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Downloading MP3s

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Incomplete Posts Sampling OE5 AOL Netscape


[5.0] Where are all the MP3s that people are talking about?It all depends on where you have been looking.  If you are currently searching in alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.requests (the request group) or in alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.d (the discussion group), you are simply looking in the wrong newsgroups.  Refer to Sections [1] and [4] of this FAQ for more information.

If you *are* looking in the correct groups, but you are confused because you're seeing something like:

begin 644 song.mp3

then you'll need to go back to Section [1.6] and read some of the FAQs linked there.


[5.1] I know *where* to look for the MP3s, but I can't find any complete MP3 files.Well, if you are using your newsreader correctly, the problem is probably your ISP or, more specifically, your news server.  If you consistently see incomplete files, your news server is probably not receiving all of the parts that are necessary to get a complete file.

The solution?  Either find a new ISP or look into an additional pay-news server.  Information on ISPs can be found at

Information on news servers in particular can be found in and alt.internet.newservers or at Yahoo's Usenet server page.

Some popular pay-newsservers are Altopia, Giganews, Newscene, Newsguy, Easynews and Airnews.  See Section [9.7] of this FAQ for more info.


[5.2] Frequently I only see the last part of any post, like only (12/12) and not any of the first 11 parts.  Why is that?This can happen if your news server, or another news server up the pipe from yours, is filtering out based on segment-size.

The FAQ recommends that you set your segment size to something between 5000 and 7500 lines or about 1/3 Meg to 1/2 Meg (see Section [4.13])  There are some ISPs that will filter out and not accept any posts that are larger than that.  If you frequently see files posted and the only part that is available is the last one (which is inherently the smallest of the parts), it is possible that the other parts are being filtered out.  You can either request that the poster changes their segment size, or try and find a different news server that doesn't have this particular problem.


[5.3] I see an MP3 of a song I *think* I like, but I'm not sure.  Is there any way that I can sample the song without downloading the entire file?Yes.  One way is to just download the first part of the file (which may require that you split the file into its separate sections), decode it using your newsreader or a third party decoder, and play it with your MP3 player.  Winampwill give you an error, but play the file anyway.

Check the Tips section for detailed instructions on using Agent to sample before downloading.


[5.4] I'm using Outlook Express and it's not automatically decoding the MP3 files.  How do I get the files?First download all parts, they will be listed as (1/5), (2/5), (3/5), etc.  Right click on the highlighted parts click "Combine & Decode."  Another window will pop up.  Use the up & down buttons to put all the parts in their proper order.  Click OK.  When the file comes up - click on "file" then click on Save Attachments.

More tips for using Outlook Express can be found in the Outlook Express Sub-FAQ.


[5.5] I'm using AOL and it's really difficult for me to get the MP3 files. Everything in the binary groups is a mess and out of order.  Any advice?Apparently you can use AOL's "Filegrabber" to only display binary files that are complete.  AOL's newsreader can then automatically download and decode the file.  You can accomplish this by selecting the newsgroup (e.g. a.b.s.m), clicking on Preferences, and checking the box that says "Show only complete binary files which AOL can download and decode. Hide text files."

There are times when AOL's software won't recognize that all of the parts are there.  In these cases you may have to manually download each separate part and combine/decode them yourself.

For more information on uploading/downloading newsgroup binaries on AOL, check out the AOL Newsgroup FAQ at:


[5.6] ARGH! I don't like downloading with AOL's news software; can't I use Agent to get the files?Yes and no.  You can't use any external newsreader to access AOL's news server.  On the other hand, you *can* subscribe to a stand-alone pay news server and use Agent, or any other newsreader, through your AOL internet connection.  See Sections [5.1] and [9.7] for more information about pay news servers.


[5.7] It drives me crazy when the saved file attachment isn't named the same as the subject title!  What to do?If you are using Free Agent or Agent you have a solution at hand.  Go to Groups | Default Properties on the main menu.  Click on the Receive Files tab and check the box that says "Use the message subject for name of first attachment in message."  This will save you a lot of time renaming later.


[5.8] I can't use Agent at work.  How can I download binaries with Netscape?You have to save each part (number them!) with a .uue extension. It is a two-step process. After downloading, use Winzip to combine and convert from multipart .uue format to .mp3.  Quite a pain, but it can be done.