Recommended News Downloaders for Downloading yEnc Newsgroups

This document describes the yEnc encoding format, and lists News Downloaders and News Readers that have built in yEnc support.

Click here to go to the QuadSucker/News download page.

Table Of Contents:

  1. A quick list of News Downloaders that support yEnc
  2. What is an encoding, and what is yEnc ?
  3. Reading Newsgroups that have yEnc attachments
  4. Posting to Newsgroups using the yEnc format

A quick list of News Downloaders that support yEnc

We'll start off with a quick list of news downloaders that work with yEnc:

All of the news downloaders listed above download newsgroups that have yEnc support. The yEnc support is completely built in and automatic, and you shouldn't have to worry about it at all.

What is an encoding, and what is yEnc ?

First let's start by describing what an encoding is. From the dictionary:

tr.v. enĚcodĚed, enĚcodĚing, enĚcodes

  1. To put (a message, for example) into code.
  2. Computer Science. To format (electronic data) according to a standard format.
  3. Genetics. To specify the genetic code for (a protein molecule, for example).

Hmm.... Well that's not very helpful to us, is it? Let's just say:

an encoding is a means to transform something from one format to another.

For example, lets say we devised a scheme that mapped letters to number. Let's say we assigned them such that C = 67, O = 79, S = 83, and T = 84. Then, if someone gave us the name "SCOTT", then we could encode it as "83 67 79 84 84". Similarly, if someone gave us the sequence of numbers "83 67 79 84 84", then we could encode it as "SCOTT".

Okay, I hope that explains what an encoding is -- now we need to talk about why we need to encode things....

When the usenet news system was designed, it was intended for transmitting text -- much like email messages. It supported letters (A-Z,a-z), numbers (0123456789), punctuation, etc. It was not designed for sending arbitrary binary files -- for example mp3 or mpeg files. If you tried to send the raw format of an mp3 file into a newsgroup, the contents would get scrambled, because there are lots of symbols in an mp3 file that are not letters, numbers, or punctuation. For example, parts of the mp3 file might be interpreted by the news server as control codes, or paragraph formatting, etc.

So what we need is a way to take out mp3 file and convert it to a sequence of letters, numbers, and punctuation. This is exactly what an encoder such as yEnc does. An encoder, such as yEnc, does not compress files or make them smaller, but rather it just changes the representation into something that the news system can understand. Then, a decoder is used on the receiver's side when he downloads the encoded message to change it back into the original format (for example, to put it back into an mp3 file)

The decoder that turns the yEnc-encoded message back into a binary (for example, an mp3 file) is built into all of the news readers mentioned in this document -- QuadSucker, Binary Vortex, and SBNews / News Robot.

Reading Newsgroups that have yEnc encoded attachments

We're going to put additional instructions in here in the future, but for now, check out the QuadSucker HOWTO list (link at the bottom of this page), as there are detailed instructions on downloading mp3 and mpeg files from newsgroups.

Posting to Newsgroups using the yEnc format

...To be completed....

I hope this guide has proven useful... Click here to return to the QuadSucker HOWTO list