- Download the News File Grabber (NFG) software.
- Set up your newsgroup account with your ISP (sbcglobal or whatever). To do that in NFG:
- Click on the Server Manager.
- Click add.
- Input newsgroup server URL; examples include:
- SBCglobal - news.sf.sbcglobal.net
- Comcast - newsgroups.comcast.net.
- Input ISP account user name and password
- Click OK.
- Click on Newsgroup manager in the main NFG screen
- Select newsgroups you want to subscribe to (type in some keywords for what kind of newsgroup you are looking for..."Binaries" in the newsgroup name indicates that they contain computer files...Lots of newsgroups are just chat groups and cater primarily to people posting and talking about music or the particular subject of the newsgroup.)
- Double click on newsgroups you want to add to your subscription menu. You can subscribe to as many as you want.Try it with two or three newsgroups to begin with and you can add more later.
- Click OK.
- In the left column of main NFG screen, pick one newsgroup from the folder list. This will download and display the headers or filenames that are available. If you want to see more header choices, click on the top "headers" drop down menu and ask it to download all headers, or 3000 more or whatever.
- When you pick file headers to download, it is usually more convenient to look at the available list grouped by subject. To do that click on the column heading "Subject". When you see a bunch of headers under the same subject, that is usually an indication of a bunch of files that belong together (like all the files that are in a music album or CD). You want to highlight all of them with shift-click or ctrl-click. Then from the top menu, click Articles and Download/extract. NFG will then copy all the files you selected to your "My Documents" folder in a subfolder called "NFG Downloads".
- I usually move them (after they have completed download) from there to subfolders in "My Music" under artist's name or genre or whatever makes sense.
Media Player - I like Media Monkey to manage my music files. I have also used MusicMatch (owned by Yahoo). They both have good jukebox functions to help you organize your music library. They are both free, but if you upgrade to the registered version (around $20), you get a lot more functions.
There is one other thing about downloading from newsgroups that is different from other services. Most people who upload files also include Recovery files. These are useful to fix errors that occur in communication/transmission (either when that person uploaded them, or when you downloaded them). The most frequently used recovery files have name extensions PAR2. Also, a lot of people like to upload music files in compressed or zipped form. The most frequently used format is RAR. Actually, the best combination is when you get a post that is compressed in RAR's with associated PAR2's. It is very high likelihood that you will get a complete and errorless download in the end. I will send you a separate e-mail on how to handle compressed files and recovery files.
You might be interested in a guitarist I found in college named Chis Proctor.
Here is the information on RAR's and PAR's.
RAR's are compressed files like zip files. They are compiled and extracted using a program called 7-zip avialble as freeware from http://www.7-zip.org. An album may come in one or more RAR files, usually numbered in sequence. Sometimes people will post a bunch of CD's compressed into a series of RAR's. You should download the entire RAR multipart series at one time because each RAR piece is useless without the others.
PAR's - Sometimes RARs are associated error recovery files (PAR2's) that you can (should) download when you download the RAR's. They can help you get a perfect download. Error recovery files PAR2's are used in conjunction with a program called QuickPAR, also freeware. It can be used for both creation of PAR2 files and verification or repair of associated files.
After you download and install QuickPAR, just double click on any PAR2 file and it will repair any error in the download (up to a point, usually 5% or 10% depending on how many PAR2 files the poster prepared and uploaded. The main thing you have to know is that if you get an incomplete file, NFG appends .incomplete after the file name extension. Rename the file to remove the .incomplete before you invoke the Quick par. Then Quickpair will "heal it". The PAR2 files MUST BE in the same folder as the files you are trying to repair, so It is usually best to do the PAR2 repair BEFORE you move the music files to their ultimate directory.
If you have the patience, all this is described in a great resource for newsgroups called Slyck's Guide to Newsgroups
One more hint. The description in Slyck about how many PAR2's you should download and the naming convention for PAR2 files is a bit confusing. I usually download all the PAR2 files at the same time I download the rest of the posting, and if turns out to be unneeded, I just delete it after I do the check with QuickPAR.
Finally, here are the newsgroups I find have the most music binary postings:
( ditto ) followed by .blues, .bluegrass, .classical, .country, .jazz, .pop, .classic-rock, or .soul-rhythm-and-blues
( ditto ) followed by .1950s. .1960s, 1970s, .1980s, 1990s, .2000s
alt.binaries.sounds.1990s.mp3 or 1980s or 1970s etc...
With SBCglobal, postings stay up for about 10 days or so, you will want to observe the behavior of the Comcast newsgroups to see how long they keep them up. The reason this is important, is you could be in the middle of a lengthy download series and your ISP will delete the oldes posts, and you are out of luck at that point. So you may want to request the stalest posts for download first before they expire.
It's a lot of fun. Good luck.