Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Software review: Midori web browser

I recently decided to try out some new web browsers to see if I could be more efficient working online.  Midori seemed like a promising choice -- its web page describes the browser as "lightweight, fast, and free," which is a pretty good combination.  However, after trying Midori on two different computers, it failed to impress.

The first computer I downloaded Midori on was a 10-year-old Windows XP machine, which obviously wouldn't bring out the browser's full potential.  On average, it ran comparable to Chrome in terms of speed and memory usage, and not quite as fast as Firefox ran on the same PC, but Midori also had a few unique drawbacks.

The first time I opened Midori after downloading it, it took a long time to come up, and when it did, it gave me a DLL file error.  After that it opened normally.  The browser's speed was acceptable, but when I tested YouTube, all I got instead of a video on every page I tried was just an empty black box.  Refreshing the page would load the video, but for almost every video I tried, Midori just put up an empty black box the first time.

One of the first few times I ran Midori, it shut down on me with only three tabs open, after running for only about five minutes.  That was the only time that happened, but that hasn't happened with Chrome or Firefox in similar situations.

Midori has a similar look and feel as Chrome, which isn't surprising since both are built around WebKit.  There are some functional differences though in Chrome's favor.  In Midori, holding down the back button doesn't display a list of previous pages to choose from, like it does in Chrome.  (You have to click and release the button to see the list.)  Clicking on the address doesn't automatically highlight the URL like it does in Chrome and other browsers.

Downloads are displayed along the bottom of the browser window, like in Chrome, however Midori is not very intuitive at all; after downloading both a .DOC file and an .EXE file, Midori could not natively open either one of them.  I had to open the files from outside the browser, whereas Chrome would have launched both of them right from the download bar.

For users who are members of the Amazon Associates program, Midori does not handle Amazon Associates link windows well.  When you try to build a product link from Amazon, Midori won't allow you to switch between tabs in the link window at all, which prevents you from selecting other options for your links.

Midori is not all bad.  It comes with some extensions that could be useful, including an ad blocker.  The only time it shut down on me, it opened right back up with the same tabs.  One nice feature is that you can select which browser Midori identifies itself as, which could help with compatibility issues with some web sites or programs.

Running Midori on a Windows 7 PC allowed it to run faster than it had on the XP computer, but it still wasn't as fast as either Chrome or Firefox.  It froze for about a minute the first time I opened it, then ran better after that.

Overall, Midori seems to be a newer browser that hasn't had all its kinks worked out yet.  Once its many bugs have been addressed, it may be a more viable option as an alternative to mainstream browsers.  But as of right now, I'll stick with either Chrome or Firefox for better performance.

No comments:

Post a Comment