No, I'm not asking how you sail the open seas with a cutlass in hand, harassing beer wenches at every port and finding treasure.. but that could make a decent thread.
I'm wondering how everyone acquires their wares. All the TV shows, movies, anime, games and shit you download illegally. I suppose there's no need for euphemisms these days. The aim of this thread is to see how others do it and possibly improve your own process or learn some tricks.
Bring it on
At the Cutlery House we have a pretty decent system set up. There's a dedicated box with ~5tb worth of hard drives and Windows 7 (legit, believe it or not) on it. That computer hooks up to the sexy LCD tv and 5.1 surround sound system.
It's main purpose is running two pieces of software:
- SabNZBd which is a web based Usenet downloader
- Sickbeard which is an internet PVR kind of program
Both of these run in the browser and are very easy to use.
What is Usenet?
It's a non-p2p alternative to Torrents. Instead of connecting to other users who are seeding/leeching the movie to download it, you are connecting to your Usenet server and downloading it directly. Due to the direct connection it maxes out your connection instantly and downloads at full speed the whole time. It is completely anonymous as no logs are kept on the server so there is no chance of being caught by the MPAA or RIAA or any of that shit.
You choose a provider (eg Astraweb) and buy bandwidth or a subscription ($x/month) to use their service. You add your server and login details into your Usenet Downloader - SabNZBd.
How do you download from it?
There are sites that index everything, just like torrents. Again, like torrents there are tiny files called NZB files that tell your program where to grab the data from - what server, where it is, how many chunks etc.
A few example of these are:
- Many more
How it all works
- Tell SabNZBd your Usenet Server details
- In Sickbeard you add the shows you want it to 'watch'
- Tell Sickbeard your SabNZBd details so it can talk to it
- Tell Sickbeard your NZBMatrix details so it can talk to it
- Sickbeard checks if any new shows have aired
- If they have, it searches NZBMatrix for the NZB file
- If it finds it, it adds it to SabNZBd to download it
This happens every ~1hr so all the shows that come out during the day are already downloaded and ready to be watched when I get home
For anything else you can add NZB's manually to SabNZBd. You can also pause the downloads, limit the speed and all that handy junk.
Sickbeard scans the show folders and knows what episodes you have, which you need an which it has already gotten.
Watching the stuff
- All downloads get put into a "TV UNSEEN" or "MOVIES UNSEEN" folder.
- Media Player Classic and every codec ever is installed and runs anything
- VLC runs region protected DVD's
- Once we've watched them, simply move the file into the series/season folder on the storage hard drive
More than TV?
For movies NZBMatrix is excellent, I have a bookmark that is a search of the top grabbed movies of the last week so anything new that is decent is on there. Just download the NZB and add it to SabNZBd manually (upload NZB to it).
For music, BeeMP3 is great for single songs but doesn't have the newest stuff. Binsearch.info usually finds it but if not I rip it from Youtube (HD videos only) withthe video3mp3 FireFox addon.
I don't really play any new games but if I do I download them legitametly off Steam.
For apps and obscure music I sometimes (regrettably) need to resort to torrents, I like the Kickass Torrents site.
To copy DVD's I like DVDShrink.
To rip DVD's I have heard great things about MakeMKV.
Making it sexy
A few things that make life easier:
- I've set up DynDNS on the router so I can easily connect to both Sickbeard and SabNZBd while not at home and see how things are going, add anything manually etc.
- I have made a script that cleans up the 'UNSEEN' folders - it goes into every folder, gets out the avi/mkv/mpeg/srt/other important files and dumps them one level higher, then deletes that folder. All that's left is all the episode files, nice and easy. I want to put this into the default SabNZBd post-processing list but haven't had time to play around with it yet.
- Sickbeard is the latest addition to our family and is working out great. I added a new show to it yesterday and just marked season 1 as 'wanted' and it got all of them automatically, damn powerful.
- Sickbeard also has PROPER logic - if a version is nuked and a PROPER comes out it downloads that.
- SabNZBd has the ability to not download samples too, saving you precious bandwidth.
Some related junk
Overall I think we have a steamlined, simple and damn effective method of getting the latest shows, whatever movies we want and managing it all without fuss.
I tried to include as much information/links as possible, this is all about sharing. If you have any questions, ask away!
What do you use? Usenet, torrents, rapidshare, irc or something else? Any pointers on streamlining our process?
I would not pirate TV if Australian TV kept up with American air times, didn't edit the shows and have a 2:1 ratio of show:ads on FTA. Nor would I if digital downloads were well priced and not full of retarded DRM.
I would not pirate Movies if the cinema wasn't disgustingly overpriced and the 'cinema experience' not a load of ass, nor if purchased or rented DVD's didn't have an obscene amount of ads and DRM.
I would not pirate Music if CD's weren't stupidly overpriced and digital downloads were full of bullshit DRM and well priced.
I pay for the games (PC and iPhone) I play and enjoy.