Thursday, November 11, 2010

Combine Feederator and Sabnzbd+ to a One-Click-Download tool

Sabnzbd+ is a great tool if you are riding the usenet wave. Feederator on the other hand is a great tool to manage and moderate (RSS) feeds. This post will show you how to use the two tools to have a one click (movie/series/ebook) download tool.
First of all you need a usenet account. I'm using supernews (http://www.supernews.com/) which will cost you between $10-$12 per month. Use Google search to find special offers for $9.99. Then download Sabnzbd+ and install it on the system of your choice. On how to set up sabnzbd+ please have a look at the brilliant article on lifehacker.com
So far so good, you can now download stuff from usenet by looking for nzb files and add them to your download list, but that's boring, right? And most of all, how do you add new items from your computer at work or while you are traveling? Here is where feederator.org comes into play. To get an automatic download system you normally would get  sabnzbd+ to subscribe directly to a RSS feed containing nzb's. You would be able to filter content by regular expressions to put them into the proper folders. But you wouldn't be able to handpick things you wanted to download. Either the Regex matches and you get everything or it doesn't and you might miss some block buster movies.


Getting the RSS URL
Instead of directly subscribing to a feed you will put Feederator in between. But first things first. First of course you will need the URL of a RSS feed with usenet content. You can subscribe to http://www.nzbsrus.com and download a few items per day for free. If you like the service you can become a VIP member (for about $10 for ten years). But for testing you just need to subscribe there. Once registered and logged in you can pick the address of your feed from the RSS section.


Setting up Feederator
Open a new browser tab and navigate to http://www.feederator.org. For this web application you only need a Google Account. Feederator runs on the Google App Engine and uses the Google service to authenticate you. But don't worry, Feederator will never see your Google credentials it will only be told that you are who you seem to be.
Once you logged in you need to subscribe to that RSS feed from before. Click on the "Add subscription" button on the top left:
Feederator after your first login - Click Add Subscription

The dialog should look like this:


Let me explain the form:
  • the name is important, since it will be part of the new URL of your feed
  • the description doesn't matter, but will be visible in the new RSS feed
  • Is this feed private: I checked this, because feeds from nzbsrus.com have a private key that identifies you as the downloader. You don't want this key and feed to be visible to others. If you check this box the feed won't be visible on the front page nor published anywhere else. But be aware that this is no real protection from others using your feed. You just won't run around and brag about it
  • URL: the url of your feed. This can be any valid ATOM or RSS feed
Now click save.
After a short while feederator will load the current items of that feed:
Above the items on the header bar you can see the URL of your new feed. In this case it's
http://www.feederator.org/feeds/shelph78/movies
Your URL will be put together like this as well: http://www.feederator.org/feeds/--username--/--feedname--
Now click on that link. Depending on the RSS capabilities of your browser you might see something like this:


Wow, an empty feed. That's fancy! Let's go back to feederator and press the grey "publish" button beside one of the items. It will turn orange:
Now load again the feed URL:
OK, you have to admit, that's pretty cool. With just one click you added a movie to an RSS feed. And this feed is exactly what sabnzbd+ will see.
Go back to your sabnzbd+ interface. Go to configure -> RSS
Now add your brand new feed URL:
And press add. Voila! Your done. From now on you can frequently check feederator for new movie feeds. If the title of an item you can see its details by clicking on it. 


Feederator helps you
Sometimes feederator will even find fan art and additional descriptions about the movie or series. This feature is still under development. So don't be suprised if feederator shows you the wrong movie or series information or none at all.

You can help feederator
I develop Feederator just for fun and it's only me. I don't have a squad of testers around that check new releases. So please, if you find a bug report it using the feedback tool. This is essential to make feederator better. Do you miss a feature, no problem, just tell me about it.

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