Many of the best-known file-sharing programs are unappealing now. Kazaa installs so much adware/spyware that it can only be described as a threat. Some of the other peer-to-peer programs are free of adware, but the programs are frustrating to use, especially if you download a song and then discover it’s a fake planted by the record companies. Here’s two alternatives if you’re in the mood to learn some new tricks.

There are very active Internet newsgroups where an extraordinary variety of things can be downloaded – music, movies, and almost anything else you can think of. But the newsgroups are not an easy place to be! You’ll have to invest the effort to get past a fierce learning curve. You’ll have to purchase a new, difficult piece of software and pay a monthly fee to a subscription news server. Browsing through the lists of files requires patience; searching for things is tricky. The rewards are great but it’s a long journey.

This is a guide to the world of Internet newsgroups. If it frightens you, then put the newsgroups out of your mind. If you’re tempted – for what it’s worth, I use NetLeecher software and subscribe to Giganews.

BitTorrent is responsible for a staggeringly large percentage of Internet traffic right now. It’s a quirky process and definitely not intuitive, so this guide might help you get started. It doesn’t have many details about how the program actually works; here’s another guide with too many details but it also has information you need to know.

Take a look at, probably the most active site for locating BitTorrent downloads of popular music. Again for what it’s worth, I use BitTornado as my client software, but there’s nothing wrong with the original BitTorrent software.

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