Unofficial FAQ for

Written by:
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, and Linux stuff, etc), TheMan
(misc on file formats and codecs)

2000-06-07 revision

This is an ongoing work, constructive criticisms welcomed, volunteer
writers are very welcomed, someone who can do a better job than I is
even more welcomed. All flames goes to the /dev/null

Table of Content:

1. Introduction
2. What is alt.binaries.anime and alt.binaries.multimedia.anime?
3. What's with the .rar, .r00, etc files?
4. Help! I'm getting all these text string garbage!
5. About repost requests (Sod, some of these parts are incomplete!)
6. What's a good newsreader?
7. On posting...
8. What about hentai/porn?
9. What about subs/dubs?
10. On file formats and codecs
11. Help! My news-server bites! What can I do?
12. Misc

1. Introduction

Before asking any question or making requests, read this FAQ and any
messages from posters. Most of the regular posters are much more
friendly and helpful than I am so they are usually happy to help out,
but seeing the same questions over and over again is just annoying.

2. What is alt.binaries.anime and alt.binaries.multimedia.anime?

According to the charter of a.b.m.a.

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

While alt.binaries.anime is a "rogue" newsgroup, the same definition
can be applied to it. What is meant by rogue newsgroup is that whoever
created the ng didn't go through the proper channels in newsgroup
creation. Hence there is no charter or control message for it, and the
fact that quite a few newsservers refuse to carry it.

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

Rar files are compressed/split archives. Nearly everything in the
newsgroup are posted in this format. This is done to make successful
download much more likely and it makes reposts much easier. The files
in both a.b.a and a.b.m.a usually run from 50mb+, if these files are
posted in a single post and even one part doesn't make it to
somebody's server, then 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 need
to repost one small part to fill it.

To uncompress these archives, you need to download every single part.
Use a rar program to unrar these files.

Rar program can be found at: for all major
platforms, for macs.

Rar Recovery Method [Bogus Name]

Yet another good reason to use rar is the recovery record 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). All should be well.

Another site with good explanations on rar files is at

4. On uudecode/uuencode, and MIME. (Help! I'm getting all these text

string garbage!) [Akito, NetGear]

On a lesser 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. Newer newsreaders will automatically decode the
file into binary formats so you may never actually see the code. So if
you are having problems with the codes your best bet is probably get a
new newsreader.

Here's what this means "begin 644 filename.r10". Save this uuencoded
text as filename.r10 with permissions 644 (that's OCT for User read
and write, Group read, World read).

Each line in a UUEncoded file is usually 45bytes. This is why "M" is
used. It tells the decoder that this line is 45bytes long. "M" is 77
in ASCII and when you minus 32 from it you get 45. This is how each
line is calculated but because the binary file is read in 45byte
chunks you will always see "M" as the starting character except for
the last line just before the "`' and "end". The first charcter of
each UUencoded line is the control information.

The encoded form of the file is expanded by 37% for UUencoding and
by 35% for base64 encoding (3 bytes become 4 plus control

A more verbose explanation of uuencode:

Uuencode, also 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.

Originated from 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 (encode) 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

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;
> charset="big5"
>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;
> boundary="----=_NextPart_000_000C_01BF8499.08997280"
>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 (more info? you're on your own), 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 -

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


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 a.b.m.a. 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 =)

5. About repost requests (Sod, some of these parts are incomplete!)

Read the 00/## or readme posts to see what the poster has to say
before downloading. Some poster has a repost policy about when they'll
start taking repost requests. Not following those instruction will
usually resulted in your requests being ignored. It's amazing the
number of people who seemed incapable of reading something so simple.

And for chrissake don't make a request right after the posts are just
finished. I've seen this often and it's bloody annoying. Usenet is
somewhat quirky even at the best of times, and more often than not
some parts of the same post arrives before other parts, sometimes more
than a few hours apart. If some files arrived incomplete at your
newsserver at first, wait a few hours (12 hours is a good guideline)
before making a repost request. Usually the missing parts would arrive
in the mean time and make the request unnecessary. Unnecessary reposts
would merely suck up more bandwidth and disk space on the newsserver,
which will cause older articles to expire more quickly.

Quite a few people had been making requests but not really getting the
information through. Here is a guideline on standard repost request

Attn [poster]: Pls repost [series] ep ## .r##

or for multiple parts

Attn [poster]: Pls repost following parts of [series]

and put the episode number and parts in the message body.

The point is to make sure the poster knows exactly which part of which
episode of what series you want to be reposted.

And most importantly, don't forget to thank the poster. They are doing
this on their time and bandwidth for no compensation.

6. What's a good newsreader?

Outlook and Netscape are both exceedingly crummy in handling binaries,
definitely not recommended.

Agent/Free Agent

For windows, Agent ( is very good.

Agent Tricks and Tips [inc]

A couple of things to know about Agent

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 &

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

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.

Another site with good explanations of how to use Agent is at

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 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]

A excellent newsreader for binaries is Xnews, available at 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).

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).

Keygens/serials can be found at, use at
your own risk.

Linux Newsreader (darkwire)

PAN (Pimp Ass Newsreader)
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.

7. On posting...

New posts are always appreciated. However, both a.b.a. and a.b.m.a.
are very high volume newsgroups. Too much posts can push the older
articles off faster than people can download them. A 100-150mb limit
per day per poster seems to work well. It has been suggested that
200-250mb is ok as well since it will allow the posting of an entire
mpg. Hopefully this will keep the amount of data manageable. The point
is don't go nuts and post 6-700mb at once and expire earlier articles
prematurely. Newsservers don't have infinite diskspace afterall.

Also, it is highly recommended all posts be rar'd into parts. See
section on rar for explanation. There is no firm rule about how big
each part should be. If the parts are too small, it will make files
management more difficult, as there are more parts to take care of. If
the parts are too large, it will make download and upload (refills)
time much longer. I have seen parts as small as 4mb to as large as
20mb. Personally I lean toward the smaller size since missing parts
take less time to upload and download for the modem users.

There will always be people who want to get their hands on a popular
series. Some of these are requested frequently. It is probably a good
idea for a new poster to ask about what was posted recently to avoid
reposting something that was only posted merely days ago. There are
always newbies who just discovered Usenet and there will always be
people who just missed or catch the end of a posting cycle. However,
if we keep posting and reposting the same thing we'd never get to any
new stuff. For newbies who wants something they just missed, the only
thing I can recommend is be patient and wait a few months and see if
anyone is nice enough to repost the entire series.

Here is a guideline on header labels on posts:

[series] ep ## (format/sub or dub) file ## of ##

For large posts that takes several days, a "Day # of #" should be
included as well.

I also recommend a readme post of some sort (sometimes file 00/##)
describing the series, how many episodes are there in total, and a
repost request policy if you are so inclined.

Also, if the post is a repost, repack, or parts fills should be
indicated as well. The repack part is especially important. Every now
and then there are folks who help out the original poster of a series
by responding to repost requests so that the poster can move on to
other things. And sometimes this involves repacking the files. Stating
that the reposts are repacks is important so that the downloaders
would know that the repacked parts would not be compatible with the
previous posts.

It is highly recommended that auto-posting software be used for
posting since nearly all postings require multiple parts. Whatever
posting software that you decide to use, it is important to set the
line number per message to below 9000 lines. Anything higher would
very likely to result in the news-server rejecting your post.

Agentpost is a program that is used with the Agent newsreader software
and can be found here:

The Agentpost link no longer works as of last revision [2000-06-07].
If anyone knows where the new location maybe please email me
( In the meantime if you need a copy you can
just ask for it in the newsgroup and I'm sure someone will post a

[need help on other software on different platforms]

There is another thing about posting that affects @home users in
particular ever since the 200mb per day per user posting limit was
imposed. Current newsreader and newsposter will uuencode the files and
post it automatically. The process is transparent and is never seen by
the user. The problem is that uuencode process will increase the size
of the file by nearly 37% or so. Since the process is transparent
nowadays the poster don't know how much data they are actually
uploading. So when a poster tries to post a 140mb file, over 200mb of
data was actually uploaded. So @home posters hit the daily upload
limit sooner than they realize.

8. What about hentai/porn?

The charter for a.b.m.a. specificly stated:

Things that should not be posted in alt.binaries.multimedia.anime:
- pictures: they belong in
- 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 stuff on the a.b.m.a. folks!

Now, while a.b.a. is a rogue newsgroup and hence no charter, and
technically no rules on hentai stuff, I (and most regular posters, it
seems) feel rather strongly that hentai should be kept off from 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 for puritanical reasons. If some self
righteous parents find their kids downloading porn from a non-porn
newsgroup and complain to their ISP, most likely the ISP will simply
stop carry that newsgroup. This will ruin things for other people on
the same ISP who also follow the newsgroup. So please be considerate.

One may argue that since a.b.a. has no charter so there oughtn't be
any restriction on this sort of thing. However, there is a good reason
for treating a.b.a. as a non-hentai newsgroup. In newsgroup naming
convention, newsgroups with sex related material are designated with
"erotica" or "sex", since neither words are in "alt.binaries.anime",
newsservers and isps will treat it as non-sex newsgroup by default. If
the more puritanical service providers discovers the existance of porn
in a.b.a. they will no doubt stop carrying the ng. Just see the
disappearance of misspelled/disguised warez newsgroups from the @home
servers for a potential fate of a.b.a., or ask your servers providers
what usually happens to "stealth" erotica groups.

For people who do want to post this sort of thing, For now I recommend
posting to alt.binaries.erotica.anime, or alt.binaries.hentai. Those
two groups have hardly any traffic, it'd be interesting to see how
they hold up to large multimedia binaries. Posting to is not recommended. The denizens
of that ng seems even more concern about bandwidth than we do.
Recently H anime were being posted to (no "a" in erotic!), check that
one out.

Some users recently started exploring the possibility of creating a
group specifically for anime hentai. Stay tuned on this one.

9. What about subs/dubs?

Anime purist fans (myself included) are not all that thrilled about
dubs and much prefer to watch subtitles with the original Japanese
dialogue. Nevertheless dubs are still anime and most definitely belong
in both newsgroups. I highly recommend posters to indicate clearly
whether their posts are subs or dubs (see posting headers guideline)
so that people like myself would know what not to download.

10. On file formats and codecs

Popular file formats including .rm, .mpg, and .asf.

.rm RealMedia

RealPlayer can be obtained from

Again keygen/serials for the Plus version can be found at

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

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

There is an extension for subtitles for .rm format known as RealText:

RealText section [Moomoo]

What is RealText subbing?

RealText is a simple way of subbing rm (RealMedia) format videos.
Instead of adding subtitles directly to the video, RealText subs are
played in a separate panel at the same time as the video.
A posting of anime subbed using RealText would consist of 3 files :-
- Video file (.rm extension)
- RealText subtitles file (.rt extension)
- Synchronization file (.smil extension)

How to watch a RealText subbed anime?

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

How to sub an anime using RealText?

There is a good explanation of RealText and a tutorial here

.mpg Mpeg format

Most general format there is, plays on any platform. Best quality
video, period (well, provided the encoder knows what he is doing and
the source video is also high quality). The major drawback is that the
file size is huge.

Can be played by Windows Media Player that's bundled with Win9x.

Need mpg extension on Quicktime for Macs.

For Linux, check for Berkeley
MPEG Tools. Encodes and Plays. Many other utlities out there. Check [TheMan]

Also, see mpegTV

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
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.

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 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

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 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.

.asf Active Stream Format

Can be played by Windows Media Player that's bundled with Win9x.
Window Media for Macs will play .asf, as far as I know the player for
Mac is fairly buggy.

[Don't know where to get the player for Macs, but a search on any
search engine will probably turn up some fruitful results; don't know
if a player exist for Linux at all.]

A fairly new proprietary video format from Microsoft. The quality of a
well encoded asf can rival that of a mpg at considerable smaller size.
However, there are several major drawbacks:

1. It is a Microsoft proprietary format, it will definitely play on a
Windows machine. It will play on a Mac by a buggy player (from what I
learned so far). At the moment I don't know if it will play on a Linux
machine at all. Video in this format cannot be shared by all

2. You need a fairly high end machine to play it well. On my awesome
state of the art Pentium 200 (no MMX) machine, asfs plays like a bad
slide show. Even the highly compressed .rm format plays way better on
it. Remember that not everyone can afford to get the latest PIII
whatever machine.

Questions about asfs (TheMan)

Q. Why does the sound come first then I see the mouths moving in the
video? (or vice-versa)
A. In this case here, you computer is not fast enough to handle
MPEG4V3 properly. This symptom usually means you have enough dropped
frames to get the video and audio out of sync. You can try these few
things to see if you can get the playback to be in a tolerable rate
(remember you will still get dropped frames).
1) try closing down ALL programs, that includes your RC5DES,
SETI@home, whatever. Make sure you have a bare bones Windows running
except some necessary things such as audio control.
2) In Windows Media Player, while the ASF is opened (good idea to
pause playback), click on File, then click on Properties. Then click
on the Advanced tab. You should see in there the Microsoft MPEG-4
codec in the top box where it says "Filters in use", doubleclick on
it. You should see the CPU (Picture Quality) slider. Move it all the
way to the left. Close down this box, then resume playback and see how
it goes. In most cases you should be able to watch the ASF full
screen. If your system is only a P200 or something, then maybe you are
stuck playing it in a little 1x or 2x size window.

.avi Audio Video Interleave

Can be play by the Media Player bundled with Win9x.

Can be play by Macintosh with QuickTime player. Works just like Media
Player. It's codec based. Now Microsoft could have created a MAC codec
for QuickTime so that MPEG4 and ASF's worked, but you know how
Microsoft is. [NetGear]

A somewhat more obscure format than the previous three. If done right,
the quality of this format can be very good at a small size. There is
a huge drawback for this format though. Several different codecs
exists for avi's. If the encoder use a codec that the user does not
have, the file will not play unless the user finds the codec and
install it. This option is available to Windows users only. It is not
known if Macs and Linux user can play avi's with the more obscure
codecs at all. So while it is a high quality format, users of
platforms other than Windows will not be able to enjoy it.

Most popular codec: MPEG4V1-V3 (default with Windows Media Player)

MPEG4V3(Beta): [darkwire]

AVI mp43 format, also used in ASF
Windows Media Tools
Windows Media General Infos
Windows Media for Mac
This is MS version of the standard mpeg4, most of the time mplayer2
will try to *find* this code by contacted MS, but will result in a
failure, which is the problem for most people. The version I have
found to work is contained in the package wmtools.exe, beta 4.0
The important file is MPG4c32.DLL version

MPG4C32.DLL version 4.00.3688 is the last version (as of most recent
revision of this faq) that supported MPEG4V3 AVIs. In other words,
this was in the final beta of Windows Media Tools.
4.00.3845 and up will cough up an error message to you if you try to
play an AVI that's done in MPEG4V3. [TheMan]

New versions on the MS homepage *WILL NOT* work AT ALL, I have tried
this over the weekend (04-22-2000), the version available on MS
homepage is
wmtools.exe, release 4.1
Installing a new version, then uninstalling, and reinstalling old
version, will not work, because windows decides to keep the newer
codec file, you can fix this by running the old wmtools.exe, waiting
till it finishes decompressing the files, then digging through the
'temp' directory for MPG4c32.dll

(NetGear also made an account and put up a copy of it on this site.

Just download this zip, it is 4.00.3688. Don't even have to bother
with trying to find an older version of WMTools to "rip" the file out.
You can install the latest version of WMTools, then "patch" it with
that older DLL. Since that DLL is beta, if you have problems with some
weird side effects such as weird color bursts after decompressing the
AVI or ASF, then you know why. The codec has never crashed on me or
gave me any serious problems other than some weird color effects
sometimes when working with the decompressed AVI. [TheMan]

DivX(hacked MPEG4V3): [darkwire]

This is a hack of the MS mp43 format, supposidly, the *standard*
versus the bastardized MS version.
Files that are divx or mp43, both have avi/asf extension, essential
what happens is that the FOURCC identifier is changed, from
DIV3(4) -to- MP43, but essential the data inside the file is the same.
Read next point

AVI -to- DIVX convertor
AVI -to- DIVX convertor homepage
Link for download
This tool rewrites changes the 4CC code from mp43 to div3 or div4, or
vice versa.
I have been able to play div3/4 files with a rewritten to mp43 4cc,
with MS mp43 codec, although sometimes the results are not as pretty,
there are some purpling artifacts occasionally, but in a pinch
situation, you can convert back and forth.

VirtualDub homepage

Freeware avi/asf manipulation software
VirtualDub filters
This section has the file, which can be used to read a
SSA (unzipped) file and overlay it on an asf/avi file, the output will
be an avi file as well.

Linux Stuff [darkwire]
mp43 and most new avi wrapped codes wont run under Linux, neither will

::Mpeg-1/Rm will play under Linux, requires (glibc2 /
Smpeg + SDL
RealPlayerG2 Beta
-- it's listed as beta under the other regular players on the same
-- Can play some older AVI and QT formats natively, currently looks
:: For playing ASF / AVI latest / or latest crap codec from MS
-- 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

11. Help! My news-server bites! What can I do?

Short answer: Get a new news-server.

Long answer:

Get a new news-server. If your news-server hardly ever get any
complete parts, no amount of repost will help.

The best solution is to spend money to subscribe to a premium
news-server. See for more
extensive information.

For those who are financially challenged, there are free, open
news-servers out there. This is not a good solution. A.b.a and a.b.m.a
are both 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

If you don't get either of newsgroups mentioned, go to or

12. Misc

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

ren c:\media\anime\ *.???_ *.???
ren %1\ *.???_ *.???

called like:
DEL_UNDL. c:\media\anime