I seem to remember that, before the great SPL crash, there was a great and extensive guide on how to get started with ABMS. It now seems to be gone with the wind just as I have settled in with a new computer and ISP.
So...is there anybody alive out there who can help me with this?
My ISP don?t support newsgroups so I need a few pointers on how to get access to that anyway. I already use BitTorrent so I?m good to go there. All I need to know is basicly how I find and get in to ABMS. Hope you understand the question... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Thanks in advance to any kind soul out there.
Original Post
1. News Servers. If you don't already have access to news servers, you'll need to sign up and pay. Which one to choose is a whole separate topic of conversation, depends on how you think you'll use it.
- There are monthly subscriptions, either unlimited or for a fixed amount of download. Giganews - longest retention, fast, most reliable, but not the cheapest. There are other unlimited monthly download plans at other servers, maybe people can recommend something. Some servers are faster than others, so unlimited might in reality be somewhat limited by the download speed.
- Or get a block at astraweb - $10 for 25GB if you want to just try it out for starters, or $25 for 90GB, and you can take as long to use it as you want.

Even if you have a fixed allocation, most decent pay servers do not charge you for downloading the list of files (or "headers"). It's worth knowing whether yours does if you use many newsgroups and check which files are on them. It doesn't matter much if you just use ABMS.

Keep in mind that you can easily change - you can use multiple servers; or try out something for a month, etc. Every now and then I sign up for a month of Giganews unlimited to catch up on stuff I've missed, then end the subscription before the month is up.

Many US ISPs provide some access to news servers. Verizon has especially good news servers; most of the rest are either fairly limited, or not very reliable, from what I recall.

The news server you use will determine how well ABMS works for you, because some news servers do a better job at getting complete sets of files and keeping them on the servers. But all the pay services people recommend here should work pretty well - it's the ISP news servers, that have lots of missing parts of files, that drive people crazy. (Or crazier, for this bunch.)

2. Software. Then you need software. Two ways to go there, too.
- Easy to use. Most new users who are using just one news server try Grabit (see the tutorials); it's free. Or for using multiple servers, such as your ISP and a backup server, NewsReactor (50 free uses).
- Full featured. NewsLeecher. Or NewsBin. Not free, after the trial period.

It's not hard to switch software, so people who like to get results quickly might want to start with GrabIt. You can easily change later on.

You need to tell the software the URL of the server (news.astraweb.com, or similar), your user ID, and password. GrabIt has a configuration wizard, so do some of the others.

Set your software to use multiple download "threads" - say 4-6, if your server allows it - that will max out the speed. (Similar idea to being connected to more peers on BitTorrent.)

3. Newsgroup(s). Then you need to tell the software to add alt.binaries.music.springsteen - with that exact spelling - to the list of newsgroups you are interested in. Some programs let you enter that directly; others make you download a list of all the newsgroups on the server, and choose from that. The tutorials forum at GrabIt has some discussion and examples.

4. Files in the newsgroup on that server. Next, do a full update of the list of files for ABMS on the news server. That will tell you what's available to download.

Two things to keep in mind:
- the oldest files are steadily getting deleted to make room for new files; stuff doesn't stay on the servers forever. Get it while you can.
- different servers have more or less storage space for files, so files stay on longer or shorter times. Giganews might be around 60 days; Astraweb 10-14 days; a bad ISP server might be 24 hours. What you see on one server won't be the same as what you'd see on another server.

5. Download. Once you have a news server and software, and a list of files, try to download something. Try a small txt file for starters, then an mp3, an image, or some other small file just to get the idea.

Once you can get one file, you're on your way to being able to download using news servers!

Once that's worked for you, try a larger file or a set of files. At some point you might want to learn about using nzb files, which will automatically add a full set of files to your download queue.

6. Test and repair. Sometimes parts of the files get lost on the way to the news server. So for sets of files, you'll usually see some par2 files, too. People use par2 to test whether the files are complete, and repair them if they are not. (BitTorrent does something similar for each piece of a file it downloads, but it's done automatically, so most people don't know it's happening.)

For Windows, you need to install QuickPar (see the tutorials).

7. Play or decode and burn. Once you have downloaded and checked (or repaired) a complete set of files - playing them and decoding them is just like bittorrent. There's info on flac and shn at the bittorrent link in the FAQ, and elsewhere around here.

Getting started can be easier or harder than this description might make it seem, depending on the user. But once it's set up, it's an easy and fast way to get excellent copies (thanks to careful posters) of an incredible number of shows.

Here's a really old version of the ABMS thread, it has a little more description and detail than what's above.
FROM THE QuickPar Tutoral - please, some hints to what to choose?:

In the Integration section you can control whether or not Windows should use QuickPar when you open PAR and PAR2 files in Windows Explorer or other applications, and the Integrate QuickPar into Shell option adds a entry to the right click menu in Windows Explorer that allows you to create new PAR2 files.
My question: QPar to be used, I guess? Allow creation of new PAR2?


The Default Priority setting determines how QuickPar cooperates with other applications running on your computer. If your computer has a single CPU, then it is probably best to set this to Idle, but if you have a dual CPU computer set it to Normal.
My Q: what is CPU?

The File Deletion settings determine whether or not QuickPar should remove incomplete and damaged files after it completes a repair, and whether or not they should be sent to the Windows Recycle Bin.
My Q: Should they be removed after a repair?

The Verification and Repair options determine whether or not the Monitor and Repair functions should be enabled by default when verifying.
My Q: To be enabled?


I sure second that "outstanding rerply" comment!
Quote:
My question: QPar to be used, I guess? Allow creation of new PAR2?


a) Yep, b) personal preference. Using "add files" in QP is hardly time consuming, and I don't want dozens of options in the right click explorer menu.

Quote:
My Q: what is CPU?


Your processor. Set it to normal if you have a dual core processor, otherwise use Idle.

Quote:
My Q: Should they be removed after a repair?


I personally don't. I tend to delete everything (rar's, par's and the actual download) once I've burnt and checked it.

Quote:
My Q: To be enabled?


I wouldn't - repair automatically could be annoying if you're trying to do something else at the time. It's also hardly a bind to tick monitor when you want to use it.
Just make sure all the downloaded rar and par files are in the same folder.

Before you run WinRAR, just double click on the first par2 file and it will check to see if repair is needed. QPar is probably already set up to repair automatically if you have incompletes.

Official tutorial here and another here.

Woke up this morning MY house was cold

I'm now at the stage (with dvd "2nd nigt at MSqG June 15 '00") where I've QPar-checked and decompressed dvd 1and dvd 2, and I've got a MDS file that by default opens in ImgBurn, Write mode. I want a VIDEO_TS folder (yes, I intend to upload to Jungleland, too). Do I use DVD Decrypter instead of ImgBurn to deal with the MDS file?

Have checked the ImgBurn help forum, but can't see an answer.
Originally Posted By: kajsa89
Made it! MDS burned in Write mode and tested on TV!
Now I hope I'll be able to rip in DVD Decrypter to get VIDEO_TS files.

yep, ripped the image files. Then burned copies with Nero.

THANKS SO MUCH for helping me become an abms downloader!!
LESSONS LEARNED DOWNLOADING:
I want to share a few lessons regarding download details.

1. Start your newsgroup download client ( I happen to use Newsbin Pro) and click on "GROUPS" or something like that. A list of available groups should appear somewhere.

2. SEARCH that group list for any likely key words, and since you read this there's a solid chance you want to search for "springsteen". Find "alt.binaries.music.springsteen" (ABMS)and either right-click on it to choose it or use a "subscribe" function.

3. THE GROUP ADDED to the groups you want to check out, mark the groups (one click) and see if there's a "GROUP" menu in the client. Since this is the 1st time using this, you must choose "Download ALL headers" if you want to see the total menu.
If you only care about the new stuff, choose "Download latest".

4. WATCHING the headers download - you don't download the actual FILES now, see, but only their NAMES aka "headers" - if think the group isn't interesting after all (well, some other group than ABMS..), you may one-click the group in the download list and press DELETE. It then stops the header download.

5. HEADERS DOWNLOADED, TIME TO FIND WHAT TO DOWNLOAD:
- you may SCROLL the file list to see if there's anything that attracts you.

- once you find something you want, DO A SEARCH - the "FIND" function in my client - for one or more words in the headers, and GET A LIST of just the files belonging to the file set you want. Make sure to get:
-- all RAR files, the file number and total number showing in brackets, like "01/60". You should then make sure all 60 RAR files are downloaded.
HEY, for a DVD set, there is often ONE RAR set per DVD, so make sure to get ALL SETS.
-- the PAR2 file (only named "header name.PAR2"): Get only this first, to check after download if the RAR files are complete (see info from Pete concerning this).
-- the PAR2 files with some funny-looking names in front, like "*.vol001+02.PAR2" MAY WAIT, THEN, until you see whether the RAR files need repairing or not (Pete's point made).
-- any TXT info files.
-- any JPG artwork files.
-- any other files, like a NZB file showing what files are included in the set, if uploader has made such a NZB file.

- ONCE YOU'VE FOUND THE FILE SET TO GET, click on the FIRST FILE and then click the LAST FILE while pressing the SHIFT KEY. ALL FILES between the first and the last should then be selected.
- next, RIGHT-Click the selected files and choose "Add to download list" (at leaast in my client).
- vola, you are in action: In another part of the screen, you should see all the files you have selected, and that the download has started.

WARNING regarding the FILE SELECTION to download list:
DO NOT check the box of EACH RAR/PAR2 file of something you want to make it come in the downloading list. I did this in the start, sensing I really did it a very time consuming way..

- AFTER THE DOWNLOAD, time to see:
-- the QuickPar tutoral, see a link in a post above + download that software.
If repair is needed, after checking with a double-click on the *.PAR2 file in windows explorer (or the Mac equivalent), download those PAR2 files with the funny-looking file names.

Must admit I have downloaded ALL PAR2 files together with the RAR files, due to ignorance.

-- after getting the message in QuickPar that NO REPAIR IS NEEDED, it is time to get WinRAR and click on the first rar file in the set.



How do I deal with the NZB file to add all the files in an upload added to the download list?

When I right-click, I either can add the NZB file itself to the list (not very helpful) or all available files uploaded by the uploader (more than I want, usually).

So - how to get ONLY the files included in the NZB?
If I understand the question ... I think the answer is

- download just the nzb to your hard drive
- double click on the nzb (it should be associated with GrabIt or Newsleecher or whatever you use - if not, use "Open with ..." and set it to use the program you want).
- that should queue up all the files in the upload; if you want to delete some, like the par2 files, you can delete them from the batch / queue before they are downloaded; or in some programs (like NewsLeecher) leave them paused until you see if you need the par2 files
Thanks, both of you!
I did this:
- downloaded NZB
- double clicked on it in Windows Explorer: My documents/ Newsbin/ usenet group/
- went back to Newsbin Pro, and found them in the download list.
- checked if there was anything I might not need to download.

Let's all learn Usenet!! :-)
Originally Posted By: bobsmo
trust me, using NZB's is not learning Usenet.

Well, it makes sure I don't miss a file or more, doesn't it?

Rather than - like I've been doing - search for a couple of words/date in a set I am interested in, in order to get a result list with all files belonging to it. Easier to deal with ONE file and de-select (delete) in the download list those I don't want.

Or why isn't NZB's a part of learning to use Usenet efficiently, in your opinion?
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