Jonathan Keebler

Using Easynews to download full, HD-quality TV shows from Usenet

A bunch of people have been asking me lately how Easynews works, so I thought I’d give a quick walk-through.

I talked about Easynews a couple years ago, and later, their competition from Guba. Basically, Usenet is a discussion system that’s been around almost as long as the Web and is mirrored across thousands of servers around the world. Some years back, people figured out how to post binary files (i.e. images, movies, and programs) on it by converting the bits of the file into words, posting them in the discussion groups, then distributing programs to reassemble them into files. This has reached a new level with Easynews.

Whereas most Usenet providers (and most Internet Service Providers run one themselves, including Rogers Cable until a year and a half ago) make you reassemble the files yourself, Easynews does that for you via a handy web-interface that even lets you preview the content and quality of videos with screenshots from within the video. Easynews has several direct connections to the backbone of the Web which means your download speeds will pretty-much always reach the top speed for your Internet connection (I routinely get 700kb/s on my cable modem).

Now, I warn you, the search interface is in desperate need of a face-lift…okay, it’s ugly-as-hell. But it’s fast and it works!
Easynews Search Page

Another weird little thing, the powerful search interface I use is, “in a state of active development. This is version 0.1″ and has been for the past 3 years, so they don’t link to it anywhere on the site. However, it’s constantly improving and features are being rolled into the regular search interface constantly. I don’t know how many developers they have, but the functionality they build is amazing, if not aesthetically pleasing.

Now the brief tutorial:

  1. Go to Easynews.com and sign-up for an account for US$9.98 per month. You can even pay via a 900-number, mailing-in money, or hardware donation. Trust me, I’ve been using them for three years and they are legit! The billing department is also super-nice and you can cancel at any time (I’ve done that once too ;) ). Feel free to ask them any questions via their 24 hour Support.
  2. Once you have an active account, go check out how many gigs you have left to download. You get 20GB per 30 days, but you can buy more at any time (automatically, if you like). Don’t worry, any unused amounts roll over to the next month. You can even earn more by doing a survey every week, or donating your spare computer cycles to World Community Grid.
  3. (Optional) Install a download manager so that if the file you’re downloading interrupts, you can resume it.
  4. Now that you have some gigs, it’s time to find what you want to download. Go to their search interface at members.easynews.com/global4/search.html (trust me, you’ll memorize that pretty quickly). You can even search and download over SSL from here so your ISP can’t watch you, or download over SSL and port 81 for even more protection.
  5. If you are searching for music, just check the “Audio” checkbox, fill-in some “Keywords” and click the search button to see your results. Once you found the song, you want, just right-click and select “Save as…” to download it to your machine (hopefully via a download manager). If you’re downloading a complete album, you can check the checkboxes beside all the songs you want, then click the “Zip” button (just above the results) to zip all the files into a file you can download in one piece. Click here to go to the search interface with the Audio options already checked for you.
  6. If you are searching for videos, you can use a feature of Easynews called “autounrar” that unzips or unrars large videos into the AVI or MPG format they started in. To do so, just check the “Movie” checkbox, fill-in some “Keywords”, and put “autounrar” in the “Subject” field (so you only find the large-sized videos). You can then change your “Output Style” to “Hybrid 1″ if you want to see all the pretty thumbnails. If you’re looking for “smaller videos” *cough, cough* forget the “autounrar” and just search. When you find what you’re looking for, download it the same way you did for Audio. Click here to go to the search interface with a TV show search already set-up for you (just fill-in some keywords)
  7. If you’re searching for “images”, figure it out yourself you pervert :)
  8. Watch and enjoy!

Now, go have fun and be careful downloading copyrighted material if you live in a country with a DMCA (not to name anyone in particular). On the plus side, whereas with Bittorrent you’re actively distributing the stuff you download to other people (which opens you to a whole slew of legal badness) downloading from Easynews is a one way connection i.e. you’re not distributing. Don’t blame me if you get arrested because you downloaded something copyrighted. I’m just downloading Linux ISOs myself ;)


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7 Responses to “Using Easynews to download full, HD-quality TV shows from Usenet”

  1. Chris says:

    Ohh now you’ve gone and done it.

  2. Braedel says:

    I have to agree with Chris on this one…

    D’oh!

  3. Jonathan says:

    What? I said don’t download copyrighted material. DO NOT. I, certainly, never would! :)

  4. [...] in iTunes is available for free online. For once, I’m not even talking about Bittorrent or usenet. Every one of these shows can be streamed for free on the “broadband” players of these [...]

  5. gsorel says:

    Easynews web interface (no ‘newsreader’ software required) has been designed to make downloading binaries as easy as possible for new users.

  6. Jude says:

    Thanks, i have been trying to find a function like “autounrar” , thanks for great post

  7. Jerry says:

    Hello all, how are you?

    Would someone be able to e-mail me to answer a few questions I have about EasyNews and downloading. I would really appreicate it.

    viking923@gmail.com

    Thank you and have a great day,

    Jerry