HOWTO: Download MP3 Music from Newsgroups using QuadSucker/News

Description: This guide will tell you how to find music (mp3 files, etc) on the Internet and download them to your computer using the popular QuadSucker/News newsgroup downloader tool. Click here to go to the QuadSucker Download Page

Disclaimer: We do not advocate or recommend sharing of copyrighted material on the Internet. Please use this guide at your own risk. It is your responsibility to adequately research the copyright status of any material before posting it to or downloading it from the Internet. Please obey any and all copyright laws that apply to your locality.

Welcome to the QuadSucker HOWTO on downloading music files from Newsgroups. We specifically wanted to pick something to download that was relatively big to show off QuadSucker's downloading capabilities.

This document has a lot of pictures in it, so it will probably take a while to load. Please be patient.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Download and Install QuadSucker/News

First things first, we need to download and install the QuadSucker/news tool. We're using a Windows-XP computer for this example, but the steps should be similar for other versions of windows.

We're going to go into excruciating detail here for the first-timers, so if you've already installed the software, then just skip over this section to Step 2.


To the right is a sample of what the quadsucker website looks like. To go there now, click:

Once you're at the quadsucker website, click the download button to begin the download of QuadSucker/News.

Windows will pop up a "File Download" dialog when you click the quadsucker download button. You have two choices here -- you can save the file to disk (and install it later) by clicking "save", or you can run the file from it's current location by clicking "open".  
Assuming you clicked "open" in the previous step, once the download is complete, windows will pop-up a dialog to start the setup process. You want to click "Yes".

[Note: If you clicked "Save" instead of open, then windows will save the setup program to your disk, and you can use windows explorer to run it]

To the right is a picture of what the QuadSucker setup program looks like. You'll want to click the "Next" button on the Welcome dialog.  
The setup program will ask you where you want the software installed. For most people, it's best to just leave the default options alone.  
The next step is to choose the program group. For most people, it's best to just leave the default options alone.  
Now the installer is ready to do it's thing, so click the "Install" button.  
The installer will pop-up a progress box while it copies files. Once it's finished, you'll get the "Setup Completed" dialog.

If you leave the "Yes I would like to view the README file" checkbox checked, then the installer will pop-up the readme file. Sometimes there is useful last-minute instructions in there, but usually you can just skip reading it.



Step 2: Starting up and Configuring QuadSucker/News

The setup program should have installed a quadsucker icon to your desktop. It looks like this little things to the right, and it will probably say "QuadSucker News" right underneath it. Click that to begin.  


When you first start QuadSucker/News, you will see the "Please Register" screen. Registering the software is important! It encourages the author to continue adding new features and it entitles you to a greater level of technical support. Wait for the shareware delay to expire and then click the "Press to Continue" button.  
When you start QuadSucker/News for the first time, the Configuration Wizard should appear automatically. (If it doesn't, then hit the <Config> button).

The first page of the configuration wizard is just an information screen -- read over it and press the <Next> button.

Now we have to select the QuadSucker/News operating mode. Streaming Download mode is good for downloading small images, but "Pick and Choose" mode is the way to go for downloading big movies.

Click "Pick and Choose Mode", and then click next to continue.

The next page of the Configuration Wizard is the News Server Configuration Page. The settings on this page are particular to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or News Provider. The setting you enter here must be correct for QuadSucker/News to operate correctly. You can sometimes get the settings from another news program on your computer that is configured to read news articles. If you are unsure of the settings, then you can always contact your ISP and ask them for the settings.  
The Download Settings page holds the download directory setting. This is the directory (or "folder") where downloaded files will be placed. QuadSucker/News automatically chooses a default download directory and usually this is good for most people.  
The Thread Settings dialog holds the number of threads. We recommend that you start with only two threads. Although QuadSucker/News supports up to five threads (4 message downloaders and 1 header downloader), sometimes a news server will limit the number of simultaneous connections that you can have open. Therefore, we suggest first starting with 2 threads, making sure everything works, and then incrementally moving up to 3, 4, and 5 threads checking as you go to make sure the news server doesn't have a problem with that many open connections.  
The next page that the wizard will display is the "finished" page. This page thanks you for configuring QuadSucker/News and gives you some simple instructions to get you started.  

Step 3: Adding the newsgroups you want to download

Now that you're done with the configuration wizard, you'll be back at the QuadSucker main window. Since we haven't chosen any newsgroups to download yet, we'll do that now. Press the <Groups> button:  
When you press the <Groups> button, the "Newsgroup Configuration" window will appear. This window contains the names of the groups that you want to download from. The list will initially be empty, and you'll need to add items to it by using the <Add> button.  
When you pressed the <Add> button, the "Add Newsgroup" dialog should have appeared. The first time you enter the "Add Newsgroup" dialog, you'll need to download a Newsrc. The "Newsrc" is the list of newsgroups that are provided by your News Server. QuadSucker will download the new Newsrc when you press the <Refresh> button:  
The Newsrc downloader will pop up a window to show the status of the download. There is a great deal of technical information that will be displayed in this dialog box. Most of it is not of any interest to you -- it's just provided so that in case something does go wrong, you'll be able to get some idea of what happened. In particular, if you notice any messages about being "unable to connect to the server" or "authentication errors", then it is likely you mistyped your server parameters into the configuration wizard (in which case, you need to go back a couple of steps and re-enter that information).  
The Newsrc downloader window will close automatically when the Newsrc has been downloaded, and you will return to the "Add Newsgroup" screen. This time, the group list will be populated with a list of available newsgroups. The best way to search for a newsgroup is to use the "search pattern" setting.

To continue with our MP3 music example, do the following:

  1. Type "mp3" into the Search Pattern box
  2. QuadSucker will bring up a list of groups that have the phrase "mp3" in them.
  3. Highlight the group "alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.rock"
  4. Click the <subscribe> button to subscribe to the group
  5. When you're done, click the <finished> button.
Once the add-newsgroup dialog is closed, we'll be back at the newsgroup list dialog. We should see the group that we just added listed.

If all is well, click <close> to close the dialog.



Step 4 Download the headers

Assuming you've setup your groups as described in the above sections, it's time to download the news headers.

What is a "news header", you might ask? Well, a news header is kind of a summary of the article in the newsgroup. It contains the name of the person who posted the article, the subject of the article, the length, etc. QuadSucker downloads the news headers, so you can look them over and pick which ones you want to download.

Press the <start> button.

If all goes well, down at the bottom of the dialog, where the "header thread" status is, you should see some information. You should be able to see it connect, download the headers (counting them as they download), and finally go idle.

When this has happened, and the header thread says idle, we're ready to move to the next step.


Step 5: Choosing the Items you want to download

Now it's time to select some mp3 music files!

To cause something to be added to the download list, you need to drag it from the available messages list to the selected list.

In this example, we've selected four mp3 files..

We have to caution you that you might come upon copyrighted material that may have been posted by an unscrupulous person to the newsgroup. Please obey the laws in your area as they pertain to downloading such items.

Here you can see the four mp3 files that have been selected.

The status will change as they are downloaded from "pending" to "queued" to "d/l parts", and finally to "downloaded".

When you're done selecting items, you can close the dialog (or minimize it, or move it away), and go back to the main Quadnews Window to watch the status.

Here you can see the download in progress. The little blue bars will count across as segments of the post are downloaded.  
The received files list is a good way to get a summary of all the files you've downloaded in the current session.

To get there, click the Statistics menu, and then received files list.

Here is a picture of the received files list.

It shows each file that has been received. [Note that files only show up when QuadSucker has finished receiving them]

The "Viewer" button is for images (i.e. still pictures), so don't try to use that for a movie.

The "Open" button will bring up the default windows movie player, so you can listen to one of your songs..