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If you enjoy downloading pictures, MP3’s or other binary files from newsgroups, you are probably aware of the difficulties that can be associated with downloading the files using conventional newsreaders. It’s often difficult to locate the many parts that make up much larger files as you filter through countless messages, many of which are spam. If you regularly download files and encounter these types of problems, NewsBinarium may be something you’ll be interested in.

Like most standard newsreaders, NewsBinarium offers the ability to download pictures, MP3’s, shareware, video clips or other types of binary files. The similarities between NewsBinarium and most newsreaders end there. For starters, NewsBinarium offers the ability bulk download pictures and other binary files from Usenet binary newsgroups in an automatic mode. This feature alone separates it from most applications that do similar types of functions. However, while important, it is not the most important aspect of the software.

If you were to simply unleash the software to automatically download files, you would have several problems. For instance, if you download files from many different newsgroups, you might download the same files from many of them. While not a big problem, you would be wasting bandwidth and hard drive space, not to mention the time it would take for you to manually browse the files looking for duplicates. NewsBinarium automatically handles this situation as it will automatically skip over any duplicate files of the same size, name and date if they were successfully downloaded from a different newsgroup.

The ability to remove duplicate files from the download list automatically is a nice feature, but without other options, you’d still be forced to download the many spam files that are so prevalent in many groups. So, in order to handle this problem, NewsBinarium offers the ability to use a filter to download only specific types of files, thus bypassing the sometimes enormous amounts of spam. The filtering aspect of NewsBinarium offers you many options that you can set to control the files you’d like to download. For example, you could set the software to download only JPG files, choose several newsgroups from which to search, the files must contain the word “Sports", be larger than 100 Kb and are not from a source that reads “spam.com". After setting the filter, you could then save it to use over or in an altered state with different file extensions, names or different newsgroups.

If you use a commercial service such as Newsguy.com, you probably have a large daily limit
of files (a minimum of 1 GB with additional bandwidth available from Newsguy) you can download. In the case of many standard ISP’s, you can only download one hundred megabytes of data. If you have a broadband connection and plan to download a large number of files, you can set the software to stop downloading before its limit is reached. It can then download the remaining files when you have the bandwidth available.

NewsBinarium is available for just under $25. A trial version is available from
www.binarium.net, and if you are a frequent downloader of binary files, you can certainly
put it to good use.

 - by Clayton Crooks

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