How are binary files posted?
The newsgroups contain many different sorts of binary files including movies, music, pictures and applications. There is a specific process that's followed in order to post a file, however most popular posting software (e.g. PowerPost) does everything for you

It's worth pointing out that you don't really need to worry about all this if all that you're doing is downloading files!

  • Compressed
    Files are normally compressed using RAR or ZIP format.

  • Broken up into smaller parts
    Sometimes this is part of the compression process. For example when using WinRAR to compress file.mpg, a 30 Mb movie, you can create a series of smaller files file.rar, file.r01, file.r02 each of 10 Mb.

  • 'Encoded' for transmission over NNTP (the newsgroup protocol)
    The resuling binary file contains elements that can't be transmitted using NNTP, so the posting program will encode them using yEnc or UUEncode formats.

  • Posted as many small parts
    The compressed, split, encoded file is then finally split up further into many smaller parts for posting. This is primarily because of individual article size restrictions in newsgroups.

    So what are PAR files?
    PAR files are additional files generated from the original that means that if any of the segments from step 2 are missing, they can be reconstructed.

    How does OpNews help me download files?
    OpNews assembles, downloads and decodes files; it will not un-compress them. You'll need a couple of extra programs to get the best from OpNews, check here for a list of links to some of them.

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