Java URLConnection : how can I find out the size of a web file


I'm working on a project for school, and I'm implementing a tool which can be used to download files from the web ( with a throttling option ). The thing is, I'm gonna have a GUI for it, and I will be using a JProgressBar widget, which I would like to show the current progress of the download. For that I would need to know the size of the file. How do you get the size of the file prior to downloading the file.

Best Answer

Any HTTP response is supposed to contain a Content-Length header, so you could query the URLConnection object for this value.

//once the connection has been opened
List values = urlConnection.getHeaderFields().get("content-Length")
if (values != null && !values.isEmpty()) {

    // getHeaderFields() returns a Map with key=(String) header 
    // name, value = List of String values for that header field. 
    // just use the first value here.
    String sLength = (String) values.get(0);

    if (sLength != null) {
       //parse the length into an integer...

It might not always be possible for a server to return an accurate Content-Length, so the value could be inaccurate, but at least you would get some usable value most of the time.

update: Or, now that I look at the URLConnection javadoc more completely, you could just use the getContentLength() method.