I need to compare folders often, and a tool like this is very useful for me. However, at this stage, I think Compare Folders needs a lot of polish, and comparing it with other Shareware products in the same price range, the price for Compare Folders is way too high.
The app has a number of drawbacks that turn out to be quite irritating if you happen to really USE this tool often.
1. It doesn't do recursive compares (looking into folders and subfolders). You would have to compare each subfolder manually. When comparing a large hierarchy of files, this becomes unusable and defies the purpose of a compare tool.
2. It is very slow. I'm not sure if the unnecessary transition "effects" between the tabs make it so slow. But it's so sluggish it feels like its wading through thick slime.
3. There is no way to control the priority of compare properties. If you have timestamp turned on, files will always be compared according to their timestamp first, which in my view is not very clever. Particulary when working with fileservers, you often have the case that there are two identical files with differing timestamps. Compare Folders will mark these as "similar" instead of doing a filesize check first and then letting you choose if you want to ignore the differing timestamp.
4. There is no content (byte per byte) comparison feature. Compare Folders uses only the filesystem info, but not the actual content, to compare the files. There are very rare cases where you have files with identical meta-info but differing contents. But more importantly, if you're paranoid and want to make REALLY sure you have two identical copies of a file before deleting the dupe, you want to do a byte per byte comparison. Compare Folders does not offer this feature.
5. You cannot control what columns will be diplayed in the file info tables. For instance, if I'm not interested in the "Extension" and "Type" info, there is no way to make them disappear. With all the info in it, the tables get very wide and you need to scroll around a lot to get everything into view. The stacked display is a good solution, but it makes it harder to compare the info line per line.
(A nifty feature would be if the table columns would autoresize to fit in the largest cell)
6. It would be much easier to have to drop boxes where you can just drag&drop the two folders to be compared. It's no fun having to click through a file open dialog when you have the folders already open in the finder.
That's a lot of criticism. I think Compare Folders could become a serious workhorse, but at the moment there are too many issues.
Bottom line, calling it "demo" and asking $25 for it is just inappropriate. People (including me) will use this until the "demo" comparisons run out, and then they will trash the app, not buy it, and go look for something else.