Downloading and Decoding Files from USENET
If you are using the Usenet, then you will most definitely want to download files at some point. The beauty of the Usenet is the astounding download speeds that you can get. This is what 99% of the users stay for. Downloading is simple, as all you would do is select from your search and then click the download option. Common files you will be able to download may include pictures (jpg, gif, bmp), e-books (PDF, doc, djvu), compressed and split rar files.
You can download from newsgroups directly without getting involved with nzb files, depending on your personal settings. Many people find the list of binary files a bit daunting when really the only difference is the language they are written in. Here are some of the most common files you will come across:
- Split Files
- CD images
- Video Files
When you look for a specific binary file such as a music file, you may think that when you are going to download you will be just getting the one file that you want but this is not the case. Most users will load up multiple files that include your file that you want, so downloading the file does become a bit of a process. The key is to understand the files that you are seeing. Most of the time your newsreader will do the work for you but in some cases you may need to it manually, so here is some info on file types you will come across.
If you have a split file such as .001, .002, then all it means is that the file was too large to load at once and so was broken into pieces. You will need to reassemble the file in order to view it or listen to it in full. A zip format file (.zip) is simply a compression method and you can unzip the file using a simple program called WinZip that runs with most versions of windows.
RAR files are the most widely used format for files on the Usenet and will end in .rar or .rxx. This is another compression method and they can be decompressed using Winrar. One problem people come across is if the version of Winrar is older than the rar file then it can cause an error. Another file you will come across is the parity correction .par files. These are files that will be used to repair errors in previous download files. Learn how to open rar files here.
PAR files stand for Parity Archive and we have a good tutorial on how to open par files here.
NZB is a file format that is used for the entire posted set of files. This format is used exclusively within the Usenet (it was a format that was created by newzbin to facilitate downloads). These file formats will be loaded directly into your newsreader. NZB files are an XML parsed text file that contains metadata.