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Transmit 5 (panic.com)
306 points by lorenz_li on July 18, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 146 comments

Fantastic app, instabuy. I'm really happy to see these kinds of native Mac apps being successful for so long. They're a breath of fresh air amidst all the Electron crap lately.

Agreed. I get that it's easier to build a singular cross platform app using a JS framework, but the decrease in quality from a well done native app really shows. I'm looking at you Spotify, todoist, Slack and others

You can pry Electron-based VS Code from my cold, dead hands. I'm grateful that it's cross-platform and available on Linux - I have pretty much stopped using a fully paid-for PyCharm, which I previously considered the best IDE. Being "native" is overrated, seeing that my top 2 IDEs are both not native apps, or look at any JetBrains product.

I still think it's possible to build good non-native apps, but it's hard and you need to pay attention to details.

I've written a logviewer with electron. Getting the custom painted table-component and column-reordering to look and feel like Finder or iTunes tables was at least 10 hours of work.

Working on memory allocation so that javascript GC wouldn't introduce lags now and then was another 5 hours. (That is the main performance problem with non-native apps, I think.)

Atom, Discord, Etcher are all Electron apps (I am pretty sure?) and I think they work great.

Atom doesn't handle large files very well and it hangs a lot. Sublime ftw

> I get that it's easier to build a singular cross platform app using a JS framework

More like to wrap a website. I doubt that it's easier than Qt when building from scratch.

It's easier than Qt in so far as I don't know C or how to distribute a Qt based app with all the necessary libraries.

Qt programming is done in C++ or Python and it includes everything required inside the distributed app package. It's also easily skinned to look very close to native UIs (see VLC).

I've never used both of these languages and wrote only simple things in JS but I would spend a week learning Python syntax and Qt features to deliver a better UX and performance for a cross-platform app.

VLC on macOS uses Cocoa and not Qt. Only Linux and Windows versions use Qt and on the Linux/Wayland desktop, it looks quite atrocious.

QT tries to match the native style by default. Although if I remember on macOS the toolbar doesn't work properly without stupid hacks

Distribution is a massive issue with all these. Electron makes it easy but still results in massive bloat.

I'm buying this just for it not being a monthly subscription.

I don't understand the allergy that so many developers have (in my experience) to subscription software. Software is never finished, golden master style distribution ends up orphaning huge swaths of customers across major updates, and most of the cost of software maintenance is continuous. Continuous income via subscription services goes a long way toward solving these issues.

Because I don't need the latest and greatest of every single piece of software, but subscriptions are always priced as if I do.

"Look, you save 25% versus buying our old yearly releases every year!" they say.

But I wasn't going to buy all their yearly releases. Most software I use isn't my main workhorse. I was perfectly happy running old Adobe software for years, even after high DPI screens came out and it didn't support them. So what really happened is they took my purchase-every-five-years plan and jacked the price up 300% for stuff that I don't need.

Being required to pay for updates that I don't want (and the current version stops working entirely if you stop paying for it) takes away any pricing segmentation and tends to be a terrible deal for hobbyists.

If you're a creative professional maybe Creative Cloud is a great bargain. But it isn't for me, and neither is a $10/month FTP client. So props to Panic for not going that route.

Because it strips away your right to "own" software. Transmit 4 still works, and I can choose to pay for an upgrade if I wanted to. Transmit 5 is faster, nicer looking, and has more features, but I don't suddenly lose access to Transmit 4 by not upgrading. Charge me and upgrade fee and make versions, don't do a subscription.

In fairness, a lot of "digital distribution platforms" or online services do this as well.

Prime examples I've seen:

Google closing someone's account for using not their real legal name on Google+, locking away access to his music, documents, e-mail, and photos, all of which he'd migrated to his Google account.

Steam closing someone's account and basically cancelling a thousand dollars of "purchased" games because he broke their ToS, which makes you wonder what the difference is between purchasing and purchasing (via Steam) when the price is the same but your recourse is not.

You generally don't "own" any software anyway. If you read the terms of use/service, you'll probably see it is simply a license from the actual owner.

(this is the same with movies and music btw)

> Transmit 5 is faster, nicer looking, and has more features.

That's refreshing... more often than not, latest versions are slower, uglier, and bloated. One more reason to be able to own the previous version.

So does Transmit 3, which I still use when appropriate!

Generally speaking subscription software that isn't SaaS doesn't lock you out when it's over. It just locks you out of updates.

Not true of two big (and expensive) ones I use: Adobe and Autocad. I used to upgrade every couple of versions. This has ended up costing me way more. But I still pay it because I need the software. So I guess they win...

Another way to look at it is that they were going to raise the cost anyways, at least now you get updates when they're production ready instead of every two years.

Bug fixes always came out immediately for "major version" standalone license software.

There's 0 technical correlation between update delivery model and billing model.

But we're not just talking about bug fixes, we're talking about "major version" releases also.

Buying a product once and expecting subsequent updates is greedy, and I didn't see anyone suggesting that.

I don't think that really applies to the thread here, honestly. :/

This is the post I originally responded to:

>I used to upgrade every couple of versions. This has ended up costing me way more. But I still pay it because I need the software. So I guess they win...

So my post makes perfect sense. They were going to raise the price on you anyways, so you were going to pay more either way. With the new pricing model you're paying more and getting versions you might have otherwise missed.

Because when you stop paying you have nothing.

I'd much prefer a hybrid model. Happy to pay $30 or so for a single version and then $1-$2/mo for updates. If I stop paying at least I have something.

The app Gameshow by Telestream works like this and I really like the model. It's $35 and you get one year of updates. After a year you either stick with whatever the last point release was or you pay another $35. I wish Adobe software was like this.

That's how Jetbrains' licensing works: if you buy an annual license you get a perpetual license for that version; if you pay monthly you get a perpetual license after 12 months.

SQLyog is the same way. My only wish is that they would release a native Mac version. The last time I upgraded, I went with a 5-year upgrade plan because of how much I appreciate the software and the team behind it.

I like JetBrains's licensing model for doing this. You get a perpetual fallback license after subscribing a certain length of time, or you can keep subscribing and get updates.

I just realized I like this model too. Though it seems like they never include serious security updates. So I have this sort of subscription for a php web app. I'm kind of forced to pay for updates because of security.

Because 5 or 10 bucks a month multiplied by however many apps adds up very quickly.

Subscriptions done right:

* JetBrains - big discount during the change to subscription model, perpetual license to the last version that was released while your sub was active

* Office - gives me OneDrive space, 5 licenses to use in my family, Skype minutes, yearly payment - the subscription is the best value for money.

Subscriptions done wrong:

* Creative Cloud - more expensive in Australia for no reason, no value in choosing just the app/s I need, can't use old versions if my sub lapses.

* Google Apps - holds $300+ of Android apps hostage if I ever cancel my subscription

> I don't understand the allergy that so many developers have (in my experience) to subscription software.

Not owning it, keeping data somewhere else, stacking many small subscriptions into a big monthly bill.

> Software is never finished

But some apps are not in active development forever. You don't need to add big features endlessly to something like a FTP client:


Just to add to the chorus of "you have nothing when you stop paying" / "it keeps working after they release v2", etc, let me toss in:

If the company shuts down (or gets acquired or simply stops supporting the software), subscription software stops working. Paid usually does not.

I've outlived too many useful products, and lost them entirely. I expect to continue to do so for a lot longer, so I avoid subscriptions-for-non-hosted-software like the plague it is.

I dunno, my CCleaner installer checks my key against a server when I install it. Installers / serial checks like this are a single point of failure.

That is definitely true. Though that's another reason to avoid DRM whenever possible :) Which is not often, but oh-so-worth-it when it is.

I can see a business sense for subscription software. They have an aversion to capital expenditures and much prefer operational expenditures. It helps them scale up and down and stay nimble.

As an individual, I really don't like having to constantly make a judgement call if I'm still getting value out of my recipe manager or my disk usage analyzer. Most of the development was done up front, as with the risk in developing it. There's also not really continuous updates or a lot of new features always needed.

When people sit down to budget, the first things people ask about are reoccurring expenses that can be minimized or eliminated; cheaper cellphone plan, cutting out daily lattes, cable bill--even investment fees. They easily sneak in and add up over time.

I would be fine with a subscription model if the customer service was actually better as you seem to claim the model provides.

I recently had an issue importing a logbook using arguably the most popular iOS pilot logbook app and it took a week. A WEEK! For the them to attend to my support request. A week could be 30 hours worth of flights for a pilot depending where they work.

Why do you need almost $100/year from me if you can't answer one email in 48 hours?

I've been dreaming of an open source logbook setup ever since this experience. I wish I didn't have to rely on $100/yr subscriptions to be locked into something so critical to my career.

I wish pilots flew for free so I don't have to pay so much for something that's so critical to my career. What's wrong with you? Do you genuinely believe that stuff like open source (especially critical one) should be created and maintained for free? By who?

He said that he pays every year money on something that didn't work and the support took ages. that was his problem....

Now I assuming that if he had a opensource logbook he could quickly find out what the problem was himself without relying one someone else.

Maybe the right counter argument would be that 100$ is not sufficient to provide a SLA to handle his support request whithin a shorter timespan. It should be prices higher ;) If this app is so critical for him I assume again the OP wouldn't mind paying it.

I tend to agree but think some developers do consider certain software "finished" and a subscription model adds undue pressure. Whether that model makes sense really depends on the type of software, its user base and the developer themselves.

Software may not be finished, but I may not care about the design roadmap. Version 3.5 might be feature-complete for my specific needs. Let me compensate you for that snapshot. Then let your power users fuel your continued development.

So let's assume that for a particular app the costs between a "one time purchase" and "subscription" would be exactly the same: for example, a subscription of $1/month vs purchasing a new app exactly every year for $12.

Here's the difference:

- People who no longer use the app, will forget about it and the subscription will keep going for some time, which means free $ for company.

- People who don't really need the new features of the app and normally would not re-buy it (perhaps the Developer neglected renewing the app and it only has minor changes) still get it and pay for it through the subscription.

I honestly can't think of a single advantage of subscriptions for customers.

When the subscription runs out, so does your ability to use the software.

At least Jetbrains lets you lock in the last version subscribed.

I will never, ever, ever pay for subscription-ware. I don't mind it being offered as an option but the crap that companies like AgileBits is pulling is ridiculous.

Congratulations Panic :)

One of my favorite Mac app companies (along with The Omni Group and, more recently, Affinity). I always know I'll be paying for quality, polished software with Panic, and I've been looking forward to this Transmit update.

Their entire interface and UX persona reminds me of better times when skeuomorphic design reigned supreme. Now all we get is boring flat with single color highlights. Transmit 5 looks fantastic!

The funny thing is, there was never anything strictly skeuomorphic about the old versions of Transmit either - Panic has just always had an engaging approach to UI design, independent of trends.

Stick around at the top of the page so you don't miss out on the gratuitous rotating 3D truck of awesomeness.

I love that the tires say "Firewatch" instead of "Firestone" :)

Oh, that explains why my cpu utilization doubled when I opened that page.

And you can click it and spin it, too. :)

Sad that you can't open the doors, pick the containers, spin the wheels or open the hood :D It is a nice touch though!

Was this modeled in a 3d application and then exported to canvas? Curious to hear how something like this is done.

You can load various 3D model types (and textures) via three.js, which uses canvas.

In case anyone else is wondering, for me it works in Safari but not Chrome

Works fine in Chrome Version 59.0.3071.115 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Odd, it works on Chrome on one of my laptop but not the other: the canvas tag does not even appear.

Works in Firefox Nightly, too.

Works for me fine on Chrome 59 on OSX.

Works in Firefox Nightly.

Took a peak into the source, apparently they thought writing 30,000 lines of code was worth it for a 3D spinning truck.

Took a look into the source of the OS that I'm reading the Panic web page on. Absolutely disgusting that there's over 1.5M lines of code _in the kernel alone_. This is the kind of software bloat that is the death of our industry.

> they thought writing 30,000 lines of code was worth

> implying they wrote most of that

That's absurd. They used a library, and it's a product page, so looking nice is a high priority

Well, it is.

Most of that is just three.js

It looks like they just used three.js

Transmit has always been slick, but it seems like Cyberduck[1] might have stolen a fair chunk of their clientele? I find it pretty useful on macOS (and/or things like yafc and ncftp on Linux).

1: https://cyberduck.io/

I like Forklift[1] but that's more of a Finder-replacement with remote possibilities, I guess.

1: http://binarynights.com/forklift/

I recently switched from Cyberduck (and a Transmit trial) to Forklift. Night and day difference. S3 on Transmit was terrible, and the application seemed a little plain in features in comparison.

Cyberduck is not bad if you don't use SFTP too often. But Transmit is way superior in terms of protocols and speed. Definitely worth the money.

What's wrong with Cyberduck's SFTP support? I've been using it for a few years already and never had a problem.

There is nothing wrong with it. But for me it still crashes too often and as I said: Transmit is a lot faster if you have to transfer a large amount of files.

> But Transmit is way superior in terms of protocols

Until today's update, Cyberduck supported many more cloud providers than Transmit.

It still does. Google Cloud Storage isn't supported by Transmit.

To be honest I'm disappointed by these file transfer apps. One common use case is to backup your local files, but none of these apps support pausing/resuming transfers after sleeping a laptop.

I'm looking for the equivalent to Backblaze software, but for any cloud storage service. Arq is close but it has mandatory encryption and compression, which makes you dependent on software to be able to restore. Sigh.

Cyberduck also has Mountain Duck which is incredibly useful. Not sure if Transmit has a similar feature

Used it when I switched from Fetch[0] back in the day when PHP code was deployed with FTP. Great client, definitely the most "native" feeling FTP app I've used. Now I mostly use it for S3, which is very well supported.

[0]: Throwback http://vintagemacmuseum.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Fetch...

I was surprised to see Fetch is still around:

"Originally developed at Dartmouth, this product is now sold by FetchSoftworks."



Funny how much git changed how we do things. Transmit was one of the apps that I've always had opened on my laptop, and now haven't touched it at all for more than a year.

I primarily use it for S3, not FTP (though these days I find myself going to the AWS CLI more and more)

I haven't used Transmit in a while as I don't have a need for it, but when I did it was a great client.

The Panic app I miss most is Unison. Well, miss in the sense of miss it getting updated. It's still available.

Years ago, Unison and a fat Giganews subscription were fantastic ways to discover music.

The Panic app I really miss is Audion. The Winamp-alike app that very nearly got bought by Apple to be rebadged as a little music player called 'iTunes'...


When was this retired? (from a quick skim, the article doesn't seem to mention clear dates)

Wikipedia claims it was retired in November 2004:


I've got an old PPC G3 Pismo laptop, and when I fire it up I always run Audion to play some music while typing. Loved the skins, I kinda wish the "Delicious Generation" of Mac interfaces would make a comeback. I think this was the default Audion UI:


Among other things.

What timing! I was just telling my coworker this morning that Transmit was the best money I ever spent on tools I use for web development. I've been using Transmit for a long, long time and I still feel like I haven't fully utilized it.

Instabuy for me.

Curious, what do you use it for?

I've been a fan all the way since the beginning... I'll buy this even though I don't even use FTP and whatnot much anymore. Just for the extreme value this app gave me many years ago when I was getting started.

Yev from Backblaze here -> good news! Backblaze B2 as a destination ;)

Very glad to see this :D

They also launched a new sync service which automatically encrypts your files clientside: https://panic.com/sync/

It's great to see encryption is becoming standard practice with new services.

It's not new, it's been around for a long time in Coda and Transmit for iOS.

> And yes, Transmit still handles the classics — FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, and S3 — better than any. We make complex services drag-and-drop simple.

I love Transmit, but S3 has been broken for a long long time on Transmit 4 [1]. Is it now fixed in 5?

[1] https://twitter.com/derscuro/status/525570239120285697?lang=... (There are earlier references to this issue than this).

Can't speak to this feature, but appears features usable in latest s3 API are working that weren't in v4.

I couldn't perform any operations on S3 buckets due to this issue. If you are going to be in the business of building a client on top of a third-party API with no defined long-term protocol or RFC, you should be in the business of providing ongoing support for it too.

Transmit spent so long developing v5 and didn't provide this (important) update to any v4 users even when it was present for around 2-3 years.

Let's hope they provide better support, for all the other new services they have added, going forward.

S3 works fine for me in Transmit 4. S3 is basically all I use Transmit for. Is there a particular use case that is broken for?

It depends on the bucket location. Some work fine but others do not.



I've been using Transmit for 10 years and had already moved to Forklift since the Transmit 4 engine was so slow.

Transmit 5 looks awesome and I only miss access to Google Cloud Storage which surprisingly only Cyberduck supports.

While not native but I believe there is a way to access Google Cloud storage with Transmit. Read: https://cloud.google.com/storage/docs/interoperability

I've also been waiting for Google Cloud Storage support for a long time. Please add it, Panic! That's the only thing I'm missing.

Thanks for the heads up. Forklift looks like a great improvement over Transmit.

I didn't see any mention of segmented download support via sftp? This is something lftp and smartftp support but very few other clients do.

Looks like it's no longer on App Store (not surprising or disappointing, though it was convenient when I moved to a new machine)

This app store thing just burned me pretty bad when I cleared my machine and did not back up Airmail 2. When I went back to install it, It was no longer on the app store and I was informed that there was no way to get it again unless I paid for Airmail 3.

This is where just having a license key and a dmg somewhere is preferable.

Transmit v4 still is in my list of Purchased apps, and appears installable.

Look in your "Purchased" apps list, it will still be there.

Always worth the money I've spent for a Panic app. Coda 2 got me through my previous gig as a web dev.

Pretty awesome that they've been building the "same" app for 20 years – since MacOS 9!

I love Transmit, and version 4 served me well, but I've used it less and less over the years to the point where I don't think I'm the target market, as a web developer, anymore. I wish I had a reason to use this, but I can't find one.

I agree; however, it's invaluable if you use S3 or the like to manually backup files you never want to lose. Arq, for example, works great to backup your entire computer/server, but I like have a manually curated backup.

The mac application company, they are the reason I started programming!

I wish there was a universal file-transfer app like this on Windows & Linux. The best cross-platform solution I know of is FileZilla, and even that (1) only does FTP/SFTP, leaving out S3 and all the other services and (2) features some utterly baffling design decisions (ahem: https://trac.filezilla-project.org/ticket/2914) that make it more or less unusable for serious work.


I've used the CloudBerry apps on Windows. They work reliably, but the UI is abysmal.

What about Cyberduck?

Seconding Cyberduck. Great on Windows and Mac.

When I moved to a Mac (2004/5) Transmit was one of the first bits of software I purchased. It was a bit of a revelation to discover that software could be so lovely- it really added to the joy of using a new machine.

Having said that, nothing was ever as fast as LeechFTP I used on Windows [http://www.leechftp.de]. That thing was magic - no ftp client has ever felt so fast.

This says it supports "Amazon S3". Does anyone know if they allow you to configure the endpoint, and thus use an S3 compatible store[0]?

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_S3#S3_API_and_competing...

On transmit 4 you can configure the server you're connecting to, so I would think it would work

Awesome, I didn't know it worked in Transmit 4 either. I'd been burned by trying out Commander One and Forklift where it doesn't work.

Based on your comment I downloaded the trial and confirms it works (only with TLS) for the Minio instance I have running.

Glad to see them offer more cloud options (in addition to s3: Google, Dropbox, etc). While perhaps Transmit is "prettier", in recent years there have been many more complete offerings from their competitors.

Looks like they've made some S3 enhancements (which is my primary use). I hope they updated with support for KMS-encrypted files.

Yep, it opens KMS-encrypted files without an issue :-)

I've use transmit for over 10 years.. (Yikes). Was just wondering if this was going to get an upgrade.

Same price new/upgrade. Its been 7 years since they've upgraded the previous version so thats fair. I like the "Sync folders" feature quite a bit.

They started making games, and was wondering if thats where the company was headed..

Does the "sync folders" feature support checksumming? Basic file integrity checks would be nice.

I'm always impressed with Panic's software. I'm sure this won't be any different!

I bought Transmit 3 in 2006, and upgraded to Transmit 4 in 2010. It's always been a shining example of extremely well supported, well designed Mac software.

I'm cool paying $35 for Transmit 5.

I bought Transmit 4 in 2011-ish and was happy with it. The major missing feature (IMO) was segmented downloading. I switched to lftp and never looked back.

Can I backup my macOS Time Machine to Google Cloud Storage using Transmit? I'd like to store my Time Machine backups offsite just incase.

Arq seems to be the app most people wildly endorse on Mac for backups like that.

Arq forces your files into their own proprietary (although open) containers, which are always encrypted. Being paranoid is nice and all, but it makes it impossible to log in into your cloud storage provider and browse your files or share a public link to one of your files.

Arq is atrocious for backups, but that doesn't seem to be its main use case.

I use Duplicati so I can encrypt my backups. Have it sent to google drive.

We use mostly Forklift here for uploads/downloads, the two pane view is a favorite of mine since Norton Commander.

The remote-remote feature is great! Does any other client have such a thing? I basically need Google drive -> ftp.

Any way to add SMB? I don't see it in the list of options and I need to copy files to a Windows server.

Isn't SMB natively supported by OS X?

It is, but its a PIA and I'd like to use the mirror function

It is a PIA, but you can still mount the SMB share, open it in Transmit, and sync.

It is.

FINALLY. So frustrating having to wait all of this time. I couldn't get a definitive answer from them on whether a Trasmit 4 license purchased at present, would be eligible for a Transmit 5 upgrade.

It's spelled out clearly on the order page – there's no special upgrade pricing, unless you bought v4 on or before June 1st, 2017, in which case it's free.

Yes, thank you. That was not there PRIOR to Transmit 5, for the past 6+ months. I wanted to purchase it, and if I did in May, I'd be paying twice for 4 and 5 in a two month time frame.

Do you mean on or after?

Whoops, yes, meant "on or after".

<just kidding...>

What a surprise it's not a monthly subscription!


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