If you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use NZB downloader for Usenet, then Binreader may be just the application you want. NZB is a file format using XML which describes a series of Usenet posts (or more accurately, their attachments), which are downloaded by a Usenet downloader. This is a very efficient way to download binaries from Usenet, as all you need is the single .nzb file (which can be obtained through a wide variety of Usenet search engines).
There are many NZB-capable downloaders available for Windows, Mac and Linux, but if you’re looking for a single program that works on all three platforms (and is a bit less cumbersome than something like SABnzbd), then Binreader is a great choice. Here’s how to download, install and use Binreader in Linux.
First, head over to the Binreader website.
Once there, you can read up on its features, take the tour, or visit the support area. When you’re ready to download, click the green download now (installer) button to the right side of the screen (if you’re running Windows), or click the green download tab to see all the downloading options.
Once there, you can choose from a variety of installers. There is a standard Windows installer as well as a portable Windows version. There is a Linux installer (both 32-bit and 64-bit options), one for Mac OS X (10.5 and up), and a QNAP NAS storage appliance.
When the download is complete (it was a very small, very quick download in Linux), simply launch the installer. Here we’re using GDebi, but you can use dpkg (from the Terminal) or whichever package installer you prefer.
When the installation is complete, you’ll find it in the usual places (Applications folder for Mac OS X or the Programs folder or Start Menu in Windows). In Linux, Binreader will be in the Applications menu, under Internet.
Note: For Mac OS X, installation is as simple as dragging the Binreader application from the mounted disk image into your Applications folder.
Before you can use Binreader, you’ll need to set up your Usenet account. While some Internet providers may still offer a free Usenet account, it’s likely only message-based (which means no downloading attachments). There are many Usenet providers available; some offer monthly accounts, while others allow you to purchase a set amount of download bandwidth. You’ll need to enter the server address, as well as your username and password.
Once this is set, you can move to the Advanced settings, which will allow you to configure the download folders, as well as watch folders (any .nzb file in this folder will automatically be downloaded).
Finally, as Binreader is written with the Qt toolkit, you have a few interface options. For Linux users, the GTK+ or Cleanlooks options likely look best when running GNOME, while Plastique may be best for KDE users.
When you’re ready to get going, all you need to do is save your .nzb file to the watch folder, or click the Add button in the Binreader toolbar. Once the file is loaded, individual pieces will begin downloading.
When a download is complete, it will automatically be checked for errors and if in segments, those segments combined, leaving you with just the item you wanted, and not any extra files. To get rid of a download, highlight it then click the Delete button. You’ll see the following notice.
For items that you’ve finished downloading and want to save, the top option is what you want. This removes the entry from Binreader, but leaves the downloaded files alone. The second option is useful if you decide to cancel a partial download. This option not only gets rid of the Binreader entry, but removes partially downladed files as well.
Binreader is still a very new program (the version tested was 1.0 beta1, but after a good deal of testing, the features seemed appropriate, the memory used very little, and there weren’t any crashes. All in all, Binreader seems to be a very nice Usenet downloader option, no matter your operating system.