A lot of people who are new to the Japanese or Asian drama scene end up asking "Where can I get drama?". I am asked this question a lot, so I decided to write up a sticky with some information about where many members of this forum get their dramas from So, here are some of the ways you can get drama:
*Downloading via peer-to-peer clients:
TV captures and fansubs for online sharing. Bittorrent
is the most popular method for downloading now. You can search Yahoo or Google for Bittorrent clients. See the Bittorrent Sites sticky
for some links to download leads. If you need something seeded, please see the BT Seed Request sticky
and post a request. Some people use Edonkey
, but I hear it's extremely slow. For drama downloading, a broadband connection is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
*Downloading via Streamload:
TV captures and fansubs for online sharing. A pay online storage service where you are allotted a certain amount of download bandwidth per month. You can upload your own collection and swap with others between your accounts. Once someone "beams" you something, you use your allotted bandwidth to download it. You can see the rates and how to sign up at http://www.streamload.com.
See the Streamloader Users Wanted sticky
to help get started finding users you can exchange with.
*Downloading via Newsgroups (Usenet):
TV captures and fansubs for online sharing. These are NOT websites! Access varies per ISP. Some ISP's give newsgroup access, some don't. Some are very limited or don't have good file retention. Please see the home page of your ISP or call them for information on your news server or to find out if you have one. If you don't have access or you do have access and have lousy file retention (the files expire!!), you may want to invest in a paid Usenet provider.
Here is a VERY helpful link on downloading binary files via newsgroups:
For downloading via newsgroups you'll need:
A Usenet provider or your ISP's newsserver (if applicable)
A newsreader (in most cases)
A broadband connection
Winrar (files uploaded to newsgroups are separated into .rar files!)
Quickpar (in case any files are incomplete or corrupt, you may be able to recover them with .par or .par2 files and Quickpar).
Some recommended pay Usenet providers are:
Teranews, Easynews, and Giganews.
Forte Agent (if you use only Free Agent, you will not benefit much at all! Upgrade to Forte Agent!)
Newsshark (if you have the trial, your download batches will be VERY limited. Upgrade recommended but not necessary).
Recommended newsgroups for Japanese drama:
alt.binaries.multimedia.japanese.repost (reposts files previously posted on abmj upon request and/or schedule)
Other recommended groups may be added, but these are the main ones for Japanese drama.
*Downloading via IRC:
TV captures and fansubs for online sharing. This is actually a chat place (Internet Relay Chat). Download from people who serve files or trade online in private. Please search on Google or Yahoo for recommended channels to visit on IRC. Also, you may want to visit your favorite fansubbing groups' or BT sites' IRC channels if they have them. Many have file servers set up. I am not posting a bunch of channel names nor am I posting a tutorial on setting up IRC or how to download. I cannot find the "perfect" help site to recommend to everyone. Please use http://www.irchelp.org/
and/or search Yahoo or Google. You will need to look up a tutorial on getting set up, connecting to channels, triggers, and downloading. Remember to read and follow the rules of each channel!
*Downloading via FTP trade:
TV captures and fansubs for online sharing. It's pretty simple but done privately. Basically, you set up when, what, and where. You download the agreed files from each other, or one does both the uploading and downloading to and from 1 FTP storage server place. You will exchange information on that with the person you are trading with via FTP.
It's recommended that you change certain user ID's and/or passwords on any accounts you let traders have for access temporarily, as well as block their access to folders and files you do not want shared. Don't feel bad capping download speeds and total download limits. I honestly do not recommend FTP trades unless you know the other person well and know what you are doing! On the rare occasion, some people may trade via online chat clients like AIM, MSN Messenger, ICQ, etc. That's not recommended for exchanging several episodes because transfers may be capped
*Buying and trading Japanese drama DVD or VCD sets:
Usually they will have either Chinese, Indonesian, or Malay subtitles. Not really legal so far (technically) in most cases, but very common. Some of these sets have English subtitles, but it is rare. Also, the English subtitles will be grammatically incorrect, contain incorrect names, and the translations will be very rough and hasty at best. I can compile a list of the bootleg English subtitled sets later because there are not many of them, but I'm sure the question will come up.
Some places to find VCD boxsets are: sellers in Taiwan or Hong Kong, sellers in Singapore, sellers in Malaysia, sellers in Indonesia, possibly some stores in Chinatown (if your city has one), online shops (use search Yahoo or Google to find some), Ebay
(be careful!), and Yahoo Auctions Singapore
. Most VCD boxsets are cropped and crammed onto fewer disks than they have episodes to save money in production. For example, an 11-12 episode series will probably be on 8 disks. One episode will be on the first disk followed by 1/4 to 1/2 of the next episode and so on. Of course, Buy Sell Trade
is a great place to look for trades and sales. For VCD's specifically for buying, check the VCD's For Sale sticky
Don't have broadband connection to download from BT? Or, having trouble catching up with downloads or finding seeds? Looking for something rare or out of print and can't find it for sale? Set up a trade with someone and you make copies of shows at request then mail them to each other. You can find traders here and also at the Japanese Dorama Trading Club
. You may also want to search the web for webrings, recommendations, feedback, and other sites. Also see the Trader and Seller Reviews sticky
for feedback on certain traders. NOTE:
If you have nothing to trade, SOME traders will do 2:1 trades. This means you send twice as much blank media required for what you are asking for and the trader will burn what you ask for and keep the extras for themselves so they at least benefit in some way. Remember to follow the other traders' rules. If you have rules of your own, make other traders' aware before locking in a trade.
This is an iffy subject, but some traders will make copies of their dramas and mail them to you in exchange for money to cover the costs of blank media and postage. Some people do it for very minimal profit or none, while others will blatantly make monetary profit. Ebay sellers of fansubs and TV captures are definitely trying to make a profit, otherwise they would not be auctioning. Others who do distro usually have websites, but you must decide for yourself if it is worth it or if they are trying to make a huge profit. The best way to figure out who to use is to check their reliability and get recommendations from others, then check their prices. Some Jdorama forum members do distro. You can ask around and check the Trader and Seller Reviews sticky
. However, if you see someone with a list for trading and they say they do not sell, do not make a big habit of asking these people if they will do distro for you. A lot of people prefer to only do snail-mail trades and/or downloading.
*Buying legitimate items:
and CD Japan
. Use Yahoo or Google to try to find other options
*Downloading via Clubbox:
I decided to add Clubbox because now Clubbox is open to all users internationally and more than just Korean dramas are becoming available
Clubbox is a Korean file storage website. ALL SITES ARE IN KOREAN. However, you can get a variety of things there. Please be aware you must install the Clubbox client and it requires an installation of NowCom ActiveX control. It's also a little buggy when configuring on Windows XP Service Pack 2 at first. On average you can get 50KB/sec up to 100KB/sec download on most clubboxes without buying coupons. This winds up to be similar to P2P rather than file hosting because you unknowingly upload UNCAPPED while you are downloading, so please be aware of this when using it, especially if your ISP has caps and if you are on a school connection. NOT ALL CLUBBOXES ARE PUBLIC. Some require you to have an ID and password, and some also require you to subscribe to their box. Some only open to subscribed users on weekends. If you want your own clubbox, it works on a point system. Each download gets the owner of that clubbox points each day. Once you get enough points, your box will be upgraded. Each new box gets 100GB of upload space for FREE. However, if you have a SILVER clubbox or are downloading from one that is silver, files expire after 10 DAYS. GOLD boxes' files do not expire unless the user removes them. Once your Clubbox's storage gets to 1000 GB (1 TB), you must request more storage space from a Clubbox Admin (applies to boxes only), so you MUST be able to communicate in Korean.
Finding clubboxes with things you may want: Soompi, D-addicts Official Clubbox Thread, and Information/Links for various Clubboxes.
Installing and setting up your Clubbox client for downloading: Sandy's (purpletiger86) Clubbox Tutorial
Signing up for a Clubbox ID: D-addicts' Official Clubbox Thread page 17 *See Saki's first post on this page.
Setting up your own Clubbox for uploading after signing up: D-addicts' Official Clubbox Thread page 17 *See Saki's second post on this page.
Those are the main methods in general for getting dramas. If you have things you think I should add or correct, please PM me or post here. This thread may be edited if anyone suggests anything additionally or if I think of anything. Good luck!