Power NZB Android App is Free

October 2014 update: the developer of Power NZB, Emile Belanger, has decided to make Power NZB free.  You can download the Android app directly from the Power NZB site by visiting http://powernzb.co.uk/.  To learn why Emile decided to make the app free and possible future plans for the app you can join in the reddit discussion.

We recently picked up a Nexus 7 tablet and have since been taking a close look at what Usenet apps are available for Android devices.  There are a few to choose from and most tie back into SABnzbd.  While we really enjoy using SABnzbd, we’d also like a client to download newsgroup content directly to our Nexus.  After trying some apps that didn’t hit the mark we started testing Power NZB a few days ago and it’s worked great so far.

We’ll write up a full review of Power NZB in the weeks to come.  After we’ve had some more time to test out the app.  For now though we’d like to share some details as I’m sure there are plenty of other Usenet fans looking for a good Android newsreader.  From our limited testing we feel good recommending Power NZB.  For our SABnzbd fans the app now has an integrated SAB client.  You can get Power NZB from Google Play for $4.49.

The Power NZB site does a better job of presenting the apps features than we ever could.  With several screenshots and a change log that details the changes made in each release.  We’ve enjoyed the Power NZB interface and premium features.  You can search Usenet, download and have Power NZB repair and extract the content directly to your Android device.  Which is exactly the functionality we were hoping to find.

Power NZB will provide you with Usenet client features on your Android phone or tablet but you’ll still need a Usenet provider to download content.  We’re guessing that most of you already have a service.  If not there are plenty to choose from.  We’ve been testing Power NZB with Newshosting and the performance is very good.  We also like that Newshosting provides members with a free Usenet client for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for news and deals.

NZBVortex 3.0 with Cloud Feature

NZBVortex is a popular Usenet client for Mac.  There are plenty of good third-party software options for Windows users but the choices for Mac users are pretty thin.  NZBVortex is one of our favorite Mac clients.  They recently released version 3.0 with a new feature called NZBVortex Cloud.  It let’s you share information with other users.  Rather than explain the details I’ll share a message they sent us.  You can learn more by visiting nzbvortex.com.

NZBVortex 3

Here are the details we received from NZBVortex staff on the new 3.0 release:

NZBVortex Cloud 

As we all know usenet gets a little harder now as downloads have weird names, are passworded and downloads are taken offline regularly.

We think we have found a solution: we will make the NZBVortex clients work together and help each other!
Some examples of what NZBVortex Cloud will offer:

You can now rename downloads: will be shared to other users.
Weird download names will automatically be renamed
Weird filenames will be automatically renamed
Junk and spam will be detected more efficient
Allow you to rename download – these names are shared in the cloud
If a download is passworded your client will inform other clients
It will share well known archive password if available
If a download is too damaged on your usenet server(s) other clients will be informed on the same server(s)
Fully and I mean fully anonymous, we are out of NSA reach – servers store NO identifying information – we are serious about this!
No monthly fees; all included in the one-time license purchase
… more feature will be added in future updates

New and Yosemite read UI

A more modern and fresh looking interface which is more cleaner and focusses on the content.
New and fresh Icon including a progress bar in the dock while downloading
It introduces OS X 10.10 Yosemite-like interface even back to OS X 10.7 – we care for you guys and adding more animation in 10.9 and newer.
Added OS X 10.10 Yosemite specific UI design which makes NZBVortex really fit in well in OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

Improved download results 

On top of all the improvements resulting from NZBVortex Cloud the following has been added to improve your download results:
Improved password detection
Improved junk detection
Automatically choose best final filename when obfuscated
Improved filename detection in article subjects

Modern technologies 

Modernised all API’s and removed a lot of old code and replaced with modern code
Replaced custom scrollviews and use new ones offered by Apple
Updated to a custom build unrar 5.1 – around 5% more performance
Optimised threading and thread handling
Completely rewritten the HTTP(S) file downloader
Updated Sparkle update framework to version 1.7.1
Updated CocoaHTTPServer to reference 2.3 implemented
Newest Par2SL version which fixes a small corner case issues
All code has been inspected and rewritten at places, cleaned and modernized.

Generic improvements

You are able to rename downloads.
Improved RSS result parser for search results
Make NZBClub search work again
Improve rar-in-rar junk detection
Fixed a few very rare crashes and hangs
Lower CPU usage on lower specced Macs
Improved Split Join functionality
Support new failure report URL scheme for newznab sites
Quicker quit time of the app

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet and follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest news.

Newsbin Improves Spam Filtering

Last month we wrote about how Newsbin was hard at work finding better ways to deal with the issue of Usenet spam.  While spam has always been a problem it’s gotten worse so the team at Newsbin has come up with a way to filter and flag posts that are password protected along with potential spam files.  I’m excited to share that they just released Newsbin version 6.52 final with the new spam filter as part of their Usenet search engine.  Visit the Newsbin downloads page to upgrade to version 6.52 final.  New users can grab a 15 day free trial.

Newsbin 6.52

Here’s a quick look at the spam filter settings page in Newsbin where you can set the level of filtering to “Aggressive”, Casual” or “Disabled”.  You can also manually set each spam filter to on or off by checking the boxes in the Options – Spam Filter Settings screen as shown below.

Newsbin spam filter settings

You have the ability to set the following spam filters:

  • Fail spam files
  • Fail RAR files that need passwords
  • Fail when ZIP files are inside RARs
  • Fail EXE files and RAR files that contain EXE files
  • Hide posts with invalid email addresses (no @)
  • Hide spam search results
  • Hide encrypted search results

Doing so will filter out those results.  Otherwise you’ll see icons in the search results marking encrypted (password protected) RAR files and potential spam posts.

Here’s a quick look at the new features and updates in Newsbin 6.52:

  • Internet Search results now have special icons showing password protected files and potential spam files.
  • Improved spam filters allow you to hide password protected and spam files from your search results list.
  • Performance enhancements and upgrade to latest version of sqlite for the working databases.
  • New icon on toolbar to toggle automatic shutdown mode on/off
  • Compaction scheme now pulls in .nfo, .sfv, .srr files into the set.
  • Shows a special icon when a .nfo file exists in the set. Look for a small “i” in a circle, like an information icon.
  • Read Post Body (ctrl-r) on a set now reads first chunks of one rar, one par, and any .nfo or .sfv files.
  • If an NZB file includes password information for the rar file, Newsbin can now extract and use it.
  • Improved speed when downloading from servers with the “Typical Retention” setting being used.

At a time when some Usenet projects have gone quiet it’s nice to see Newsbin continue to innovate and improve their Usenet client.  It’s no wonder why they have such a loyal following of Usenet fans.  Remember that all Newsbin customers receive lifetime upgrades so you can grab the latest 6.52 version upgrade free from their site.  New users can download a 15 day free trial.  That’s plenty of time to test the new client features.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet. Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest deals.

Newsbin 6.52 Beta 4 Released

Have you been having issues with spam showing up in the Newsbin search results?  Their new beta will help.  I highly recommend you install the new Newsbin Pro 6.52 beta 4 release.  The new version helps identify and filter out the spam from search results.  Saving you both time and frustration.  As always registered users have full access to all the current beta versions.  Visit the Nesbin beta page to download version 6.52 beta 4.

Newsbin Pro

Newsbin 6.52 beta 4 includes the following updates and bug fixes:

  • Now has the capability to hide encrypted and/or identified spam posts from search results as an option. Under Options/Spam Filter Settings.
  • Simplified spam filter options on the Spam Filter Settings screen.
  • Fixed issue receiving error popups for some types of search errors when resolving files.
  • Processed NZB files are stored in the loaded folder again, due to popular request.
  • Added new compaction code with filename removal when there is a duplicate filename in subject.
  • Increased NZB Password length limit when included in the NZB Filename, was limited to 60 bytes.
  • Now removes the password if it exists when using the NZB Filename for pathing.
  • Support allowing zip files inside of RAR files.
  • Change to make serves with “Typical Retention” more efficient. Looks like 4x faster than before.
  • Hopefully fixed intermittent crash issue reported when closing a tab.

Newsbin users can download version 6.52 beta 4 from their beta page. All full releases and betas are free of charge for users with a software license.  New users can download a 15 day free trial to test the client.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to compare Usenet clients and providers.  Join us on Twitter @NewsgroupRevs.

NZB 360 Now Supports NzbDrone

This post is specifically for Android users who prefer NzbDrone over Sick Beard.  If you fall into that category then you’ll be happy to hear that the latest release of NZB 360 v8 supports NzbDrone.  The app is no longer available through the Google Store but you can learn more about it at nzb360.com.  The developer is now distributing the app through the nzb360 site.  He offers both a free and Pro version of the popular Usenet app.

NZB 360 supports NzbDrone

The latest version 8 release of NZB 360 added support for NzbDrone.  Making it the first mobile app to support the service.  It also supports other popular Usenet clients and services including SABnzbd, NZBget, Sick Beard, Newznab, CouchPotato, HeadPhones and now NzbDrone.  The user interface is really nice.

How do you get the app?  First you download the free version from nzb360.com.  From there you can upgrade to the Pro version from inside the app using PayPal or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover).  Purchasing the app will grant you a full license to that includes future upgrades.

Those who previously purchased the app in Google Play are out of luck.  You will have to buy it again to enjoy the premium features.  I know this is a raw spot for some and understand the tension.  You can read more about it on Reddit.  My personal opinion is that the developer should figure a way to honor past customers licenses but the development of features like the addition of NzbDrone would have been delayed.

We’re glad to see NZB 360 available through it’s own distribution.  The developer is clearly dedicated to adding new features as shown by the latest v8 release supporting NzbDrone.  We look forward to the continued progression of the Android app.  We’ve heard from a few iOS users asking when the app would be ported over.  As of now we haven’t heard of any plans to do that.  You could always add an Android tablet.

For those new to Usenet you’ll still need a provider to use NZB 360.  We can help you find a good one with a full list of Usenet providers along with free trials and discount offers.  As for other automation tools we recommend SABnzbd, Sick Beard and CouchPotato.  The Newshosting client also provides some nice automation features.

SABnzbd Releases Version 0.7.17

It’s been a few months since the last release of SABnzbd, one of our favorite newsreaders.  The web-based Usenet client is massively popular so I’m sure a lot of fans will be happy to see the new version released.  SABnzbd is well over 7 million downloads and counting.  If you’re new to SAB the reader is free and has a lot of useful add-ons.  You can grab version 0.7.17 from their download page or learn more at sabnzbd.org.

SABnzbd

SABnzbd is one of our favorite Usenet clients.  Along with the Newshosting client, Newsbin and NewsLeecher.  All of which do a great job at downloading from Usenet.  If your goal is text newsgroups we would suggest Newsbin.  SABnzbd focuses on binary files.  The open-source client runs as a web server on your system.  You can access it through your favorite web browser.  With versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Since SABnzbd is open-source and has such a large following you will find a number of cool add-ons and services like CouchPotato, Sick Beard and SABMobile for iOS and Android devices.  Check out the SABnzbd forum to learn more about these add-ons and others available for the client.

Here’s a list of new features and bug fixes in the 0.7.17 release:

Features

  • Upgrade embedded unrar to 5.01 and (partially) support RAR5 format
  • Support for more meta-data in NZB files (to be used in TV Sort)
  • Optional integration with the OZnzb indexer, allows user access to ratings and reporting directly from SABnzbd interface.
  • Optional automatic feedback to OZnzb on failed downloads
  • Commandline option –pidfile to set your own PID-file name/path (Unix and OSX)
  • Basic support for X-DNZB-Failure and X-DNZB-Details headers, sent by some indexers
  • Support rate-limiting by (a number of) indexers
  • Special option “warn_dupl_jobs” to suppress/enable warnings for duplicate jobs
  • Special option “flat_unpack” to ignore folders inside archives

Bug fixes

  • Fix false encryption alarms for some posts
  • Fix issue with OSX Mavericks Notification Center support
  • Fix issues with passwords embedded in file names
  • Support UNC paths in Sort expressions (Windows)
  • Add password entry boxes in smpl and Classic skins
  • Prevent unwanted change of queue order after editing job details
  • Allow Default category to be picked in Multi-Ops

Who said Usenet isn’t popular?  SABnzbd continues to grow as they have now passed 7.1 million downloads.  Having so many popular sites and services integrated with the Usenet browser should only help the project continue to grow.  If you have any questions or need help getting started the SABnzbd team has some nice guides.  The forum is also a great place to ask questions and learn about all the custom add-ons.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet.  Follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest news.

Download NZB 360 Outside of Google Play

Last month we shared that NZB 360 had been removed from Google Play.  Since then the developer has been hard at work figuring out the best way to distribute the popular Android Usenet app.  Not having Google Play for distribution and losing a lot of good reviews was a hit for the project.  Luckily he was able to work on another solution.  You can visit nzb360.com to download the app.  Try it for free or purchase the NZB 360 Pro version.

NZB360.com

The new NZB 360 site offers a FAQ section with details on how the app will be distributed.  It includes information on how you can purchase the Pro version.  Unfortunately those who already bought the app on Google Play will have to pay for the Pro version.  I’m sure that will turn away some users but hopefully most get enough value out of the app to consider buying it again to support the project.  Regular updates are included.

Here are the answers provided in the NZB 360 FAQ page:

General

Q: Why isn’t NZB 360 in the Play Store?
NZB 360 was removed from the Play Store by Google for unknown reasons. Even after multiple attempts to find out why, Google has not responded. Therefore, NZB 360 is now managed outside of the Play Store. More info can be found here: http://www.reddit.com/r/usenet/comments … lay_store/

Q: How will I find updates to NZB 360?
The app will continuously be updated on a near-weekly basis with new features, enhancements, UI updates, and bug fixes, many of which are requested by the community. NZB 360 will auto-check to see if there are updates, and will also auto-install them when needed.

Q: Why do I need to enable Android to install apps from Unknown Sources for NZB 360?
Any app that is not installed through Google Play with trigger this warning. You can disable this once NZB 360 is installed, although you will have to re-enable this every time NZB 360 is updated. It doesn’t hurt to leave it enabled, just make sure to always know what you’re installing.

Q: Can you explain why you need [X] Permission?
Sure, no problem!

  • Modify/Delete USB Storage: The /sdcard partition is used to store image caches and your backups created within NZB 360.
  • Find accounts on device: This is used to get your Google Account ID (gmail address) used for licensing purposes. I tie your PRO license to your Google Account ID so you can use PRO on unlimited number of Android devices without having to repay.
  • Internet, View Wifi connections: The internet permission is pretty standard. I need to check Wifi connections to see which SSID you’re on so NZB 360 can switch to your specified “local” address.
  • Prevent Phone from Sleeping: SABnzbd and NZBget have an option to “Keep Screen On” in those views.
  • Test access to protected storage: Simply a check to make sure you have storage space for the cached images/backups.

Payment / Licensing for NZB 360 PRO

Q: If I already had the Play Store version, do I have to pay again to enable PRO?
This is something I have struggled with since the pull from Google Play. Since apps outside of Google Play cannot use many of the GP services, I cannot tie your old licenses from GP into this custom distribution system. I experimented with using your order number from your GP receipt, but found the integration of a system like this would require a large amount of effort and resources, and I ultimately decided to focus my time on bringing new features and enhancements to make NZB 360 better. I understand this isn’t ideal, and I sincerely apologize for this.

Q: If I upgrade from the Play Store version, what happens to all of my settings and indexers?
The new version will auto-import all of your old settings and indexers with no work from you, even your shortcut on your Launcher (if you have one). Though, I would use the built-in backup feature just in case. The new version ultimately replaces the old.

Q: What payment options do you have for PRO?
You can pay via PayPal or Credit Card (VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover) directly within the application.

Q: Is it safe to submit payment in an app that is distributed outside of Google Play?
Absolutely. I have implemented the official PayPal SDK into NZB 360. All input, data, and transactions are handled by PayPal. I simply receive a “SUCCESS” or “FAILURE” event through PayPal. None of your personal/financial information flows through NZB 360 at any time.

Q: How does the licensing work?
Once NZB 360 is notified of a successful payment, it retrieves your Google Account ID (gmail address) stored on your device, hashes it (for security), and then sends the hash + payment confirmation to NZB 360’s licensing database. The information is also cached on your device(s), and won’t re-ping the licensing servers much.

Q: Does it work with multiple Android devices?
Absolutely. Since your Google Account is your “key,” as long as your Google Account is signed in on your devices, it will auto-unlock NZB 360 PRO. You can install NZB 360 on an unlimited number of devices, and PRO will unlock for each device with your Google Account.

Q: What if I delete NZB 360?
No worries. Since the license is stored in the cloud (like Google Play), you can delete NZB 360, change ROMS, devices, kernels, etc without worrying about your PRO license.

Q: Does it expire?
No! The community made it very clear that subscription models are no fun. Your NZB 360 PRO license will never expire. It’s yours, for life.

To celebrate the return of NZB 360 the Pro version is being offered for 50% off this week.  Hopefully the new means of distributing the app will allow it to grow well into the future.  For those new to Usenet you’ll still need a provider to use NZB 360.  We can help you find a good one with a full list of Usenet providers along with free trials and discount offers.  As for other automation tools we recommend SABnzbd, Sick Beard and CouchPotato.

Newsbin 6.51 Beta 1 Released

Did you download the latest Newsbin Pro 6.50 release when it came out last month?  If not you definitely should.  It includes a number of new features.  We especially like the watch feature and the ability to prioritize multiple news servers.  In the new beta Newsbin addresses some bugs found after the final release of 6.50,  As always registered users have full access to all beta versions.  Visit the Nesbin beta page for the download.

Newsbin Pro

Newsbin 6.51 beta 1 includes the following updates and bug fixes:

  • Fixed Socks proxy support. Was broken in 6.50
  • Fixed issue where typing in a specific group for Internet Search wasn’t getting applied.
  • Age filter now persists over reloading the headers.
  • Fixed a couple of cases where RAR passwords were failing on some rar files.
  • Fixed issue with some passworded rar inside rar files getting through the spam filter.
  • Fixed issue with Newsbin ignoring the “Automatically unrar complete files” option. You couldn’t turn it off.
  • Fixed issue with unrar not keeping the PC awake.
  • Fixed issue with combining related headers representing one file set together into one line.
  • When compacting the database, now does a “storage age” purge first.
  • Fixed the “Find” feature when using the image DB.
  • Added logging for when the file exists on disk and the download is abandoned.

Newsbin users can download version 6.51 beta 1 from their beta page. All full releases and betas are free of charge for users with a software license.  New users can download a 15 day free trial to test the client.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to compare Usenet clients and providers.  Join us on Twitter @NewsgroupRevs.

Kwooty 1.1.0 Released

Usenet fans who download on Linux have a new client release.  Kwooty 1.1.0 was made available earlier this month.  They KDE 4 Usenet software is free.  You can download the client from the Kwooty Sourceforge page.  They have packages available for openSUSE, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Arch Linux and Fedora.  Scroll to the bottom of their download page to learn about other apps that need to be in place to in order to run Kwooty.

Kwooty 1.1

Here’s a list of the new features in Kwooty 1.1.0:

  • Nzb name and corresponding data folder renaming : nzb row name and its download folder can be renamed together to get a proper name.To perform a nzb/folder renaming:
    • select a nzb row to apply renaming
    • hit « F2 » keyboard shortcut (the same as Dolphin file manager) or perform a moose right click to display context menu
  • Nzb row and corresponding data deletion : in the same way as nzb/foler renaming, it is now possible to delete nzb row from kwooty and deleting corresponding download folder at the same time:
    • Just select the nzb line to apply data deletion from context menu or by hitting «SHIFT+DEL » keyboard shortcut.
  • Show/hide menu bar : «CTRL+M » will allow to hide/unhide menu bar
  • When a desktop session is restored, avoid useless connections to servers when there are no pending downloads: when kwooty is launched during a desktop session is restored, it will now connect automatically to servers only if pending downloads exists. This will avoid kwooty querying kwallet and then prompting user for entering password on each desktop restoration (feature request).
  • Better kwallet handling when asking for password : kwallet querying is now performed after kwooty as been fully started.
  • Unrar 5 support : unpacking with unrar should now be working.

Along with a list of the key client features:

  • Automatic file verification/repairing
  • Automatic archive extraction (Rar, Zip and 7z, split archive formats supported)
  • Multi-server support
  • Automatic download retry in case of failure
  • Built-in YEnc and UUEncode file decoders
  • Bandwidth throttle and scheduler
  • Favorite transfer folder for each type of downloaded contents
  • Watch Folder
  • File queue and priority management
  • System shutdown scheduler
  • Save/Restore pending downloads when application is closed/open.
  • Built-in SSL connection support
  • Pause/Resume downloads
  • Suspends downloads if disk is full
  • Display of Remaining Time or Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)
  • Display of available free disk space
  • Automatic connection to host at start-up
  • Automatic file downloading after openning Nzb file

Head on over to the Kwooty page on Sourceforge to learn more and download the latest 1.1.0 release.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet and follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest deals.

Newsbin 6.50 Beta Releases

The Newsbin team is constantly working to add features and refine their popular Usenet client.  With the busy season kicking in they’ve been rolling out a number of new versions.  We’d like to share some of the latest features and bug fixes in the Newsbin 6.50 releases.  They are up to beta 18 and have released 4 new betas since September.  Members can visit the Newsbin beta page anytime to download the latest version.

Newsbin Pro beta

Here are some of the latest features and changes released this month:

Version 6.50 Beta 18 Build 3071, October 18, 2013

  • Tweaked unrar password mechanism to work with more varied encryption methods
  • Fixed issue with installer where start menu links were not getting created.

Version 6.50 Beta 17 Build 3067, October 16, 2013

  • Now supports RAR5 archives
  • Fixed issue where Search count from prior search would still be displayed in the search tab after restart
  • Fixed issue where downloads were not getting cleanly deleted when doing it from within Newsbin.
  • Installer now allows you to change the Newsbin Data Folder. It is the user responsibility to also move any data files.
  • Installer now allows user to select a different GUI arrangement for V4, V5, or V6 look.
  • Installer now delivers different par dll files that have proven to be more reliable and resolves a crash issue on some machines
  • Now has better support for rar files that are password protected. Supply a list of passwords and Newsbin will cycle through trying them. Go under Options/RAR Passwords to add passwords to the list of passwords Newsbin will use.
  • Improved encrypted file detection. Catches more cases of encrypted files.
  • Fixed issue where deleting a header download was not stopping the download, it just removed the download progress from the download list.
  • Supplying old tbb.dll files that seem to address the crash problem when repairing certain kinds of rar/par sets
  • Adjusted balance between server failures and lookahead so the good servers still get polled.
  • Optimized header import when there are a ton of GZ files. It’ll process up to 10 before it looks for additional files.
  • Header testing now requires a valid CRC to help avoid false positive detections of encrypted files.
  • Hooked up periodic save of the download list
  • Removed the GB/MB tag for post counts in the Groups list.
  • Fixed problem with header download count when it went over 4 billion posts.
  • Fixed issue where single file downloads weren’t showing chunks.
  • Now prevents sort on status from being persistent because it was slowing down reloading of groups.

We also like the new look and feel of the Newsbin website.  Those who aren’t using the client can test it out for free.  Newsbin is offering a 15 day free trial that includes access to their Usenet search engine.  You can buy the client with a year of standard search for $30.  The license is good for up to 3 computers.  All future releases are also included.  Grab all the full commercial releases and beta versions.  Making Newsbin a great value.

Visit Newsgroup Reviews to learn more about Usenet and follow us @NewsgroupRevs for the latest deals.