unofficial abma/aba faq
Annotated :: Single Page/Plain :: Text :: Notes

1. Preface
2. Introduction
3. Newsgroups
4. Encoding
     a. uu
     b. mime
     c. yEnc
5. Archives
     a. .rar/.r##/.part##.rar
     b. RAR recovery
     c. .ace/.c##
     d. .###
     e. .zip
6. Support Files
     a. .sfv
     b. .par/.p##
     c. .rev
     d. .idx/.sub/.ifo
     e. .smi/.ssa/.srt
     f. .nfo/.txt/.md5
7. Newsreaders
8. Posting
     a. Bad Requests
9. Auto-Posters
10. Hentai
11. Formats/codecs
     a. avi/ogm
     b. mpeg4
     c. mpg
     d. rm
     e. audio
     f. linux
12. News servers
13. Software
14. Appendices
     a. About the FAQ
     b. Mirroring the FAQ

The new home of the FAQ is http://animeusenet.org/wiki/.

This site exists only for historical/archival purposes.

1. Preface

This document attempts to answer the most commonly asked questions found in alt.binaries.multimedia.anime (ABMA) & alt.binaries.anime (ABA). It is intended to help newcomers ("newbies") get up to speed, and to serve as a memory aid and a form of continuing education to others. Newcomers to AB(M)A, even those experienced with the internet and usenet, are advised to read this document.

For those reading the text version of this FAQ, the annotated version is highly recommended, both due to improved readability and the up-to-date notes. It can be found at http://abma.x-maru.org/faq/.

Original Author:

  • SWong

Current Maintainers/Editors:

  • Keikai & xo

Past Maintainers/Editors:

  • SWong
  • Or[Q]yman

Original FAQ Contributors:

  • The Most Unfriendly SWong
  • Akito (uudecode/uuencode/MIME)
  • Severin (NewsGrabber)
  • Bogus Name (RAR recovery method)
  • "Supernice" Inc (Agent tips)
  • Moomoo (Realtext)
  • NetGear (some addition to uuencode and file formats)
  • darkwire (resources on Virtual Dub, various players, codecs, converters, Linux stuff, etc.)
  • TheMan (misc. on file formats and codecs)
  • Gorunova (reformatting, proofreading, pleas for sanity)


  • Onakra
  • xo
  • Tobias Rieper
  • Keikai
  • Bogus Name
  • Myen
  • Many more to be added (I apologize for the many omissions. This will be rectified.)

Previous revision dates

2000-03-11 2000-03-12 2000-03-16 2000-03-22 2000-03-30 
2000-04-06 2000-04-25 2000-05-06 2000-05-11 2000-05-21 
2000-06-07 2000-09-21 2000-09-23 2001-02-11 2001-02-22
2001-09-27 2002-03-15

The up-to-date web FAQ is available at these URLs:

Older versions of the web FAQ are available at these URLs:

Other Notes

Contributing Notes

User contributions of additions, elaboration, and corrections to the FAQ are welcome! At the bottom of each page of the annotated faq, a form is provided for making such contributions. Simply navigate to the section that is most relevant to the contribution you wish to make and submit it in the form. Your addition will then be displayed for others to benefit from.

Before making a contribution for the first time, please browse through the site to and the contributions others have made to get a feel for how it works. Also, make sure to use the preview button to check how it will look before submitting.

Periodically, the maintainers will choose particularly relevant notes and add them to the main body of the FAQ. The note's author will be credited with the contribution. When transferring notes to the FAQ, however, it is sometimes necessary to edit them. When this is done, the credit will have an ed. following the normal credit.


Web Bulletin Board

A web-based bulletin board is now available to supplement standard usenet posting for discussions related to AB(M)A. It can be found at http://abma.x-maru.org/bb/index.php.

This Revision

Many significant changes were made to the FAQ in this revision. There have been some layout changes, particularly to the multimedia formats sections. There have also been some major rewrites. This includes the posting section. I have made every effort to make the new listings of the AB(M)A rules and guidelines as close an approximation to a group concensus as possible. When there are differing points of view, I tried to relate them according to the strengths of the arguments made in their case and according to general popularity in the group, since non-vocal contributors must also be taken into account. No one will agree with every point in this section, just as I do not. However, I put a great deal of time into this by merging the many discussions we've had about those subjects over the past couple of years. Furthermore, it is not, of course, aimed at the existing regular contributors, most of whom already follow the rules. Most of us, who have been around for a while, have our own styles for posting and I am not suggesting that any of that should change. However, there have, on quite a few occasions, been a call for this to be done, and I believe I have succeeded in doing so in a fair and group-minded fashion.

The Next Revision

The next revision is planned for the near future. A very few sections of this FAQ are noted as being incomplete, and I will work on them for then. Additionally, it will contain the incorporation of those notes that did not make it into this revision and a rewrite of much of the *NIX sections by xo. I am going to start marking sections that would benefit from some outside submissions. If you have pertinent information related to these sections, please submit them as annotations and they will be added to the FAQ itself in the future. There are several large annotations that have not yet been merged, this is not because they did not "merit" inclusion. Rather, it is because I want to give those annotations the time they deserve.

2. What is this FAQ?

The AB(M)A FAQ [SWong, Keikai]

Welcome to the AB(M)A community!

Before asking questions in the group, make sure to read this FAQ and search the abma.d web forums at http://abma.x-maru.org/bb/. The AB(M)A community is full of very nice and helpful people. Asking questions for which the information can easily be found in these resources, however, is generally considered poor netiquette and can easily be avoided.

The content of this FAQ is a compilation of original articles, posts, and user submissions. Those sections that discuss rules and guidelines represent, as closely as possible, a concensus amongst the "regulars". Where no concensus can be found, the FAQ tries to relate the various points of view. This FAQ is not based upon the personal opinions of its individual maintainers.

A Mini-FAQ is posted by Netgear on a regular basis with enough information to get most newbies started. This big FAQ has not just technical info on how to use newsgroup for downloading, but also have notes on netiquette and hopefully helpful information on various things that crops up on the newsgroups every now and then.

3. What are alt.binaries.anime and alt.binaries.multimedia.anime?

The AB(M)A Newsgroups [Original, Keikai]

According to the charter of ABMA (alt.binaries.multimedia.anime) at ftp.isc.org/pub/usenet/control/alt/alt.binaries.multimedia.anime.Z:

This group is for posting any multimedia file (any format) that is anime related. The file may be a commercial, trailer, music video, opening movie, ending movie, special, or entire episode or movie of anything specifically anime related, including free fansubs which are widely unavailable to most people (check legal issues in your area, it is beyond the scope of this proposal to cover the vastness of fansubs.)

ABA (alt.binaries.anime) was originally a rogue group but does now have a charter at ftp.isc.org/pub/usenet/control/alt/alt.binaries.anime.Z. While it originally was created for posting of both anime and manga binaries, manga is now no longer appropriate and should now be posted to a group devoted to it, such as alt.binaries.pictures.manga. Currently, ABA follows the same rules and netiquette as ABMA.

Two related newsgroups are ABMR (alt.binaries.multimedia.repost) and ABMAR (alt.binaries.multimedia.anime.repost). They are intended for reposting of multimedia files from any other multimedia newsgroups (for ABMR) or from AB(M)A (for ABMAR). If a potential post meets the charter requirements for ABMAR, it should be posted there. This prevents AB(M)A from becoming overloaded since new material alone requires a great deal of bandwidth.

You can find a lot of information on various anime and their number of episodes at: [Onakra]

Also useful sites:

A list of useful links maintained by AB(M)A regulars is available on the abma.x-maru.org bulletin board at:

4. Where are the files? I'm seeing garbage text...

Binary File Encoding [Akito, NetGear, ed.]

Because Usenet was originally developed for communication of text messages, it is not possible to post binary data in its natural form. To overcome this limitation, several binary encoding methods have been devised to allow posting of binary materials to the Usenet. Below are explanations of several of the most popular encoding methods.


On an older, less featured newsreader, you may see something like this:

	begin 644 filename.r10

This is known as a uuencoded format. The "begin 644 filename" line and the fact that every single line starts with "M" is a good way to recognize uuencode.

Any half decent newsreaders will automatically decode the file into binary formats so you would never actually see the code. So if you are having problems with the codes your best bet is probably get a new newsreader. Most news readers understand this kind of encoding and have the ability to decode the message back to its original form. See section 6 on good newsreaders for decoding.

A more verbose explanation of uuencode

Here's what this means. "begin 644 filename.r10": save this uuencoded text as filename.r10 with permissions 644 (that number is a Unix code that means let everyone read the file, and let the owner modify it).

You may also occasionally see messages encoded using some other system such as Base64. The principle is the same. Usenet was designed to transmit messages containing only printable letter, digits and symbols. Binary files like anime episodes containa wider range of data, so that data has to be transformed into text before posting it to Usenet.

Uuencode, aka uuencode/uudecode, is one of the popular forms of binary file distribution along the realms of passive file distribution. (Meaning it's not done in real-time, files are sent but received later, not instantly). Email and newsgroup messages are of such type.

Originating on UNIX systems (thus the UU means Unix-to-Unix), it is used by users who wish to send binary data to others who are using software that's not capable of processing binary code. Something like this would be a unix-based email client like PINE.

Basically how uuencode works is that it takes whatever binary attachment you are sending- it may be a WinRAR archive, an .rm or some executable- and translates (encodes) that file into a HUGE string of text garbage that only someone with the decoder can convert back to the original form. This way, it simplifies the transmission as no special protocol and/or software is needed. (Nearly all computers can do text transfer without problems. I say nearly because there is always some exceptions to the rule in the world of computers - just look at Windows).

In summary, uuencode is simply a utility, if you wish, that translates binary code into encrypted text to be sent: 1) Over a medium that cannot process binary transfers. 2) To a individual using software not capable of receiving binary attachments.


Now for MIME... (this is the uglier one as it involves Windows and Mac OS...)

Raw codes of MIME looks something like this:

If your mail reader is text-only
	This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

	Content-Type: text/plain;
	Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

-OR- if your mail can read MIME encoded mails but can't handle the file type

	MIME-Version: 1.0
	Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
	X-Priority: 3
	X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
	X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.3110.5
	X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3

Again, current newsreaders will decode MIME automatically like uuencoded files.

MIME, aka Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extension, is an extension of the original E-mail protocol (an agreement between computers that data of such type [email] will be transferred using this set of specifics) to exchange different types of data. (Such as webpages, audio, video, and of course, text files)

How it works is that servers sending the transmission will insert MIME headers into the body where it instructs the client on HOW to handle the binary data that's to follow. Say it may be a webpage, then the client knows to launch the web browser to handle the attachment. (Or RealPlayer for those anime .rms ^_^ )

Currently only so many MIME types are registered on the Internet Assigned Number Authority (http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/iana/assignments/media-types/), as new file formats are surfacing as the days go by, the Internet MIME databases will be updated accordingly and YOU as the user, will need to download the appropriate software and update your computer so they can handle such files. Fortunately most installation programs take care of this for you on most platforms. (Called file associations - ie: files with .RM extension will be handle by RealPlayer, .HTM - web browser, MP3 - Winamp...etc)

In summary, MIME is a string of instructions inserted at the beginning of any web transmission that instructs the client receiving this how to deal with the binary attachments that's to come. By equipping themselves with the associated software, (which is usually widely available on the Internet) users will not have to hunt down software every time they receive a binary attachment.

Now, I've stripped down the definitions to avoid the complicated techno jargon, there is MUCHO to know about MIME but that I think is beyond the scope of this FAQ. There are numerous documents out there floating on the web on MIME and can be easily found using a search engine like www.google.com

The main difference between MIME and uuencode is that MIME is more user-friendly to newbies as it takes the guesswork out of the user on what software is used to deal with this piece of binary code. But uuencode is computer-friendly as it does not require fancy software to be able to receive such type of information.

Uuencode is the most preferred transmission type because most newsgroup servers will not handle binary transmissions therefore MIME is not recommended here at ABMA Make sure you are using a reader that is capable of uuencode or else you might have some complaints (or nasty comments from our "respected" SWong) coming your way =)

yEnc [xo, Keikai]

This section is currently in its preliminary stages, more information will be added in the next revision. A good deal of additional information is currently available in the notes for this section in the annotated FAQ: http://abma.x-maru.org/faq/annotated/encoding.php

yenc is an alternative to uuencoding for encoding of files posted to Usenet. A new decoder is required in order to process these files. Some news clients include native decoding of yEnc encoded files, however, many do not and will require some additional work and the use of an external decoder.

Details and the status of client support can be found at http://yenc.org.

Zen's web page hosts his excellent yEnc FAQ. This FAQ can be found at http://www.geocities.com/zenwebpage/yEncFAQ.htm and includes:

  • a consise explanation of yEnc
  • list and locations of news clients and binary posters that natively support yEnc
  • list and locations of manual encoding/decoding applications
  • possible workarounds and hacks for clients that do not have native support (including Agent)
  • links to many, many yEnc resources

It is also important that posters indicate in the subject when posting any binaries encoded in yEnc format. More specifically, make sure the word "yEnc" appears somewhere in the subject, preferably in the description.

Occasionally, files are posted with the extension .NTX. These are actually files that are yEnc'd prior to posting (usually via uuencode, thereby neutralizing any benefit of the yEnc format). They can be decoded using a standalone yEnc decoder such as yEnc32 or ydec.

Linux-specific information [xo, ed.]

On the Mac platform, the most popular newsreaders descend from the original Newswatcher and do not include uuencoding within the newsreader. Instead, a helper application is needed. YA-Decoder is a good utility for this and is available from http://www.newsreaders.com/link/jump.cgi?version=Sys71_yad. It has problems with some long file names, but less so than many other uudecoders available.


5. What's with the .rar, .r00, etc. files?

Archive Formats

What are .RAR, .R00, R01...Rnn AND part01.RAR...partnn.RAR files? (The RAR Archive Format) [Original Contributors, ed.]

RAR files are compressed/split archives. Nearly everything in the newsgroups is posted in this format. This is done to make successful download much more likely and it makes reposts much easier. The files in both ABA and ABMA usually run from 50 MB+, and if these files were posted in a single post and even one part doesn't make it to somebody's server, the file is useless. When the files are split up, the chances of the individual files arriving intact are greater. Also, even if some of the parts didn't make it, the poster only needs to repost one small part to fill it. Furthermore, RAR archive sets can be created with a recovery record which allows RAR parts, when damaged in certain ways, to be repaired by the RAR program itself.

To decompress (dearchive) these archive sets, one must have every single part of the set. Use a RAR program to "unrar" these files.

RAR programs can be found at: http://www.rarsoft.com for all major platforms, http://macrar.free.fr for Macs. StuffIt Expander is capable of simple dearchiving for Macs, as well.

Posting unarchived files, or files archived in a non-RAR format (especially an uncommon one) is rather seriously frowned upon due to the negative impact on the groups. Continuing to pursue this course after being warned could result in letters explaining the abuse to the poster's news provider.

Because multimedia files, especially those of newer formats such as MPEG-4, are already internally compressed, the compression of such files may give poorer results than one might hope. In those cases, the file should not be posted unarchived. Instead, archive the set with no compression. This causes the archiving and dearchiving process to go very quickly, because no compression is performed, but the other advantages of archiving, file splitting and file recovery, remain intact.

There are two principle kinds of error messages as you unrar a file:

  1. Invalid or corrupt authenticity information. In this case, it merely means that the poster used an unregistered version of WinRAR with authenticity information enabled, so that the error recovery data is not saved. Usually this is not a problem and the file should extract just fine. Unless if the files fail the crc check when checking with SFV, in which case recovery method will not work and another repair method or replacement of the file is needed.
  2. CRC error. In this case the files are actually damaged. Check the file size against the other files of the same archive. Sometimes it is possible to repair the file if the error recovery data is present. Other times, especially if the file is short by a few bytes, repair will not be possible.

With the release of WinRAR 3.0, the author of WinRAR decided to use a new naming scheme for RAR parts. Instead of naming them .rar, .r00, r01...rnn, version 3 and greater will default to naming them .part01.rar, .part02.rar...partnn.rar. This behavior can be turned off when the archive set is created. (Under the Advanced tab, in the group entitled Volumes, enable Old Style Volume Names.) Currently, it is preferred group behavior to use the old-style volume names, but this is, as always, at the discretion of the poster. The primary reason for this is that some OSes other than Windows reportedly have issues with the new names.

RAR Recovery Records [Bogus Name, Keikai, ed.]

Yet another good reason to use RAR archiving is the recovery record that can be included in the RAR file. In WinRAR, highlight the affected R?? file, select the Commands menu and click Repair Archive. Then rename the resulting archive to the name of the corrupted archive (after first renaming or moving the corrupted archive). If the archiver did not include recovery information, then it will try to reconstruct the archive. This is not the same as recovery and has a much lower chance of success (actually 0% usually, in the case of split files).

As of version 3.10 of RAR, recovery records have been vastly improved. The RARSoft applications can now repair files that have missing data and other damage that was previously unrepairable. This significantly escalates the need for all posters to include at least 1% RAR Recovery Records.

There are some reports that the repair via recovery records no longer works in MacRAR.

When the recovery record is unable to repair the RAR part, there are further steps you can take to repair the file. T. Rieper's excellent article explaining multiple steps that can be taken to repair RAR files can be found at http://riepersnest.tripod.com/rar/index.htm.

Please note that RAR recovery records are not the same as RAR recovery volumes, which are described in the support section under recovery volumes.

What are .ACE, .C00, .C01...Cnn files? (The ACE Archive Format) [xo]

Files with extensions of the type .ace, .c00, .c01 are archive segments produced by WinACE, available at http://www.winace.com. A utility called unace is also available in source form for *nix operating systems at http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/utils/compress/unace-1.2b.tar.gz

WinACE is functionally equivalent to the RAR family of programs; however it uses it's own format, which is different and incompatible with the RAR format. Note that ACE-format archives can only be produced under Windows and can only be uncompressed under Windows and certain *nix operating systems.. Users of other platforms, most notably Macintosh (unless unace compiles under OS X), are unable to unarchive ACE formatted files. For compatibility's sake, the use of ACE is discouraged.

What are .000, ,001...nnn files? (Numeric extensions) [Keikai]

Unfortunately, files with three-digit numerical extensions do not belong to only one form of archiving. The two primary forms these files will take are:

  • Split files
  • RAR files

Split files are created using one of several splitting applications. These utilities simply break the file up into "chunks" of a specified size. No changes of any kind are made to the data. The slight advantage of these files are that they do not require any third-party application to recombine. Proper use of the copy command in the operating system can rejoin these files. However, split files should NOT be posted to AB(M)A. Split files offer no form of protection against corruption, and, because of the nature of usenet, this puts them at a significant disadvantage. If a poster for some reason must post material in split form, then they must also create a set of parchive files. There are several methods of rejoining a split file:

  • (Windows Command Prompt) copy /b splitfile.000 + splitfile.001 + splitfile.002 + ... + splitfile.nnn
  • (Linux/*NIX Prompt) to be added later
  • MasterSplitter
  • DecompressionChamber
  • more to be added later

RAR files can be created using the standard rarring applications to use the three-digit numerical extension. These files are proper RAR files and are no different from RAR files with the more common extensions (.rar, .r01, part00.rar, etc.). Because of the ambiguity caused by this extension, however, RAR files that are named using simply a three-digit numeric extension should NOT be posted to AB(M)A.

The determine which of the two possible formats a file may be, one should open the first file (usually .000) in WinRAR or the appropriate RAR application for an operating system. If an error occurs, it is likely that the file is part of a set of split files. If it opens properly, treat it as any other RAR file for decompression. Unfortunately, if an error occurs when opening in the RAR utility, it may also indicate that the file is simply corrupt. If no form of data integrity checking is available with the post (.par, .sfv, .md5) then it will be necessary to request a repost from the original poster.

What about .ZIP files? (The ZIP Archive Format) [Keikai]

For a number of reasons, posting ZIP files and split ZIP files is strongly discouraged on AB(M)A.

6. What are all these other files, then?

Support Files

What are .SFV files? [Onakra, ed.]

SFV stands for Simple File Validator and is used to check files if they became corrupt after transfer. It does this by doing a CRC (cyclic redundancy check). The poster generates this (text) file with a SFV-generator and the downloader checks it with a SFV-program to see if there are any problems. After the check it displays which files contain CRC-errors and therefore are corrupt.

If a file is corrupt the first thing to do is try to repair it. Since most archives are created with a recovery record you should first try to repair the file yourself. See the RAR recovery records section on how to do this. If this fails you should make a request for a repost by using the guidelines for repost requests. Before you do, however, first check the newsgroups to see if it was reposted already or if there are already outstanding request(s) for it. Don't forget to also check alt.binaries.multimedia.anime.repost (ABMAR) and alt.binaries.multimedia.repost (ABMR) which are other potential repost locations.

The two most used programs for SFV are WinSFV and QuickSFV and are fairly easy to use. Most SFV's generated can be checked by the other SFV programs. One exception is WinSFV. The first line for this program must always include: ;Generated by WIN-SFV32 otherwise it won't work properly.

The only FAQ for WinSFV that exists at the moment is in Dutch. It is supposed to be translated to English, but the page hasn't been updated in a while. It does have a small section in English with the 3 most asked questions. It also offers the latest version (1.1a) for download. It is located at http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/winsfvfaq/

The official page for QuickSFV is http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Mouse/4668/index.html and always has the latest version for download. A nice feature of QuickSFV is that it can generate SFV's compatible with WinSFV. That means it generates the first line that must be included for WinSFV in a SFV-file.

QuickSFV can be downloaded from: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Mouse/4668/

Other SFV generators/checkers are:

What are .PAR, .P01, .P02...Pnn files? (Parchive files) [Myen, Keikai, ed.]

PAR files (also known as parchive files) are similar to SFV files in that they can check file integrity. Unlike SFV files, parchive files contain the checksum hash in the form of MD5 values instead of CRC-32 values. This greatly decreases the chance of two different files having the same hash and, therefore, makes them less likely to be in error. Furthermore, the parchive files test themselves for corruption.

The primary function of parchive files, however, is that posters will usually also post *.Pnn files (where nn are numbers from 01 to 99) that are slightly bigger than the largest file in the archive set (adds <1K) that can be used to recover bad or missing files on a one-for-one basis. Because the Pnn files contain the information in the .PAR file itself, the .PAR file is not necessary to test or recover files. However, it is highly recommended that the .PAR file be posted anyways, as it is a small and efficient means for testing whether Pnn files should be downloaded, and it has a few advantages over .SFV files.

The PAR client, when run on a PAR file (or any .Pnn file), will report the number of missing or bad files. If there are enough .Pnn files available, it will then recover the missing files.

For more information on the individual clients used both to create parchive files and to recover archive parts using them, go to the individual client websites

SmartPar: http://www.disc-chord.com/smartpar/Viewlet/SmartPAR_viewlet.html (Currently, the most common in AB(M)A)
FSRaid: http://www.fluidstudios.com/fsraid.html (FSRaid can handle renaming of files like Mirror; SmartPar cannot do this)
Mirror: http://www.wehlus.de/mirror/restore.html (Discontinued)
There are also command-line versions for DOS, *nix, MacOS X, and other operating systems at http://parchive.sourceforge.net/#clients

For the technical details (not required reading), read the file specifications at

It is not uncommon to post both a .SFV file and a parchive set. Some people prefer to have a .SFV file as it can be opened in a text editor to verify what files should be in the set.

It is usually preferred that you only include the archive set (RAR files) when creating the parchive set. Including support files (such as .nfo, .txt, .sfv, etc.) can cause problems.

What are .REV files? (RAR Recovery Volumes) [Keikai]

These files are current an inferior and proprietary version of parchive files discussed above. Therefore, one can recover damaged or missing .rar parts using RAR recovery volumes on a one-for-one basis.

Currently, it is strongly urged that posters use parchive files and not WinRAR recovery files. The reasons for this are:

  • They are proprietary and require one to use a Rarsoft product as opposed to giving the user a choice of tools. .rev files are a different format and cannot simply be renamed to parchive volume names and used with parchive clients.
  • They do not detect misnamed archive set and recovery files.
  • There is no small .par file equivalent which contains only the integrity testing data.
  • It is unknown if the RAR recovery process does all of the MD5 self-testing that parchive clients perform on parchive files (or if the file format is even capable of it).
  • The recovery process is much slower.

RAR recovery records are a totally different feature and should still be used. They are described in the archive section under RAR recovery method.

Although parchive files are much preferred over WinRAR recovery files, it is still preferable that posters use one of these technologies. Therefore, if parchive files cannot be posted for some reason, please use WinRAR recovery files instead. Inclusion of both is highly unnecessary and is discouraged.

The naming format for these files is:


Where xx is the part number of the last part of the archive set, yy is the total number of recovery volumes created, and zz is the number of this particular recovery volume. The only number that should change throughout the recovery set is zz.

Recovery using RAR recovery volumes requires version 3 or later of WinRAR. More information regarding the use of RAR recovery volumes can be found at http://www.rarsoft.com/.

What are .IDX, .SUB, .IFO files? (VobSub files) [Keikai, Scrippie]

These files will usually be found together in a group of all three, or, more recently, in a group of two (.IDX & .SUB). These vobsub files are produced by a Virtual Dub filter called VobSub. VobSub is used to "rip" the subtitles off of a DVD into the vobsub files. These files can then be used either to create a permanent hardsub on an encoding or used with DirectVobSub to optionally display them when playing the video. Therefore, the former method is "hardsubbing" and the latter method is considered a form of "softsubbing", although, unlike most softsub file formats, the subtitles in these files are in fact timed bitmap graphics.

DirectVobSub (also known as DVobSub) is a DirectShow filter that works with most DirectShow compatible video players. Video players that are known to work with DVobSub are:

  • Windows Media Player 6.4
  • Windows Media Player 7.x
  • ZoomPlayer
  • BSPlayer
  • mplayer for Linux (mplayer.sf.net) [Scrippie]
  • more to be added later

While the use of vobsub files is very popular, be aware that unless a person has a system running a Windows or Linux/*NIX OS, they may not be able to play the files. For those people who prefer to watch videos on a non-Windows OS, but have a Windows OS available, they can use the vobsub files to hardsub the video on the Windows OS and then watch it elsewhere. This also, of course, applies to those who do not like "softsubs" or those that reencode AVIs to other formats such as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2.

The homepage for VobSub is http://vobsub.edensrising.com/vobsub.php. Both the encoding filter and DVobSub can be downloaded as one package from there. Inside the package are excellent, if a bit cryptic, resources regarding the use of VobSub and DVobSub.

mplayer for Linux (http://mplayer.sf.net/) supports the VobSub format as well, therefore making it available on most *nix variants.

For information on how to create the vobsub files when encoding, go to http://www.doom9.org/vobsub.htm, and http://www.doom9.org/dvobsub.htm.

For information on creating hardsubbed videos from an unsubbed video and vobsub files, see the appropriate encoding section at http://www.doom9.org/guides.htm.

When watching a video with vobsub softsubs, the subtitles should automatically be displayed if the vobsub files are in the same directory as the video and the file titles are identical to that of the video. The only difference between the files should be the extension. When playing, an icon should appear in the system tray. More options can be found there.

As of version 2.07 of VobSub and DVobSub, the .IFO file is no longer needed. If a post includes only the .IDX and .SUB files, then most likely they were created with a post-2.07 version of VobSub. A post-2.07 version of DVobSub is then necessary to view the subtitles.

What are .SMI, .SSA, .SRT files? (Soft-Subtitles) [Keikai, Onakra, ed.]

These are all different formats for text-format timed soft subtitles (usually called "softsubs"). More information will be included regarding these later.

Installing the DirectShow VobSub plugin (DVobSub) available from http://vobsub.edensrising.com/vobsub.php will allow any DVobSub-compatible media player to display most softsub formats.

A Windows media player that does not support DVobSub but is excellent at manipulating and displaying softsubs is Sasami 2k, freely available at http://www.sasami2k.com/.

Excellent information on other programs that can deal with softsubs can be found at Zen's website: http://www.geocities.com/zenwebpage/

Some softsubs can be displayed directly in Windows Media Players:

  • In WMP 6.4: In menu 'View' check the item 'Captions' Microsoft Media Player 7 : In menu 'View' go to the sub-menu 'Now Playing Tools' and check 'Captions'.
  • In WMP 7.0: To be added

What are .NFO, .TXT, .MD5... files? [Keikai]

These files are generally plain text and can be read in any text editor. They contain whatever supplementary information the poster wants to include. This includes credits for the work done to produce the post, any special information about the file being posted or the post itself, and, most importantly, the posters policies regarding fills and reposts. Because of this, it is essential and expected that you read any accompanying .nfo or .txt file before making any requests either publically or privately. In many cases, you will be ignored or killfiled if the poster feels you have not read their policies. (Some posters, instead of or in addition to posting this file, post a 00/part with the post that contain similar information. If available, this should be read as well.)

This is a file identical in purpose to a .SFV file. Unlike an SFV file, the .MD5 files stores the file hashes as .MD5 values instead of CRC-32 values. However, .MD5 files are rarely encountered in AB(M)A. The .PAR file, from a file integrity checking standpoint, has the advantages of using MD5 hashes, but also has the advantage of self-examination for corruption. Therefore, parchive files should always be used for this purpose, often in conjuction with a .SFV file.

.MD5 files can be checked with md5summer from http://www.md5summer.org/ [kloug]

See the yEnc section of this FAQ for an explanation of .NTX files.

7. What's a good newsreader?

News Clients (Newsreaders) [Keikai, xo, Myen]

Access to usenet is established through the news client. The most common news clients are those embedded within Outlook Express and Netscape Navigator. Both of these, however, are completely inadequate for dealing with binary usenet groups. Many of the problems that new AB(M)A users encounter are the result of using one of these two news clients.

Below are listed some of the more popular news clients used by experienced AB(M)A denizens. No single news client is ideal for all situations, even within just AB(M)A. Some users even use a combination of two clients, one for reading and responding to text messages and the other for monitoring and downloading the binaries.




News Client descriptions and usage notes

Agent/Free Agent

For Windows, Agent (http://www.forteinc.com) is very good. It is not free though. The free version, Free Agent, is usable but lacks some valuable features like sorting by subject line.

Usage Notes: [inc]

1. Combining segments from multiple posts/servers:

In Agent, segments from a given Part can be retained in a work folder and later combined with other segments from a different post of the same part. Segments (or Sections) are the actual individual messages that are propagated by Usenet. You see them as something like foobar.r03 (4/16). This segment would be the fourth message of the sixteen that make up the RAR part foobar.r03. If you have an incomplete part (say, only 14 of 16 segments of foobar.r03 made it), they can be saved to a work area within Agent and later combined with segments from a repost of that part. (To make a work folder, be in the Groups/Folders window. Right-click and chose New Folder.)
When you have segments to retain:
  • Select the RAR part that has the messages you are going to save.
  • Choose "Message / Split sections"
  • Select all the segments to save.
  • Do "Online / Get selected message bodies."
  • Right-click the messages and "Copy to Folder"
Then, later, if the part is reposted, but is again incomplete, you can check if the segments missing from the first post made it, if they did, save them to the same work area.
Once you have all the segments in the work folder.
  • Select all the messages that make up the part
  • Right-click and "Join sections"
  • Verify the order & "Join"
The only requirement is that the poster is sending with the same segment size on both posts (and, preferably, with the same software & version).
This method can, of course, also be used to combine segments of the same part post from different servers.
2. Missing messages
Your server may be loading messages out of numeric ID order. By default, Agent just checks the ID of the last message you have and grabs headers from there on. If any new messages went on the server that has a lower id, you don't see them unless you do a "Get all headers."
There is an option in Agent that can cure this: "Options / User & System / System / Server creates messages out of order" ==> Checked.
Agent will then check for holes in the message ID list. Obviously slower, but you won't miss anything. Free Agent doesn't have this option - instead you have to open a newsgroup with the "download all headers in selected groups" command.
Another site with good explanations of how to use Agent is at http://www.freepicgirl.com/nero-x/


Usage Notes [Myen]

Just remember to hold shift when starting ZeoNews if you want to access database repairing utilities. And to wait a while after it quits to make sure it quits properly (after a little box shows up with a progress bar similar to loading).

NewsGrabber [Severin]

For people with access to more than one news server, NewsGrabber, [shareware, currently $17 and it's worth it IMHO] from TronTech at www.news-grabber.com carries the Severin Seal Of Approval. While not as easy to use as Agent or News Express this thing is AMAZING in that it can piece together complete posts from parts gathered from any of the servers you tell it about. ex: a 15 part article, with M1Jax having 1, 4-6, and 14; M1Naples having 1-3, 11, 13-15; M1Pompano having 7; AirNews having 1-6, 8-10; and EasyNews having 8-15 is complete from NewsGrabber's point of view. @home users may find this particularly useful, since I understand that all of their news servers are available to all of their customers.

Xnews [Meep Meep, ox]

A excellent newsreader for binaries is Xnews, available at http://xnews.newsguy.com/ - It is currently freeware.

It works best as an on-line browser, which is fine for people who have constant-on connections (cable, dsl, etc).

Usage Notes [Meep Meep, Planet Destroyer]

It can be a little bit cryptic to use at first, but the manual is very clear. For downloading binaries, parts can be downloaded and held in an 'archive' while you are waiting for the rest of a post, and assembled afterwards (this really helps on @home servers, where early parts of a post usually expire before the last parts of a post).

A newer feature is the 'q-archive' which does not download parts but can let you queue up article parts across multiple servers and then download them. Very cool (and space efficient).

Segment Downloading with XNews; Select the broken files, Menu: Transfer - Binaries [when the download is complete you can goto] Menu: Folder - Binaries (here the broken parts 'll show up) -Make a ATTN: 'Posters nick', please fill missing segments (inside)- -(inside)=your missing segments in the body of the message - Segment(s) iS/are Posted.... Select the missing parts Menu: Transfer - Binaries [when the download is complete you can goto] Menu: Folder - Binaries (all parts are joined and can be selected as normal)

PAN (Pimp Ass Newsreader, Linux) [darkwire, xo]


This is the newsreader I use for all my NG sessions under Linux. It is very similar to XNews and Agent and seems to have taken the best features from both. It is currently a work in progress, and requires a fair amount of memory and resources to run. Since it is beta, it does segfault occasionally, or gets a hung thread. But otherwise, I use it as my *only* newsreader, so I rely on it solely for all my news needs. PAN does not support binary posting.

MT-News Watcher [xo, PeterCat]

Pretty slick for the occasional downloader. If you plan to get binaries on a regular basis, look into a program like NewsHunter, although when I tried it recently it performed rather sluggishly compared with MT-NewsWatcher - the downloads were so slow it could never keep up with the new posts on the newsgroup.

Usage Notes [PeterCat]

  • A tip for Macintosh users with MT-NewsWatcher: If you set the newsgroup to sort by Subject and also thread by Subject, with threads collapsed, MT-NewsWatcher will group all the articles for each part of a multi-part post on one line, and indicate in the Score (S) column in the newsgroup window whether all the articles for that part have arrived:
  • A blank means all the articles for that part are available;
  • a < (less-than) sign means some articles are missing;
  • a checkmark means you've read (downloaded) all articles in that part already;
  • a dash means you've somehow read (or marked read) some of the articles but not others, and some are still missing;
  • a dot means you've read (or marked read) some of the articles but not others, and all articles in the part are available, which usually happens to me when I've downloaded an incomplete part by mistake.
So it's easy to just select the lines with a blank Score indicating the complete parts, and hit command-B to start downloading in one go. (You can do this several times and have several downloads going at once, although of course all of them share your connection bandwidth.) Then check back in 12 hours or so to see if any of the remaining parts are complete yet, and download them.

nget (*nix) [xo 2001-07-26]

The author's brief description from the home page (http://www.azstarnet.com/~donut/programs/nget.html) reads:

nget is a command line nntp file grabber. It automatically pieces together multipart postings for easy retrieval, even substituting parts from multiple servers. Handles disconnects gracefully, resuming after the last part succesfully downloaded.

As a command-line client, it's not for GUI seekers or the faint of heart, but for those interested in automating the newsgrabbing process, it can be very powerful. The man page is very dense but thorough but those comfortable under Unix should be up and running with a little effort.


8. How do I post?

Posting Practices

AB(M)A thrives because of the contributions of the posters. Because of this, good posters are essential to the group and are therefore greatly appreciated. However, in order to tame the chaos that can occur, and to facilitate the use of the groups by as many people as possible, there are both rules and guidelines that should be observed whenever posting material to AB(M)A.

Some terms used in this section are defined as below:

  • Anime Groups - The primary usenet anime groups are alt.binaries.multimedia.anime (ABMA), alt.binaries.anime (ABA), alt.binaries.anime.vcd (ABAV), and alt.binaries.multimedia.anime.repost (ABMAR), although ABAV and ABMAR have their own rules and guidelines as well.
  • Archived - The process of breaking up and encapsulating a post in a file format that aids in self-repair when corrupted. (e.g. RAR or ACE)
  • Archive Set - The multiple files created when a fire is archived.
  • Episode - A single TV or OAV episode, or a single movie or movie part. Generally this is equivalent to a single multimedia file.
  • Fills - Individual archive parts that are needed to complete an archive set.
  • HIWIH Posts - HIWIH (Here is what I have) posts refer to posting an incomplete archive set with the intention that someone will post the missing parts.
  • Repack - A new archive set created for a previously posted episode.
  • Repost - Posting of an archive set for a previously posted episode, usually referring to the original archive set (not a repack) as previously posted to the groups.
  • Series - An entire season or more of episodes of a TV or OAV series.

To determine if and when an episode has been recently posted, consult the anime usenet logs at http://www.animeusenet.org/.

Binary vs. Text Posts

Usenet was designed for text broadcast and, therefore, does not natively support non-text data. Due to this, multiple encoding standards have evolved to allow binary information to be sent across usenet. Most of this process is handled transparently by news clients. However, the one significant distinction between them is that binary posts produce a file. A discussion of usenet encoding standards is available in the encoding section.

Rules vs. Guidelines

While usenet is necessarily an unruly "place", it is generally accepted that it is in the best interest of the majority that some limitations be imposed. Some news groups have nearly none, and tend to be an anarchic mess, which others take rules to an extreme and can be a very unpleasant place to participate.

The regulars in AB(M)A tend towards a middle course, where as few rules are made as possible, while still ensuring that procedures benefit the majority.

In the following section, there is a distinction between Rules and Guidelines:

  • Rules are limitations that must always be observed. Repeated breaking of the rules can lead to abuse notifications being sent to news server and ISP administrators. This is very rare and no AB(M)A regular wishes to do this.
  • Guidelines are put in place to show what should be done. Ignoring guidelines repeatedly is bad for the newsgroups, however, it is understood that is will sometimes be necessary to do so.

It is important to observe both the rules and the guidelines.

Binary Posts


  • A single poster must not post more than 400MB of material to the anime groups in a single day.
  • Posts must be properly archived, with only one episode per archive set.
  • Dragonball (all series) and Sailor Moon (all series) must not be posted to the primary anime groups but instead be posted to their topic-specific groups (alt.binaries.dragonball, alt.binaries.multimedia.sailor-moon) in accordance to the rules of those groups.
  • HIWIH posts (see above) are forbidden.
  • Reposts of episodes posted to the anime groups within six months must not be intentionally posted. This does not apply to posts of different encodes of the same episode. alt.binaries.multimedia.anime.repost (ABMAR) is to be used for reposts according to its own rules and guidelines.
  • Reposts of an entire series to the anime groups within twelve months must not be posted. This does not apply to posts of different encodes of the same series.
  • Post subjects:
    • Must include the proper filename of the file being posted and that information must be at the end of the subject.
    • Must include the language of the audio and subtitles (if any), preferably in abbreviated form.


  • A single poster should not post more than 250MB of material to the anime groups in a single day.
  • Posts should be properly archived in the RAR format with only one episode per archive set.
  • Archive sets should be accompanied by recovery files totalling more than 10% of the size of the archive set, preferably in the parchive (PAR) format and totalling more than 20% of the size of the archive set.
  • Posts should include either a PAR or a SFV file of the archive set, preferably both.
  • Posts should not be crossposted between groups without good reason.
  • Reposts of episodes posted to the anime groups within nine months should not be posted. This does not apply to posts of different encodes of the same episode. alt.binaries.multimedia.anime.repost (ABMAR) is to be used for reposts according to its own rules and guidelines.
  • Post subjects:
    • Should be made as concise as possible while still including information needed by the http://www.animeusenet.org/ maintainers.
    • Should include abbreviated information tying the multimedia file to the person or group that encoded it, preferably as part of the file name.
    • Should include abbreviated information about the format/codecs necessary for viewing the encode.
    • Should NOT include the poster's name or nick, as it is already shown in the post Author header.
    • Should NOT list requests that the poster has.
    • Should NOT repeat information more than once.
    • Should, if the post is being broken up across multiple days, include both the current day of the post and the expected total number of days.
  • Posts should include information about the posters intentions, schedule, repost plans, fill posting plans and proper fill request formats or lack of such services, in the supplemental information.
  • Posts of unreencoded DVDs should be posted to DVD-specific groups such as alt.binaries.dvd and alt.binaries.dvdr with a notification posted to the anime groups.

Recommended binary post subject line:

This is an example of a complex subject line that remains short and contains all necessary and recommended information. Most posts will not require some of this information.


R2-10 (jpn,e-hsub,divx5,ogm) day1of2 [01/26] Ranma_TV_s2_ep10_[FG].part01.rar


R2-10 (jpn,eng-hardsub,divx5,ogm) day1of2 [01/26] yEnc "Ranma_TV_s2_ep10_[FG].part01.rar"


  • R2-10 - Abbreviation of the episode name, (season) & number. This keeps the post grouped together when sorted by subject in a news client.
  • (jpn,eng-hardsub,divx5,ogm) - Concise abbreviated listing of language, subtitle and encoding information.
  • day1of2 - Shows current day and planned completion day of episode post
  • [01/26] - Current file number which is calculated by the posting program. This should not be manually entered.
  • yEnc and "filename" - Necessary to fit yEnc spec. Only necessary for yEnc encoded posts.
  • Ranma_TV_s2_ep10 - (Part of actual filename) Episode name, type, (season) and number.
  • [FG] - (Part of actual filename) Encoder information, usually the acronym of the encoding group's name.
  • Ranma_TV_s2_ep10_[FG].part01.rar - Actual full filename

There is a alternate posting practice that is also acceped. Some posters prefer to put the extended episode title in the subject and abbreviate the posted filename. This is advantageous because the shortened filenames are often more compatible with some operating systems and news clients. The disadvantage of this is it makes it more difficult for those who provide fills weeks or months after the original post, whether on the groups or off, to be fully aware of what all episodes actually are. No concensus has been made as to the proper way to do this so it is up to the poster to decide which course of action is preferable. An example of this would be:

Ranma TV S2 ep10 [FG] (jpn,eng-hsub,divx5,ogm) [01/26] RTV2-10.part01.rar

When observing this practice, it is best to maintain the full episode title for the episode file inside the archive set. This makes it possible for those needing to know what the content is of an archive set without having to deduce the meaning of the abbreviation.

Additional justification for descriptive subjects - Anime Usenet Logging

Besides the advantages to those downloading a post, there is an additional critical reason to include the information discussed above. The Anime Usenet Logging Team maintain a database of all episodes that are posted to AB(M)A. Due to time constraints, however, they must limit themselves to reading the subject for logging purposes. Therefore it is important to include the information that they need to log in the subject of the post. Anything that posters can do to help these generous folks is appreciated by all.

Recommended abbreviations

  • Language (for Audio and/or Subtitle)
    • j, jpn, jap - Japanese
    • e, en, eng - English
    • c, chn - Chinese
    • k, kor - Korean
    • f, fr - French
    • i, it - Italian
    • ger - German
  • Subtitling
    • sub - subtitled (usually hard subtitled); when listed by itself this represents Japanese audio with English subtitles
    • hsub, hardsub - hard subtitled
    • ssub, softsub - soft subtitled
    • vobsub, vsub- contains vobsub soft subtitle files
    • dub - dubbed, when listed by itself this represents English dubbed audio
  • Encoding
    • divx, divx3, divx311, divx4, divx5 - DivX codec (and version when possible)
    • xvid - XviD codec
    • mpg4, mp41, mp42, mp43 - Old MS MPEG-4 codec (mp43 represents mpeg4v3)
    • mpg - MPEG-1 or MPEG-2
    • mpg1, mpeg1 - MPEG-1 format
    • vcd - VCD compliant MPEG-1 format
    • dat - VCD compliant MPEG-1 DAT file (see VCD section)
    • mpg2, mpeg2 - MPEG-2 format
    • svcd - SVCD compliant MPEG-2 format
    • avi - AVI file format
    • ogm - Ogg Media (OGM) file format
    • rm - RealMedia RM format
    • ram - Old RealMedia RAM format
    • qt - QT Quicktime format
    • mv - MV Quicktime Format
  • Episode Types
    • TV - TV episode, usually numbered by occurrence in a season and the season listed in the title as well if beyond the first season.
    • OAV, OVA - (Original Animated Video/Original Video Animation) Episodes that are originally released neither in the theater nor on TV but go directly to media sales.
    • Movie - Movies
    • OP - Episode opening
    • ED - Episode closing
    • OPNC - Episode opening without credits
    • EDNC - Episode closing without credits
    • MV - Music Video


Supplemental Information

Any of the following information can be included as supplemental post information:

  • Detailed encoding information and/or information about those individuals or groups that prepared the episode
  • Detailed language/subtitle information
  • Special instructions regarding playing the episode
  • Posting and reposting schedules
  • Fills Policy - instructions on how to properly contact the poster for fill requests

This information, when included, should take the form of either a 00/part or a text file, preferably both. A 00/part is an unencoded text post prepared by some binary posters that preceeds the binary post. A supplementary text file is simply a text file containing the information which is posted as a binary along with the remainder of the post.

00/parts have the advantage that they are readable directly from a news client without decoding and opening a file.

Text files have the advantage that they can be archived by downloaders for future reference. These files should be given a unique name specific to either the individual episode or the set of episodes in a single series. They should not be given generic names, such as "readme.txt", since multiple posters practicing this will cause conflicts for those consciencious enough to archive these files for later use.

Because each of these two methods have distinct advantages, it is best to utilize both.

Text Posts

Fills Requests

Always, before requesting fills, determine if the poster has:

  • included parchive files or recovery volumes. If either of these are available, and the post was successful, fills should not be necessary.
  • announced repost plans. If a full repost is going to be made, fills should not be requested until after the repost, unless otherwise indicated by the poster.
  • specific fills request instructions. Many posters will only post fills if the request is made a certain way. These instructions are usually indicated in the supplemental information.

Not all posters provide fills for their posts. In these cases, one can make a general request for fills with the hope that someone else on the newsgroups will post them. It is also common in these cases that two individuals who have fills that will help the other "exchange" them by both posting them to the groups.


  • A request must contain only requests for parts within a single archive set.
  • A request should list all parts needed in the same post.
  • Only one request should be made within a 48-hour period.
  • Do not use multiple names/nicks to post the same request in an attempt to circumvent the previous rule.
  • A request must be a text post. Do not post a binary text file as part of a request.


  • Special notes and instructions should be placed inside the body of the request
  • Short notes such as "Thank you" or "See inside" should be put at the end of the subject

If specific fills request instructions are not provided by the poster, a generic fills request can take a form similar to this:

	ATTN: PosterNick REQ: Ranma_TV_s2_ep10_[FG].part01,03,05.rar

Repost Requests

Any request for any episode has has been posted to AB(M)A within the last nine months is consided as repost request.

If requesting a repost of an entire episode, it should also be requested that the post go to alt.binaries.multimedia.anime.repost (ABMAR) as that is the designated newsgroup for reposts.

Episode Requests

Episode requests can be broken up into several groups:

  • Newly available episodes, that have only recently been released to TV or other medium. It is usually unnecessary to make such requests. Most new episodes will be posted independent of requests at some point and these requests generally go unread.
  • Recently posted episodes. Any episode that has been posted in the last 9 months is considered recent and is therefore considered a repost request and should be posted to alt.binaries.multimedia.anime.repost (ABMAR).
  • Old or unposted episodes. Any episode that has not been posted in the last 9 months is acceptable for posting in AB(M)A.

Always check the Anime Usenet Database at http://www.animeusenet.org/ to determine when an episode was last posted.

A generic episode request can take a form similar to this:

	REQ: Ranma TV Season 2 Episode 10 [FG]


	REQ: Ranma TV Season 2 ep 10 (jpn-lang, eng-sub)

Furthermore, there is a request forum at http://abma.x-maru.org/bb/viewforum.php?f=2 that may be more successful for episode requests than posting to the newsgroups.

Series Requests

Series requests refer to requests for an entire season or more of a TV or OAV series. Because of the general scope of these requests, they often go ignored.

Series requests for a series that has been posted in the last 12 months is inappropriate.


When something that is on topic for the anime groups is posted elsewhere, it is always appreciated for a notification post be posted to the anime groups. The notification message should be placed in the subject. A body is not usually necessary.

A generic post notification can take a form similar to this:

	NOTICE: RanmaTV DVD2 posted to alt.binaries.dvdr

Other Text Posts

AB(M)A is more than just a pair of binary newsgroups, it is also a community with many contributors that care about them. Discussions posts have always been accepted in AB(M)A.

How NOT to make a request. [SWong, user, ed.]

or, doing any of these things will get you deliberately ignored or kill filed

  1. ALL CAPS - It looks like you're yelling.
  2. ########LOTS OF PUNCTUATION#########
  3. Nym-shifting: changing your pseudonym to pretend to be different people requesting the same thing.
  4. Most annoying of all, vertical spam:
            ############PLZ POST KAWAII GIRLS TIA!!!!!###########
            ############PLZ POST KAWAII GIRLS TIA!!!!!###########
            ############PLZ POST KAWAII GIRLS TIA!!!!!###########
            ############PLZ POST KAWAII GIRLS TIA!!!!!###########
            ############PLZ POST KAWAII GIRLS TIA!!!!!###########
    Some newbies post a request multiple times with some attention getting letterings, thinking that'll get somebody's attention and will respond to it. Well it gets attention all right. It gets deliberately ignored, or maybe even kill filed.
  5. Pestering the wrong person for repost. 2 words: bloody annoying, chances are the person you pester will not post your request even if s/he has what you want. It doesn't take very much effort to keep track of who posted what.
  6. HIWIH (Here Is What I Have) posts. HIWIH posts constitute posting only those files that one is able to obtain with a request for the remainder.

9. What software is good for posting binaries?

Posting Software

Power-Post 2000 (Windows;UUEncode) [Onakra, Zen, Keikai, ed.]

Power-Post 2000 is available for free from http://www.cosmicwolf.com/.

This is the recommended posting software for all uuencoded AB(M)A binaries posting. While some other applications are just as capable, Power-Post is the easiest to configure to post in the format required in AB(M)A. Additionally, it is freeware.

More to be added (and replaced) later

Do not use Power-post 2000 Build 25b yEnc version, it is broken.

Newspost (Linux/*NIX;UUEncode) [xo, ed.]

Newspost is a command-line posting utility for *nix systems. It is available from http://newsposts.unixcab.org The author writes of newspost:

"Newspost is a full-featured USEnet binary autoposter. It is meant as an all-in-one posting solution. In addition to posting files, it can post text prefixes, and generate and post .SFV files and .PAR volumes."

A typical command looks like this:

newspost -y -a file.par -c file.sfv -i newshost.myISP.com -n alt.binaries.multimedia.anime -s "My Subject" *.rar

The above would post all files ending in rar in the current directory in yEnc
(-y) and generating PAR (-a) and SFV (-c) files to abma on newshost with the subject line "My Subject" (it automatically appends the filename and segment counters at the end).

Please see the newspost site for a full list of command-line options. Graphical front-ends for newspost also exist - check freshmeat.net for details.

Agentpost (Windows;UUEncode)

More to be added later.

yEncPost 2002 (Windows;yEnc/UUEncode)

This is the recommended posting software for all yEnc AB(M)A binaries posting.

More to be added later.

yEnc Power-Post (Windows;yEnc)

More to be added later.

Other Posting Software

More to be added later.


10. What about hentai & pornography?

10. Hentai Material [Original Contributors, Keikai, Onakra]

Hentai material should not be posted to either ABMA or ABA. Hentai material is generally considered to be that which contains depictions of sex, whether censored or not. When borderline, or if the poster is unsure about whether the material in a potential post is hentai or not, an "Intent to Post" message should be posted to the group asking if the material is acceptable. A prompt reply from those who are familiar with the material and this subject should be forthcoming.

The proper group for posting hentai anime is alt.binaries.multimedia.erotica.anime (ABMEA). The ABMEA FAQ is maintained by Squared Root and is available at http://squaredroot.virtualave.net/.

Further explanation of this policy:

The charter of ABMA specifically states:

Things that should not be posted in alt.binaries.multimedia.anime:
  • pictures: they belong in alt.binaries.pictures.anime
  • sounds/music: they belong in alt.binaries.sounds.anime
  • general anime discussion: belongs in the rec.arts.anime* newsgroups
  • hentai/erotica material
  • non-anime material

That means no hentai material in ABMA folks!

Orignally, ABA was an unchartered or rogue, newsgroup. However, even then, most regular posters felt rather strongly that hentai should be kept off of it as well. This is not because of any self-righteous puritanical reason. It is because of the fact that quite a few ISP's newsservers will not carry erotica/porn newsgroups. If some parents find their kids downloading porn from a non-porn newsgroup and complain to their ISP, most likely the ISP will simply stop carrying that newsgroup. This will ruin things for other people on the same ISP who also follow the newsgroup. So please be considerate.

Another very important reason for excluding hentai is that, in newsgroup naming convention, newsgroups with sex-related material are designated with "erotica" or "sex". Since neither of these words are in "alt.binaries.anime", newsservers and ISPs will treat it as non-sex newsgroup by default. If the more strict service providers discover the existance of porn in ABA they will no doubt stop carrying the newsgroup. Just see the disappearance of misspelled/disguised warez newsgroups from the @home servers for a potential fate of ABA, or ask your news service providers what usually happens to "stealth" erotica groups.

If ABMEA is not available on your server, alt.binaries.pictures.erotic.anime (ABPEA2) has been an acceptable substitute. Note there is no 'a' at the end of "erotic". Hentai anime is not appropriate in alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.anime (ABPEA) which is home to hentai manga and pictures. ABPEA2 was a misnamed group and became, for a while, a convenient spot to post hentai anime, something which did not have an official home until ABMEA was chartered by Jiss with the support of several of the ABPEA2 regulars..

11. What is this media format? How do I play it?

Preface [xo - 2001-07-27]

There is seemingly no end to the type of file formats posted, and each requires at least an understanding of which player can handle the format.

It's also good to understand the limitations formats can impose. Some are "dead end" formats in that there exist no way to convert from it to another. Some are proprietary in that they only work on one platform, so users of other OS's are unable to enjoy files of that format. Some have low CPU requirements, while others will stutter badly without current hardware. And so on.

Most of the information provided is oriented to the Windows platform, with some non-Windows notes intermixed. A Linux-specific FAQ-within-a-FAQ is provided by darkwire.

11a. Multimedia Wrapper Formats (AVI & OGM)

Multimedia Wrapper Formats (AVI & OGM) [Keikai]

While the .AVI extension has often been associated with the MPEG4 codec, they are actually not the same thing. In fact, AVI files can contain codecs other than MPEG4 and there are MPEG4 codec encodes that are not ,AVI files.

.AVI files, amongst others, are wrapper formats that explain the multimedia content. They explain to the operating system what it will need to play the files. Also, they allow for synchronization between the video, audio, and other encoded information within a multimedia file, including subtitles. Modern implementations allow for multiple audio and subtitle tracks.

Nearly all multimedia files actually contain a wrapper as well and the encoded streams, however, some are not codec specific. Examples of codec specific wrapper files are .WMV, .ASF, .RM, and .QT. These are all discussed in their associated codec section of this FAQ.

.AVI (Audio-Video Interleave) Files [Keikai]

.AVI files are by far the most common multimedia file to be found in AB(M)A. And while they are generally associated with DivX files, they can actually contain streams encoded by any number of codecs. The codec(s) needed by the contained video and audio streams must already be installed to play any .AVI file. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of what codecs an .AVI file needs. This information will often be provided by the poster of the file. If not, this FAQ lists other methods to determining the codec.

See the subtitle section for more information on displaying subtitles with AVI files.

. OGM (Ogg Media) Files [Orqyman, Keikai, xo, ed.]

Ogg Media (.OGM) files are a far more recent wrapper format than .AVI. Usually, they contain either DivX or XviD encoded video streams. .OGM files are becoming popular as they are far more adept at supporing multiple audio and subtitle streams than .AVI. As with .AVI files,you must have the codecs needed by the contained streams to play these files. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of what codecs an .OGM file needs. This information will often be provided by the poster of the file. If not, this FAQ lists other methods to determining the codec.

Assuming the necessary video and audio codecs of the OGM file are known, and are already installed, it is also necessary to install the Ogg Vorbis Directshow filters available at http://tobias.everwicked.com/. Any DirectShow-compatible media play should then be able to play Ogg Media files. DirectX 8.0 or higher is necessary, as well.

When subtitles are encoded into the Ogg Media file, either DVobSub or SubTitDS is necessary to display them. The SubTitDS method will not work, however, for Windows 9x/ME users, and, therefore, DVobSub will be necessary.

See the subtitle section for more information on these DirectShow filters.

Some of the advantages of Ogg Media files over AVI files are:

  • Less overhead for muxing of streams than AVI
  • Multiple audio streams (nandub AVIs support a maximum of 2 audio streams)
  • Embedded Subtitles
  • Chaptering
  • Faster Keyframe Seeks
  • Ogg Vorbis may be used for audio, which many proclaim to be better than mp3 in many respects

Determining the codec inside a Wrapper File

To be added later

11b. MPEG4 (DivX, XviD, ASF, WMV)

MPEG4 Codec [Keikai, Netgear, ed.]

MPEG4 is the basis for many of the most popular codecs, including:

  • DivX
  • XviD
  • MPEG4v1, v2, v3
  • ASF
  • WMV

While originally popularized on Windows. Many of these codecs are now available on other operating systems.

Because of the significant quality/filesize ratio of properly encoded MPEG4 files, it has become the primary codec class used in AB(M)A.

Due to the many different MPEG4 codecs, however, it is often necessary to perform many codec installations in order to support them all.

MPEG4v1, v2, v3 [darkwire, Keikai, ed.]

These three codecs were the first MPEG4 codecs used. Because better codecs that are also freely available are now present, these codecs should no longer be used for new encodes. It is, however, still necessary to install some or all of these codecs depending on your operating system to support older encodes.

The official Microsoft links are as follows:

The best site for practical information and codec downloads for MPEG4 is http://www.undercut.org/msmpeg4/.

DivX [Keikai, darkwire, ed.]

The official DivX site is http://www.divx.com/.

DivX was originally a hack of the Microsoft MPEG4v3 codec, but has since become a completely separate codec. It is available in both free and purchased versions.

DivX is the most common codec used in the groups, although you will find several versions of the DivX codec that are all used.

The most common versions are 3.11, 4.0n, and 5.0. Officially, installing the most recent version of the codec will allow playing older versions, however, there have been complaints of lowered quality and compatibility when playing files created with the older codecs. Version 3.11 can be installed separately of later versions without much hassle. Getting versions 4 and 5 to coexist on a single computer is very difficult.

XviD [Keikai]

The official XviD site is http://www.xvid.org/.

When DivX became a commercial enterprise, an open-source project was created entitled Project Mayo. One of the offshoots of Project Mayo is XviD. XviD is an open-source implementation of the DivX codec. The codecs are now, more or less, independent of one another.

XviD is generally popular because of it's open source status. It is generally considered slightly inferior in terms of quality to modern DivX, but it is still popular.

To play (decode) XviD files, you will either need to compile your own codec files or download and install precompiled binaries. The two most popular binary distribusions for Windows OSes are:

.ASF Files [The Man, Keikai, ed.]

.ASF Files are the original Microsoft attept at media-rights control. The codec used in these files is exactly (or nearly so) the same as the MPEG4v3 codec. Windows Media players are able to play .ASF files. It is also believed that the Linux avifile library is able to play .ASF files.

Because of the proprietary nature of .ASF files, creating new encodes in this format is strongly discouraged.

.WMV Files [Keikai]

.WMV files are Microsofts second, and much more successful, attempt at media-rights management. While the Windows Media codecs are still based upon MPEG4, converting from .WMV files is nearly impossible. Windows Media Player is necessary to play .WMV files.

Because of the proprietary nature of .WMV files, creating new encodes in this format is strongly discouraged.

11c. MPEG (MPEG1, MPEG2 & (X,S)VCD)

MPEG (including MPEG1, MPEG2, VCD & SVCD) [Keikai]

MPEG stands for Motion Picture Experts Group. MPEG is a committee charged with developing multimedia compression technologies. They have spawned many multimedia compression formats over the years. All currently popular formats used in AB(M)A are MPEG-derived.

To quote the official MPEG web page at http://mpeg.telecomitalialab.com/, "MPEG is a committee of ISO/IEC that is open to experts duly accredited by an appropriate National Standards Body. On average a meeting is attended by more than 300 experts representing more than 200 companies spanning all industry domains with a stake in digital audio, video and multimedia. On average more than 20 countries are represented at a meeting."

Because various forms of MPEG all used the .MPG/.MPEG extensions, one must detect the actual format by deducing the format from the information provided by a media player or through utilities designed for this purpose. Technically, .MPG files are similar to .AVI files in that they are also a wrapper format for the streams included within them.

MPEG-4 is discussed in its own section.

What are MPEG-1 (.MPG, .MPEG, .M1V) files? [Keikai]

MPEG1 is the most widely accepted and compatible multimedia format. Due to its age, however, it no longer provides a very efficient quality/filesize ratio. In other words, very large filesizes are necessary to create MPEG1 video of high quality. However, due to its ubiquity, it is still a popular format, particularly when encoded using the VCD specifications.

.M1V files are video-only MPEG-1 streams. They are not posted in AB(M)A.

MPEG-1 files should be posted to AB(M)A's sister group alt.binaries.anime.vcd (ABAV).

What are VCD (.MPG, .DAT) files? [Keikai]

VideoCDs (VCDs) were the first standardized format for multimedia video on optical disc. While never popularized in Western cultures, VCDs were very popular in Asia and other parts ot the world. This format allows up to 74 or 80 minutes of MPEG-1 encoded video with a single audio stream to be burned to a compact disc (CD). While VCD players exist, it is more common to play VCDs on compatible DVD players. The best site for information on VCDs is http://www.vcdhelp.com/.

Without going into detail, the multimedia streams on a VCD are encoded at a specific constand bitrate in MPEG-1. Furthermore, depending on the region, the resolution is one of two sizes, one for NTSC and one for PAL. Generally, the NTSC VCD format is what is found in AB(M)A.

These MPEG files, however, are slightly modified when burned as a VCD, and to represent this the extension is changed. The MPEG file on a VCD has the extension .DAT. Most media players can play .DAT files "as is" or may require that the extension be renamed to .MPG.

These .DAT files can be properly converted to normal MPEG-1 files without reencoding using one of several utilities:

While there is very little difference between .DAT files and .MPG files, it is the responsibility of posters to inform the newsgroup when posting which of these two formats they are using. The easiest way to do this is simply to leave the extension intact. It is assumed that a .MPG file is a proper MPEG-1 file and a .DAT file is a VCD modified MPEG-1 file.

A VCD .DAT file should not simply be renamed to .MPG before posting without notifying the newsgroup that this has been done.

VCDs should be posted to AB(M)A's sister group alt.binaries.anime.vcd (ABAV).

What are MPEG-2 (.MPG, .MPEG, .M2V) files? [Keikai, Ryan]

MPEG-2 is another extremely popular format worldwide. It is a significant improvement over MPEG-1, primarily because it is variable bitrate and allows for multiple audio streams, however, it has two significant drawbacks. First, like MPEG-1, the quality/bitrate ratio is not very good. MPEG-2 files are usually quite massive, but they do allow for very high quality video as can be evidenced by DVDs.

Secondly, decoding MPEG-2 requires a license. Because of this and because this is the format used in DVDs, media players that support MPEG-2 are generally not available for free.

The following media players support MPEG-2:

Because these players (as well as MPEG-2 encoding programs) often install a MPEG-2 codec on a system, it is then often possible to play MPEG-2 files using normal media players with some or all of the capabilities of that program. Often, however, there will be quality and/or seeking problems when doing this.

.M2V files are video-only MPEG-2 streams. They are not posted in AB(M)A.

MPEG-2 files should be posted to AB(M)A's sister group alt.binaries.anime.vcd (ABAV).

What are SVCD (.MPG) files? [Keikai]

Super VideoCDs (SVCDs) are an extension of the VCD format to allow for MPEG-2 and all of its advantages. They, however, are still burned to CDs and therefore, because the media files are larger, fit even less duration to each CD. Therefore you have a maximum potential of 74 or 80 minutes of multimedia on a SVCD, but it will typically be between 50-60 minutes.

Like VCDs, the MPEG data on SVCDs has specific restrictions that it must follow, resolution in particular. The best site for information on SVCDs is http://www.vcdhelp.com/. SVCDs find slightly less support by standalone DVD players.

Most MPEG-2 files posted to the anime usenet groups meet the SVCD restrictions and therefore can be burned as SVCDs using the proper burning software.

SVCDs should be posted to AB(M)A's sister group alt.binaries.anime.vcd (ABAV).

What are XVCDs, XSVCDs, CVDs, and miniDVDs? [Keikai]

These uncommon MPEG formats are best described at http://www.vcdhelp.com/. They are not generally posted to the anime usenet groups but, if they were to be, should be posted to AB(M)A's sister group alt.binaries.anime.vcd (ABAV).

What are image (.BIN, etc.) files? [Keikai, Gorunova, ed.]

Image files are not a multimedia compression standard, but are instead a file containing the exact or near-exact data from a CD or DVD. Because (S)VCDs and DVDs contain other data besides simple the multimedia files, posting simply the MPEG file will leave out some other experiences, such as menus and "extras". Because of this, occasionally images of the original CD is posted to usenet. This is not common nor especially recommended because many AB(M)A denizens are not equiped to easily deal with these. In cases when it is appropriate, however, VCD and SVCD images should be posted to AB(M)A's sister group alt.binaries.anime.vcd (ABAV).

DVD Images must NEVER be posted to AB(M)A, ABAV, or ABMAR. DVDs or their contained MPEG-2 files must be reencoded to a more efficient and bandwidth friendly format before posting.

Generally, image files are burned directly to CDs through the use of a burning program such as CDRWin or Nero.

It is possible to extract files out of an image file with CDMage, ISOBuster, or VCDGear (http://www.vcdgear.net).

Macintosh-Specific Information [Gorunova, xo, Yugo Nada, ed.]

Macs may need the MPG Quicktime extension to play MPEG files.

While it is less of a problem with more recent versions of MacOS, .DAT files may not play properly. If so, use VCDGear (http://www.vcdgear.net) to convert the .DAT into a proper .MPG. .DAT incompatibility seems to have to do with the video hardware on the system.

Linux/*NIX-Specific Information [Original, TheMan, ed.]

For Linux, check http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/research/mpeg/mpeg_encode.html for Berkeley MPEG Tools. Encodes and Plays. Many other utlities out there. Check freshmeat.net. [TheMan]

Also, see mpegTV - http://www.mpegtv.com/download.html

Unfortunately it requires a $10 for the "full-featured" version, although a free version is available. The free version includes a time-limited demo of the "full-featured" version (mtv), *AND* includes a unlimited command line version (mtvp). It can play in regular size, zoomed, and FULL screen. It even plays the Tylor movie mpeg that many where unable to play, and VCD (/dev/cdrom, or set by environment variable). Biggest difference in the 2 versions is the availability of a GUI interface to the registered version, fine tuning video, tracking, and fine tuning audio.


Note: the information below mostly applies to MPEG-1; see the section on MPEG-2/SVCD for details on that format. See also the section on the MPEG-1 related VideoCD (VCD)/dat/bin formats.

Questions about mpgs [TheMan]

Q. I don't like having all these MPEG parts of a movie. I hate having to watch 10 mins of video then having to open another file! Can I make a 1 big MPEG?

A. First off, you don't have to join together a huge MPEG in order to play back a movie continously without human intervention. You can get a nice software player (haven't looked, haven't bothered), or get a DVD player software such as PowerDVD or WinDVD to do it. Both of those softwares support playlist playback. So you can queue up all those MPEGs and then just play them back. I have found WinDVD's playlist playback to be better though, with less noticable interruption during file changes.

Some very smart people out there have figured that they can "join" together those many MPEGs into one by using the DOS command "copy /b mpeg1.mpg + mpeg2.mpg bigmpeg.mpg". This goes the same with trying to use WinZip to zip up all the MPEGs in store mode. What is the problem with this? It will seriously screw up the MPEG playback hardware or software because the I/P/B frames are no longer in order. Whats worse is, if you use WinZip to join them, you will have a PK header at the begining of the file. Very smart indeed. I KNOW Media Player can play them back fine, but thats because Media Player is very forgiving. Many other players and editors out there do not. Try sticking the "MPEG" into VirtualDub and you can hope it can crash.

If you really want to join together the MPEGs into one, use a utility to do it properly. One that I know of is MPEGJoin, and that can be found at http://extra.newsguy.com/~theprof/Readme.html. Please ensure that when joining the MPEGs that they are the same in spec (bitrate, interleaving, etc). If you join together a MPEG of different specs, some weird stuff can happen. This utility will join together the MPEG by properly interleaving the frames so that it will be compliant to the IEC/ISO spec (whatever number that is) and thus players and utilties will be able to handle the resulting file with little or problem.

Q. How come I can't play the MPEG I copied off of a VCD? <insert player here> other than Windows Media Player won't open it!

A. If you copied the DAT file straight off of a VCD, and renamed it to .mpg, then that is why you are getting those error messages. Basically, what happens when you burn an MPEG as a VCD is the authoring software (EZCD, Nero) inserts/pads some extra info to the original MPEG on the fly during the burn. The resulting DAT file on the VCD will have a 10-30% size increase (bloat if you think of it). But anyway, because of this extra padded info, it can confuse a crappy MPEG editor or player.

The best practice is to actually "dat2mpg" convert it so that you can revert the DAT back to an original MPEG form. You should *always* do this if you have downloaded something off the net (here on ABA or ABMA, or some site) if the person claims it was from a VCD. Do a dat2mpg no matter what so that you can check to be sure it is really an MPEG before you actually do something with that file, such as burning your own VCD. This util, VCDGear can be found from http://www.vcdgear.org. VCDGear 2.0, which was recently released has a GUI interface. While for some of you people who may prefer a command line interface, can use VCDGear 1.5, which was released not long ago also.


For Linux, check http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/research/mpeg/mpeg_encode.html for Berkeley MPEG Tools. Encodes and Plays. Many other utlities out there. Check freshmeat.net. [TheMan]

Also, see mpegTV - http://www.mpegtv.com/download.html

Unfortunately it requires a $10 for the "full-featured" version, although a free version is available. The free version includes a time-limited demo of the "full-featured" version (mtv), *AND* includes a unlimited command line version (mtvp). It can play in regular size, zoomed, and FULL screen. It even plays the Tylor movie mpeg that many where unable to play, and VCD (/dev/cdrom, or set by environment variable). Biggest difference in the 2 versions is the availability of a GUI interface to the registered version, fine tuning video, tracking, and fine tuning audio.

11d. RealMedia

RealMedia (.RM) Format [Keikai, Jonah]

The official RealMedia site is http://www.real.com. RealPlayer, the primary media player for RealMedia files, is available for free.

RealMedia provides excellent multimedia compression. It is especially good at low bitrate and low resolution encodes. Its advantages diminish with higher bitrates and resolutions, and therefore, this format has fallen into disfavor in AB(M)A.

The primary disadvantage to the RealMedia format, however, is that it is a "dead-end format". There is no direct method of converting RealMedia files into other formats.

Another significant disadvantage is that RealPlayer is required to be installed on systems in order to play this format. While RealPlayer in some form or another is available for most common operating systems, it is known to occasionally cause system-wide compatibility problems.

Because of the proprietary nature of RealMedia (.RM) files, creating new encodes in this format is strongly discouraged.

Information on Linux/*NIX-specific versions can be found at http://forms.real.com/real/player/unix/unix.html.

RealText section [Moomoo, ed.]

RealText is a simple way of subtitling RealMedia files. Instead of adding subtitles directly to the video, however, RealText subs are played in a separate panel at the same time as the video.

A posting of RealText subtitleded video would consist of 3 files:

  • Multimedia file (.rm extension)
  • RealText subtitles file (.rt extension)
  • Synchronization file (.smil extension)

To watch a RealText subbed anime, open the .smil file using RealPlayer instead of the .rm file

In order to write subtitles in the RealText format, there is a good explanation and a tutorial at http://www.lunaarts.com/realtext/index.html.


Of all the popular formats, .rm gives the best compression for the same length of video. There had been people who complained about lack of quality of this format in comparison with others, however, in the hands of a capable encoder with a good machine, .rm can be very good. Also, there are good reasons for using .rm:

  1. Not everyone has a high-speed connection, even cable is slow with the u/l caps on @home. That makes posting large files nearly impossible. Also people with slow connection will have a better chance of getting the smaller .rm files.
  2. Diskspace-- not everyone has a 20gb drive. I like to collect enough files of the same series before burning a CD. With incomplete posts, broken files that are the daily realities of Usenet, having a gazillion incomplete episodes on my harddrive would take out a lot of space.

Also, even if every posts are perfect, a considerable of blank cds will be needed. For instance, the Nadesico series has 26 episodes (standard length for most anime series), it fits on 2 cdrs when in .rm format. If it were in something like mpg it'd take maybe 8-9 cdr's. Now multiply that with the number of series that's been posted in the past, the number of series that's currently being posted... That's a lot more cdr's to buy. .Rm is a nice compromise between file size and quality.

11e. Audio

*** This section not written yet ***

11f. Linux Notes

This section (and all Linux-related information) is scheduled to be updated for the next revision.

Operating Specific File Format information - LINUX/*NIX [darkwire, ed.]

MPEG4v3 and most new AVI wrapped codes won't run under Linux, and neither will ASF.


Mpeg-1/Rm will play under Linux, requires (glibc2 / libc.so.6)

For playing ASF / AVI latest / or latest crap codec from MS

  • VMware http://www.vmware.com/download/download_linux_pre.html
    Virtual Machine x86, can install windows 9x, NT, 2k, whatever =) then install the same tools as if under a real windows sessions. This requires some change in perception, between real machine and virtualized machine

AVI/ASF/WMV/DivX ;-) and Mpeg

Initial infos, getting these libraries and players up and running will pretty much play I would say abt 95% of the files out there, including AVI's with SMI files (RTFM for that), there are always a few jackass'es that screw it up the encoding so bad it only plays on windows though, albeit quite rare. DAT files are also kind of tricky, esp if they arent burnt onto a CD unfortunately.

How-to get these working:

  1. Build/Compile the following 2 libraries IN ORDER, or use a prepackaged version.
    • ** If you are somewhat good at *nix, I would suggest *COMPILING* these libs yourself, since u can pass in configuration options for optimizations, and it'll build for your cpu as well =) *IF* you go with compiling then go with compiling each package, same holds if u go with prepackaged, go with prepackaged all the way, or else stuff gets stuffed all over the place.
    • libSDL, Simple DirectMedia Layer (analogous to having DirectX installed) http://www.libsdl.org
    • AviFile, the *essential* library, they also have a zip of the win32 dlls needed at this site http://divx.euro.ru/
    • SDL Mpeg player Library http://www.lokigames.com/development/smpeg.php3
    • note about using plaympeg with VCDs, use the location, vcd://dev/cdrom:2, instead of a filename.
  2. After compiling/installing these two, you will have a program called aviplay, which can be used to play avi/asf/wmv, with pretty much the same interface as windows, with the quality/color/etc adjustments too. While plaympeg is the cheesy commandline version of the mpeg player. YOU ARE DONE! =)
  3. In case you want to be more adventurous and have a slicker interface, get these 3 additional packages.

File Conversions and manipulations

Fixing and converting MPEGS in Linux

Grab vcdgear, its just like the windows version - http://www.vcdgear.com

Typical uses, the "-fix" swith is optional, depends on situation.

  • converting pesky dats to mpgs: vcdgear -fix -dat2mpg input.dat output.mpg
  • fixing mpegs that had bad frame timings and the such: vcdgear -fix -mpg2mpg input.mpg output.mpg

Converting to Divx

Use the tools from the avifile package (avi2divx & mpeg2divx). Both are lightening fast, compared to the Windows counterparts.

Linux mini-FAQ

Note: before asking, please run the program in a TERMINAL window, so you can at least see the HELPFUL information that is being displayed, at the very least it can give a HINT to the culprit!

How come when I load an ASF it takes forever to play or just freezes?

The ASF parsing code is Microsoft IP, therefore the linux version uses the ASF parsing code reverse engineered by Avery Lee of VirtualDub for Windows fame. His code will parse the ENTIRE file once before actual playback.

I compiled avi-xmms/smpeg-xmms, but when I run xmms to playback mpg/avi files it just opens the Open File dialog box again!

It is highly probable that there was a version of xmms installed on your system before, and when you compile these plugins, by default it will install to the /usr/local subtree, instead of the /usr subtree.

To find out where your xmms is, type

whereis xmms

If it says something like /usr/bin/xmms, and by default compilation stuff is put into /usr/local, which is a different PREFIX.

Then /usr/bin is your PREFIX, see the question about compilation for further details.

How come my AVI plays REALLY REALLY slow under avi-xmms?

Keep in mind that AVIs are still played through the original win32 dlls, therefore there is a small tranlation layer involed.

Secondly, the guys who write avi-xmms, did not implement the CPU Quality slider, therefore it will default either to 1 (lowest), or whatever was last selected when you played the file with the aviplay. So to reset this, run the file with aviplay and set your preference, and then re-run it in with xmms. This is lame IMHO, complain to the plugin writers =)

How come I did everything fine, but AVIs wont play?

Most likely, the binaries.zip from avifile website where not installed in the correct directory. By *default* they need to be unzipped into a directory /usr/lib/win32, this can be change if you so desire as well.

How come everything plays except VCDs?

Either its a bad VCD, or the permissions for the cdrom device where not set correctly. Type:

ls /dev/hd*

This example is assuming your cdrom is Primary Master.

brw-r--r-- 1 root disk 3, 0 Apr 27 1995 /dev/hda

If it doesnt say this:

su root
chmod o+r /dev/hda

Also if /dev/cdrom does not work, either link the /dev/hd? to /dev/cdrom, or if you are lazy just say /dev/hd? instead of /dev/cdrom, substituting the ? for the correct device letter, typically (a-d).

I dont know a thing about compiling, but I dont want to use rpms etc!

First, use the rpms =), it makes your life easier. If you are really insistant, here are the basic tips, please READ the INSTALL and README files for each package.

Basic Compilation Instructions assuming you made it in the subdirectory the package untar-zipped to.

./configure --prefix=/some/starting/directory
su root
make install
ldconfig -v

You can leave out the entire --prefix line if you want everything to get dumped into /usr/local, and this is where you can change it to --prefix=/usr if you want to install into /usr subdir

How come you just talk about stuff from a Linux point of view, when there are many other *nixes?

A majority if not all these packages, are capable of being cross-compiled over most popular unices, and they are even capable of being compiled under Windows.

12. My server is missing files! What can I do?

News Servers

Why are so many parts missing? Everything is incomplete! [Original Contributors, Keikai, Tekra, Spider-Man, ed.]

Most posts are done properly and propogate to news servers in their entirety. If a user is experiencing many missing parts, especially amongst posts from different posters, it is almost certainly the fault of their news server. ISP (Internet Service Provider) news servers are notoriously bad.

The best solution is to spend money to subscribe to a premium news server. See alt.binaries.news-server-comparison for more extensive information. A majority of regular AB(M)A users subscribe to at least one commercial news service outside of whatever is provided by their ISP.

Important terms to know in regards to the quality of a news server are:

  • Retention - This indicates how long usenet articles are held on the server before "expiring". Usually binary articles are retained for a much shorter duration than the much smaller text articles. It is typical for different newsgroups on the same news server to have different retentions.
  • Completeness - This indicates how many properly posted articles get dropped accidentally or never arrive. Even the best news server will sometimes not receive an article simply due to the nature of usenet. However, some news servers are very bad about losing or never receiving a significant percentage of articles.
  • Quota - Most commercial news servers (and many ISP news servers) assign a quota to account holders. This is the amount of data that can be downloaded from the news server over a specified period of time. (e.g. EasyNews' normal plan has a 6GB/month quota, which means between "anniversary dates" that are one month apart, only 6GB of data can be downloaded. Access to further downloading will be denied at that point.)
  • Throughput Cap - Some servers, instead of assigning a quota, assign a throughput cap. This constricts the amount of data that is sent as it is being sent. (e.g. Newscene had a plan that allowed two connections to the server each capped at 8kB/s allowing a potential for constantly downloading at 16kB/s.)

Popular commercial news servers include:

There are sometimes free, open news servers available around the internet. This is not a good solution, however. AB(M)A are very high volume newsgroups. Open news servers usually cannot handle the large volume for long. Chances are if you find an open news server it will either go down, or be closed not long afterwards. For more information on where to find open news servers, see alt.free.newsservers. The NewsPro (http://www.usenetopia.com/) news client has a utility built-in to locate open news servers. Recently, it has become nearly impossible to locate usable free news servers that carry binary groups.

http://freenews.maxbaud.net/ has a searchable system for finding free news servers. One caveat, however, is that the "Commercial News Servers" section on that site pushes "usenet-access.com", which has been found to be a poor news service by some users.

A Usenet newsgroups service and newsgroups search engine is available at http://www.spidernews.com.

Special section for @home peeps [Original contributors, Firecaster]

The following 3 servers are particularly reliable in terms of new posts and completeness.

  • news.rdc1.on.home.com
  • news.rdc1.sfba.home.com
  • news.rdc1.sdca.home.com

The following 2 servers have much longer retention time (5-6 days) than others:

  • news.rdc1.tx.home.com
  • news.kenner1.la.home.com

@home users are lucky in that they (unofficially) get access to ALL @home news servers. Access to servers other than your default one is throttled - you can only open about 5 connections to each one, and the data rate on each one is limited - but it's still a very useful way to look for missing parts. There is a list of @home servers that occasionally gets posted. Ask for it if you can't find it with a web search.

If you are willing to make the effort to check three or four high-retention servers, you will probably end up making about 4 or 5 times fewer fill/repost requests. It's polite to make a reasonable effort to find the files yourself before imposing on someone to repost them for you.

news.rdc1.sfba.home.com doesn't seem to exist anymore as a result of the @home bankruptcy. news.rdc1.sdca.home.com doesn't seem to allow connections from "outside" @home/ex-@home servers anymore.

13. Where was that software again?

This section collects the download information for the software mentioned in this FAQ. Note some of these URLs may be out of date. If nothing shows up, try a web search.


http://www.rarsoft.com (for Windows and some other OSes)
http://macrar.free.fr (for Macs)
Mac DAT->MPG convertor
Berkeley MPEG tools for Linux
AVI/DIVX convertor
V-dub filters


Agent & Free Agent

Posting programs


Video players

MpegTV viewer for Linux
DIVX/ASF player for Linux

Codecs etc

Mpeg4 support for Windows
Mpeg4 support for Mac
Hacked DivX codec
Smpeg codec for Linux

14. Appendices

Batch file for deleting trailing underscore: [inc]

Here's what the bat I have used for quite awhile. Note, it is pointing to the directory where Agent puts the anime parts I dl - change to suit yourself:


        cd \media\anime
        ren *.???_ *.???

If you want to go to different directories it would be easy enough to change the path to a parameter ( %1 ) that you could pass within the Shortcut, one for each directory you use.

The only bug is if you try to rename to an already existing name, the bat aborts entirely.

Also, the whole thing can be one statement if you prefer (and with the variable):

        ren  c:\media\anime\*.???_ *.???


        ren  %1\*.???_ *.???

called like:

        DEL_UNDL. c:\media\anime

Files rename under *nix [Astrogeek]

Most MS Windows users take for granted the GUI's ability to easily deal with any kind of file name. Basically, what you see on the screen doesn't really matter as long as you know what it is... click-click, done. However, when posting to any forum in which interaction with other operating systems is a possibility, the use of more standard filenames should be considered. For example:

[Anime Group] Kewl Anime.rar

Looks just like that on a UN*X directory listing, for example. But it must be referred to as follows from the shell:

user@puter:/animeDL$ \[Anime\ Group\]\ Kewl\ Anime.rar

Not pretty, and definitely not easy to type quickly in a shell without TAB completion. In addition, when attempting to uncompress these files, the following error results:

user@puter:/animeDL$ unrar e \[Anime\ Group\]\ Kewl\ Anime.rar UNRAR 2.50 freeware Copyright (c) 1993-99 Eugene Roshal No files to extract user@puter:/animeDL$ _

In my experience, filenames with brackets, braces, non-English characters, and funky stuff in general do not work with the command line unrar utility. Since RAR is the compression format used in alt.binaries.*.anime, and the command line unrar utility is the only native method for unarchiving these files under Linux/UN*X AFAIK...you get the idea. These files must be renamed to be used.

To summarize:

  • [K-Rad Gruppe] Killer Anime.rar = YUCK
  • K-Rad Gruppe Killer Anime.rar = *COUGH* (but it works)
  • KRG_KillerAnime.rar = better
  • krg_killeranime.rar = even better (if you're super nice :-))
  • krgkanim.rar = 8.3 format, the best compatability. Any OS that _requires_ this format probably cannot view your files anyway...this may be redundant.

Filenames _within_ the RAR files are another issue. I have not yet run into problems with any software besides unrar. However, if you want to be nice, it probably wouldn't kill anybody if you used a clean filename.

Windows and Linux/UN*X users CAN get along if we just try a little bit :-) (PLUG) Please use DivX ;-) and not patented MS codecs! (END_PLUG)

14a. About the Annotated FAQ

The annotated version of the ABMA/ABA faq was inspired by the PHP Manual.

Contributing notes

Use the form that appears at the bottom of each page to contribute tips, hints, clarification, or any other additional information pertaining to the topic of that page. By default, HTML tags are not allowed, with exceptions noted below the form.

  • The <br> tag creates a line break. Use it to start a new line.
  • The <p> tag creates a line space (ie, a double line break; a blank line in place of the <p> tag). Use it to start a new paragraph.
  • The <li> tag creates a indented, bulleted list item. Use it to highlight lists.
  • Use <b> and </b> around text you want to appear in boldface
  • Use <i> and </i> around text you want to appear in italics
  • Use <u> and </u> around text you want to appear underlined
  • Use <pre> and </pre> around text you want to appear as you enter it (monospace, retains native line breaks)
  • Use <code> and </code> around text you want to appear highlighted in monospace (such as commands to type, program output, etc)
  • URLs will be automatically linked if you enter them in the following formats (ie don't bother trying to format links yourself):
    • <http://www.example.com> for web addresses
    • <ftp://ftp.example.com> for ftp addresses
    The http:// and ftp:// parts are required, as are the opening < and closing > characters.

In addition to the annotated version, a "plain" version (the entire faq as a single HTML document), and a "text" version (the entire faq as a single TEXT document) are available from the main menu.

Periodically, the user-contributed annotations will be reviewed and if deemed of general importance or usefulness, incorporated into the main version of the FAQ itself. The contributing user will be credited, of course, so please make sure to include a proper name/nick.

To do / ideas

Section obsoleted because all but one task complete and the current system _might_ be better. We will see what the group response is.

Near term

  • Complete clean up and re-org
  • A link to the FAQ as a single text file (with and without notes?)
  • Give the site some design
  • User ranking of notes (democratic way of evolving the FAQ?)

Long term

  • Convert it all to xml/docbook

14b. Mirroring the FAQ

Mirroring The FAQ

The FAQ is available in various forms from this site (http://abma.x-maru.org/faq/annotated/). The primary (annotated) version is database-driven so is not amendable to mirroring at this time. However, two other versions are more mirror-friendly.

The Plain HTML Version

The plain HTML version is available at http://abma.x-maru.org/faq/plain/. This is a version of the FAQ formated as a single HTML document. It can be mirrored by simply downloading this URL, for example with the command wget -O abmafaq.html http://abma.x-maru.org/faq/plain/, or some equivalent method for your OS/toolset.

The Plain Text Version

For those who wish to mirror the FAQ as a plain text document, or would like such a version for transfer over non-HTML transports such as email or NNTP, the following URL can be used: http://abma.x-maru.org/faq/abmafaq.txt.

Announcing your mirror

If you would like to announce your mirror, submit a note on the preface page of the annotated faq at http://abma.x-maru.org/faq/annotated/.