Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Forget P2P and Torrents, NZB is The King!

Forget P2P and Torrents, NZB is The King!

What was once old is new again. P2P and Torrent sites for now, are the primary means of file sharing and downloading of illegal software, however with the recent media attention on the torrent sites like pirate bay, all eyes are watching. Expect changes in how you download and file share.

The strange fact is that this whole while as the media has latched onto MP3 pirating attention from Napster (already over a decade ago) and then bearshare, limewire, morpeheus, and Bittorrent, there has always been one little known player in the software doewnloading and sharing arena. What's more, this player has been around since the start of the Internet.

The player I'm referring to is Usenet, or newsgroups as they are commonly called. Although they are not impervious to the ever watchful eyes of software piracy police, they generally do fly under the radar pretty well. Why is this? Well for starters, there is a bit of a learning curve. This acts as a natural deterrent, and tends to have less new users, or 'noobs, newbies' as they are affectionately called.

The main reason the newsgroups didn't catch on as a major player was the difficulty in using usenet. Usenet - in itself is not user friendly. Go figure. The name doesn't refer to ease of use, but rather to the massive amounts of data and activity from the public, or the users.

Usenet is public and anonymous and completely free and uncensored. The ease of use has always been an issue until recently. NewsBin developed a propreitary file format to make usenet life a lot easier!

The Usenet Equation: newsgroups <> categories <> messages <> message attachments = software, movies, music, games, pictures, ebookes etc.
When accessing usenet, you are accessing groups or messages arranged by category. These categories then have thousands of messages in them. Each message is listed in a thread which consists of attachments to the messages. A single thread can contain an entire movie, or a season of a tv series, a complete xbox 360 game and so on. All these are split into smaller pieces which are then posted to the newsgroups.

The problem is that there are thousands upon thousands of messages posted each day, and wading through them all requires you to download the message headers to be able to search them. This includes mesasage headers that you do not want. This takes bandwidth, and time and hard drive space.

The alternative is to search usenet newsgroups and download only the message headers that you want. Better yet, download exacvtly the threads and messages you want. The solution is called a NZB file (or a newzbin file)

Newzbin.com created a file format called an NZB file that does exactly this. A NZB file contains all the message ID's and the newstgroup category they are posted to. This means you no longer need to download message headers to search the actual newsgroup, but rather only search for the nzb files themselves.

This change to usenet spawned many NZB search websites. Once you have found the nzb file - for example, a new Album or Video, You load the NZB file into a newsreader and star downloading the messages (which containthe attachments).

The next stage in Newsgroups is NZB movie streaming. Which allows you to watch movies using the newsgroups. No more P2P, and Torrents, well NZB files are the answer.

Usenet itself is 30 years old, believe it or not, yet it is likely one of the biggest kept secrets of the internet.