defunct or has gone 404 (no longer exists) since I last accessed it. At these times, I can invariably get ready access to this missing data using the button for the Open current page in Wayback Machine
(a Firefox extension).