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What are you looking for in a Usenet NZB indexer May 20, 2010

Posted by deepsharer in NZB, usenet.

Now Newzbin is gone I’m looking for somewhere else and I see a lot of commentators saying “nzbrus sucks” or “nzbmatrix doesn’t have what it takes”. Most people seem to think Newzbin was the best site. I always thought the site was dog ugly and complicated; brilliant content & the reports were great, but a usability nightmare. Is that bullshit? Why do some nzb sites suck so badly? Who’s the best and the worst, and why?

If you were designing a site what features would you add? Or for that matter lose?



1. tC - May 20, 2010

I was a die-hard Newzbin fan and only started looking around when it became apparent that it was on the way out. Nzbmatrix is not bad at all however the naming conventions make its slightly more difficult to grab full seasons (picky i know but meh) i also miss:
1. the tickboxes on newzbin, it takes longer to download multiple reports
2. rollover .nfo
3. properly moderated useful comments instead of just ” great”, “thanks uploader”…
4 raw search, i know binsearch is there but it’d be nice if it was all combined

anyway id like to know also if there are any other good indexers out there that have less of these probs

2. scott - May 20, 2010

The ability for a rar password scanner to scan passworded files and post the password next to the nzb. Either that or the home address of the gits who keep flooding password protected shows. Its dammed annoying.
oh and my choice is http://www.nzbclub.com/

3. weezee - May 20, 2010

Personally, just having looked at other sites, including nzbmatrix, the most useful thing on newzbin was the tag filtering, which was applied to your search and/or subsearches. All the tags on nzbmatrix are grouped together, with no distinction between sections. It is grotesque that when I wish to find a software for Mac I have “lesbian” and “metal” among my possible keywords. That is an amateurish way of organizing data. Another thing is that the filters I apply on my personal account are absolute: they are only applicable when invoked and crowd together ALL the stuff, so if I just wanted to see fantasy movies in english, nzbmatrix would show me them, but together with ALL the other stuff I selected in my account filter, so I will see music, apps, games,etc all together because they are included in my filter and not separated by category. And each time I select another category, the filter turns off. Simply useless.

4. Dark-Sider - May 20, 2010

Well it’s easy and newzbin had all of them:

– Naming Conventions
– Categories, Sub-Categories
– Customizable Searches
– Customizable RSS-Feeds
– Great API (for SABnzbd+ and other clients)
– Nice Ajax scripting (Bookmark Button 4tw!
– Nice JavaScript support.
– Low fee, so the site does not get too busy.
– no ads for paying visitors

In Addition:
– Moderated TV Series-Feeds like tvnzb.com had them. Don’t miss any ep and don’t get it twice or thrice!

5. Sad2CitGo - May 20, 2010

Ugly? I dunno. Newzbin was simple and uncomplicated and was easy to navigate and search. You could browse numerous categories looking for just the changes since you’ve been there last and be off doing something else in a few minutes. There was nothing as useful as they were. I do hope they come back in some other incarnation because it would be a real loss to all those of us who used it, even just to browse for ‘what’s out there’ on a daily basis.

6. r - May 20, 2010

the API is what made it so great. The fact that I could bookmark a report and Sabnzbd+ could determine what category to file the download under is a feature I just don’t see available on many other sites. I like nzbs.org a lot but the API is nonexistant and remote downloading is only available in a one-category-fits-all “my nzbs” cart.

The one thing I didn’t like was that I thought newzbin completely removed all scene tags from the report title. I thought it would have been slightly improved if they could have provided an icon of some sort for specific tags such as “Proper.” It was fine either way because viewing the report would reveal this, it was just more difficult if browsing from a phone or something.

7. FNI - May 20, 2010

I think most people hate the other sites out there because they either 1) rely on automated reports/collections (like BinSearch) or 2) use manual reporting (like Newzbin) but don’t have half the amount of editors making those reports.

I just find it dumb that a site like Newzbin gets shut down, but places like RLSLOG or WarezBB can continue on.

I hope a Newzbin contender does pop up soon (preferably in a country that doesn’t bend over for the MPAA) but I’m worried that it’s going to take a very long time for it to reach the popularity Newzbin had. It probably won’t have all the old Newzbin reports and might even have to restart retention at day 1.

8. anonymous - May 20, 2010

After I head the news about Newzbin I managed to find my way to http://www.nzbs.org

I definately think its the best alternative right now.
Almost as good if not is as good as Newzbin was.

Freddy - May 28, 2010

care to send an invite?

boldiablo - May 29, 2010

Can you send me an invite too?

9. MichaelKP - May 20, 2010

I have to agree, Newzbin, as great a site as it was, was definitely not user friendly. Once you learned the ins and outs it was ok, but it could have really benefited from a facelift.

Personally I find the layout of NZBMatrix to be just fine; usability-wise I think it works well, searches are straightforward, and everything is in its logical place. I can’t speak to it providing better search results than Newzbin or not, I tend to stick with TV shows, movies, and the rare music CD, and for all that NZBMatrix returns perfect results.

Since this whole Newzbin shutdown thing has occurred I’ve checked your site daily and followed the news you’ve provided, and since you’re part of the “in” crowd in regards to the guys that ran Newzbin I’d just like to say it was a great service, but it was the community as a whole that made it such an awesome site to frequent. I think that was Newzbin’s biggest success, the bringing together of people who had a similar goal of information-sharing. That’s the biggest thing I would like to see in NZB sites going forward. It would be perfect if the core group of users who made Newzbin so great could settle into the same community of a new NZB site and make that one a great one as well. Newzbin was a classic example of how much success you can have by just having fun, helpful, knowledgeable people contributing. The site may have been on the ugly side, but the perks of a strong community far outweighed it’s flaws.

10. Slick - May 20, 2010

They all suck

11. zootie - May 20, 2010

Not all sites are created equally, and we tend to over-simplify when comparing them.

Newzbin straddled 2 extremes: the user friendly posts (based on the editor system and to create nzb files) and actually dealing with headers (cond and raw views) – doing a decent job, combining the best of manual editing with higher view tools of headers and being able to drop down to the nitty gritty. And the attribute based classification system made it great for classification and making complex searches.

Nzbmatrix is based on users uploading nzb files, but there is little more beyond that. It is good because the files are community policed – so you don’t depend on only headers and there is a reputation system in place-, but you can’t drop down to get more details, and the classification system is a bit simplistic (just hierarchical, what Newzbin was years ago). There is a significant technology gap to be able to deal with headers and it’s unclear if nzbmatrix is even interested in going that way.

IMO, the closer to the headers the better, to be able to use existing moderation in usenet and for quick turnaround (so the site isn’t a ghost town like some nzb only index sites, with dated reports) and to avoid getting in hot water (you only report what is available in usenet). Kind of a binsearch where you could create group lists and/or publish reports (for a higher view). However, that requires some level of abstraction over usenet and it’s harder than just cataloging user provided nzb files.

I haven’t used nzbrus, can’t comment on it.

zootie - May 20, 2010

Also, if nzb spec 1.1 would gain more acceptance/implementation (maybe add a way t sign them) and posters would begin populating the meta section with detailed attributes, we could see more automated indexing, and then it would be up to indexing sites to just provide a reputation/community based system to block malicious posts and to complement missing/incorrect information in the nzb files found in usenet.

12. Anon e maus - May 20, 2010

The one thing I want is to be able to search raw usenet for nzb files and download the nzb directly without using a newsreader. On newzbin you were able to search raw or condensed views, any nzb file that appeared allowed you to click on the nzb extension and it would show a page which only showed the files which would be downloaded by the nzb (and of course create an nzb of it).

13. Iron_Forge - May 20, 2010

An automated scraper just isn’t enough…Between the varying subjects of usenet posts, and the lack of meta data in nzbs, scraping them tends to lead to a collection of files…Actually putting a useful searchable name to that grouping is what newzbins was always best for…Automating this task tends to be the difficult part for most automated scrapers out there…If the meta data was in the nzb file, it would effectively distribute the site…People who create the nzbs could name the contents of the group of files referenced just as editors used to, and place this information directly on usenet to be spread with the files…

For the time being, I’m using binsearch with a custom script to filter down some of the results to things which are useful to me…

deepsharer - May 20, 2010

Yea, it’s am interesting idea and one I’ve pondered suggesting the Caesium etc in the past. I suppose a cynical question is then “where’s the business model?” but of course maybe the answer is ‘who gives a shit’? 🙂

14. someguy - May 20, 2010

I’ve been using binsearch.info (aka binsearch.net) for a while now. It’s certainly no newzbin, but quite sufficient with a good 600 days of indexing. Its advanced search is pretty darned configurable, too.

15. coder - May 20, 2010

#1 – FUCK the forum format. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Newzbin was great because it was an NZB indexing site, NOT a message forum fist-fucked until NZBs fit in its torn, bloated hole like most of the other NZB sites are.

#2 – Provide an API for access, RSS feeds, and other methods of access.

#3 – Don’t use the godawful forum format! This cannot be stressed enough. If you use forum software to post NZBs, you FAIL.

u235 - May 24, 2010

Amen, I couldn’t agree more! (well, perhaps I could, but it would inspire far too many vulgarities in the process)

16. meh - May 20, 2010

nzbsrus.com is the way to go! i stop using newzbin after i noticed this site! proper release names is what made me switch. i don’t have to look in the nfo or whatever to find out what release it is. it have rss for those who need that. it’s really cheap. lots of content. newzbin won’t be missed by me, but it’s a shame that a great site have to be take down.

17. army - May 20, 2010
u235 - May 24, 2010

Wow, I’d like to think you’re joking. This site is horrid.

18. Rev - May 21, 2010

For me, the biggest two were the convenient raw search and the ability to use the check boxes and download a zip with unique NZB’s contained within. The latter was huge for me and is probably what I miss the most. I also appreciated their consistent naming conventions for the NZB’s. I never had a problem with the site’s look – but then again, I’ll take function over form any day. The comments feature was well appreciated as well – it was nice to find out something wasn’t worth it without having to spend time finding out for yourself. (Even though it wasn’t always accurate and sometimes newbies posted inaccurate info)

19. BarkyMcWoof - May 21, 2010

I used Newzbin for so long everything else just seems wrong. I never used NZB’s. I guess I got started before they came into general use so I always just searched file part name and used Newsleecher.

Nothing replaces it for me, mostly because I used it for so long. I’m coming here hoping that news of the resurrection will appear here.

20. Vredg - May 21, 2010

Nothing triumphs newzbin but nzbmatrix together with binsearch is ok.

21. Razzia - May 21, 2010

Looking for the same as #4 + a good editor backend, as Newzbin had…I just tried to add a few nzbs to nzbmatrix, and it is way to dificult and complex compared to Newzbin, which properly is why there is a lack of nzbs on nzbmatrix.

A custom group option as newzbin had would also be a plus. I like creating a group for some locals newsgroups, where I can find stuff in my own language (or subs). The same with a few other categories.

22. Tscherno - May 21, 2010

What i’m missing:
1. Language filter like newzbin had: Click on the flag and get everything within the category you are.
2. API with categories for SABNZBd
3. Rollover NFO

23. Riz - May 21, 2010

There are a million things I could list here, but it all boils down to one thing: The naming convention.

If I wanted to see if the Season 3 DVDs of Stargate SG-1 on Newzbin, I could search: “Stargate SG-1” “Season 3” in the TV category, and I could be 100% certain that every single season 3 DVD that they’ve indexed would be in that list. Go other places and sometimes “Season” may be in a different language, “SG-1” might be “SG1” or “SG 1”. If I want just the first episode of the season, I could search 3×01 and be 100% certain that if they have it, it will be returned. I don’t want have to go through 30 different permutations of s03e01, s3e1, s03.e01, 3×1, 301, etc etc.

The fact that every title was 100% standardized is what made that place, at its core. All of its features were incredible, but if at the end of the day you can’t be sure that what you’re searching for is actually there or not, it’s all for nothing.

boldiablo - May 29, 2010

I’m with you 1000% with you boss.

24. peter - May 21, 2010

merlins-portal has many of the features newsbin had, i used a lot of sites and yes it has a forum attached but it is the only one out of the forum based that has a dedicated nzb listing section, i used newsbin and merlins portal this past few years and quite frankly i have never needed anywhere else.

25. s - May 21, 2010

Whoops, commented in the wrong post earlier. Anyway, it’s more applicable here –

This was discussed briefly in #newzbin with many variations on the concept, but with the core belief that the new system must use some type of distributed component.

The variation I like:

Posters/editors run their own autonomous indexing sites posting reports with NZBs. They will publish the content in such a way to make it understandable for external aggregators. Not the same, but a similar concept is found with price comparison search engines.

Anyways this is an early brainstorm and not fully thought out, but the concept is malleable. It would be nice to try something new rather than central single point of failure systems.

Distributed systems will also have farther reach to usenet users than closed membership sites. However there are negative effects of closed communities which we see using torrent search engines, where some sites will require membership before you can download the torrents.

Anyways, just a thought.

I noticed this project PUnz: http://www.unzbin.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=466

It’s hard to tell what the authors are intentions are bar asking them directly. But it could be something to provide the necessary base of tools to get reporters up and running to publish their respective content.

Then we’ll just need to aggregate the data in some form or fashion.

There is also that whole google wave API thing. It’s not just limited to google, and might be a nice modern way to share information and NZBs.

Like I said, just a thought.

s - May 21, 2010

Small followup:

So I guess what I was trying to say earlier is that there should be more focus on separation of concerns.

We should address the issues in the following order:
1. A system that is redundant and has no single point of failure (a distributed approach would satisfy this requirement.)

2. Provide the tools for content providers (editors/posters/reporters) to publish their information in such a way that lends itself to easy extraction on a global scale, and providing full autonomy.

3. After several iterations of finding ways to represent the information, let the community decide on taxonomies and how best to represent the information. Better yet, it should be flexible to allow for multiple taxonomies and representations adapting to various interests in the community (i.e. extensible in some way shape or form.)

4. Encourage participatory culture and build trust networks.

My biggest concerns are to ensure the integrity of information and avoid legal issues posed by *AA. However it’s not unusual to expect the *AA or dishonest parties to launch sybil attacks on such networks to disrupt and render the networks useless.

Anyway, this is a little too abstract. But Newzbin is what it was because it had generated strong community support and
elegant thought and design. End-users don’t realize the sophistication behind the scenes and how easy it was to extract and publish information from usenet. I’ve watched newzbin transform from v1 (run by completely different management) to v3, and there has always been a continuous flow of feedback from editors and admins. However Newzbin also had excellent talent. Not saying that current sites don’t, but we have to realize the current incarnation of Newzbin took several years of thought and design.

It may require a rethink to have a system that works for everyone and that pose no threat to usenet users.

David - May 21, 2010

1st thanks for your email, I’ll try my best to clarify what the purpose of PUnz is and what flaws I personally believe the current establishment have.

I believe that the Usenet community is very closed compared to the BitTorrent community. Instead of evolving we’re stuck with some very old technology. Since I don’t believe the Usenet distribution system is going to improve I think it’s time for some developers and ISP’s to step up and take some responsibility instead of worrying about their own pockets.

There are many fields in which the Usenet could be improved. Native and flawless binary distribution are one of the most important things we should work on, unfortunately I don’t see that happening any time soon.

However we’re stepping up and doing our part where we can. We’ve recently launched Unzbin and prior to that we were working on a NZB distribution platform called PUnz (for lack of a better name).

Our primary aim with PUnz is to simplify things and make finding content more easy. In my opinion, the best content is provided by the community. Since most communities are private for financial reasons/gain PUnz will be released under a custom license that won’t allow a closed structure while it remains open for modifications and commercial use.

PUnz wont be bloat ware, filled with a million buttons and difficult to read NZB content. The setup will be extremely clean but full featured (nothing like newzbin or any other site). Instead of displaying messy subject lines PUnz will display the file names that are inside the NZB file. This is just a simple example to outline how much different it will be from what we’ve seen so far.

From my personal experience with running a Alexa top 3000 torrent site I know a thing or 2 about running a heavy traffic website. Everything has to be flawless and in the end it all comes down to the users who upload and comment on content. So PUnz will be 100% user driven. The NZB files will be uploaded by members or regular visitors (choice is up to the site admin). Only thing we’re asking/enforcing is that the download/registration/comment (viewing)/rating (viewing) functionality will have to be open to any and everybody without restrictions.

The PUnz license also prohibits the selling special membership types. We KNOW that webmasters can make more then enough money from advertising and especially Usenet ads.

PUnz isn’t a distributed system, but this doesn’t make it a single point of failure. Torrent sites are surviving and thriving, if one goes down 100 others emerge. The main reason for this is the fact that there are hundreds of scripts out there that can be used as reference. I’m amazed by the fact that there’s almost no freely available NZB site script for the Usenet (at least none that I know of).

My hope is that the release of PUnz will create a whole new wave of NZB sites.

So what’s in it for us? Not much, just a simple link to our own website. We’re not doing this for the money or fame.

That’s all I have to say, I might be wrong on some or all points. I’m not trying to come of like I know everything. So if I’ve offended anyone: My sincere apologies!

26. David - May 21, 2010

Also I think the writer of this article is 100% right. NewzBin was dog ugly and difficult to use. I can’t get my head around as to why people say it was so easy to use. I guess the Usenet community has gotten used to the fact that there’s not innovation (no flame intended) or competition.

We really really need to start thinking outside of the box.

27. Rezo - May 21, 2010

Why is it that not a single person has mentioned watch dog?

Newzbin had the best search features. Nothing offered by the other nzb sites comes even close.

28. A/C - May 22, 2010

100% behind consistent naming conventions. I dloaded to folders named after the report names, so everything sorted nicely. Compared to trying to sort the sorts of semi-random filenames the release groups which are a nightmare. Many times I’d search TV for “1×01” just to find something new to watch..

That and being able to search by category: say, family movies in avi format,

29. josh - May 22, 2010

the global or (RAW) search was really the biggest thing i miss from newzbin. I am now using newzleech for that and its working ok..

30. c0ld - May 23, 2010

wiki based reports and tag based categories.

31. On3 - May 24, 2010

Clones? Why searching for new ones… Enough alternatives!
Such as: http://www.nzbuddy.nl/

32. Evinyatar - May 27, 2010

I’d be happy with NzbMatrix if they were the slightest bit consistent; the “more info” links are all over the place instead of sticking to just imdb.com, their API is a mess (wait a minute between every query, wtf? also, ever heard of XML?) and never stable for more than a few weeks it seems (raise your hand if your custom RSS feed for your favorite show suddenly queued every episode of every series in existence).

Newzbin is just awesome if you use it as a source for excellent quality reports, and use other tools to aggregate the info from it (e.g. hellavcr, or hellaflix which I was going to release soon until newzbin collapsed).

33. Mobias - May 28, 2010

I had my favorites set to newzbin.com/anime, and I could just click on that and download the latest anime for the day with just a single click per show I wanted. The files linked to anidb.net if I was unsure what it was about, and I could bookmark all the files so I could download them later or as one large batch if I wanted. The site was also constantly updated and filtered so I didn’t have to wait long for something to be posted or sift through junk. So far, no other nzb site has worked this well for me.

34. cmate - September 23, 2010

Question: where do these sites (nzbmatrix), etc. get the detailed content?

I know you can download the nzb’s from a newsgroup, but then their site has all kids of other info – nfo file contents, various flags for what kind of file it is – video, software – if it’s video, what kind (xvid, etc).

Do they actually have human editors doing this, or something automated?

35. Hond - September 28, 2010

I really like nzbmovieseeker.com as movie source.
It’s has a different approach , but I really love all the movie information you get with a post.

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