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Veiwing When the Clip is incomplete, or as a Means of Previewing Clips
ASF see AVI....
AVI 
Most avi files that you already have installed the codec for can be played by downloading the parts you have - up to the "break" or first missing segment, then saving the joined parts as " movie'-broken.avi" ( I use the broken to remind me not to repost the clip ). The clip should then play up to the point where the first missing section is. At this point the clip will either just stop, or your player might just lock up, forcing you to have to manully shut it down. Note that you must have the first part to even give this a try.....

from Nexcel 
AVI Preview: a program which is capable of playing partially downloaded AVI movies. To make it unique, it is capable of playing files which are in the stage of downloading.
Older advice:
You can run Peck's Power Join, select the broken avi-file, and "join" it to another filename. Now you can preview it with the build-in viewer or with WMP. Again, it will play only to the first broken section.

from chuck99
WMP 6.x will NOT play an incomplete avi clip.  To view incompletes in Win 95 and 98 (not 2000 or Xp!) you would save what you have to your hard disk then find it with Windows Explorer.  Right click on the file and choose Properties.  A window with three tabs pops up.  Choose the Preview tab and if you have the appropriate codec installed on your PC, the clip will play up to the *first* missing segment.

MPG 
(thanks Solly)
1. Start the download and wait a minute or two.
2. In Windows Explorer, copy the file "TEMP.TMP" from your download directory/folder to another directory/folder (TEMP).
3. Rename the file to have an ".avi" or ".mpg" extension, as appropriate.
4. View the file with your favorite viewer.
5. Purge the partial renamed file.
6. Abort the download if you don't like what you saw.
7. Repeat copy if you want to see more.

This only works if you have Agent (FreeAgent) set up to decode while receiving (this is the default) and it will probably work with asf files due to their design for streaming purposes.

MOV
 

RAR 
Before you take another step, ask yourself - did a par set come with this posting? If so, you'd be considered slow if you didn't check out the information on Par before going any further. Then check out the "How to Rar" page.

Wmv see Avi

ZIP 

(thanks British Bulldog) You'll need the old dos file PKZIP, and with it the PKZIPFIX file.
1. Download all the parts of the zip file that you can get and allow your newsreader to join them as a single file "Shortfall.zip"
2. From a DOS command prompt type:  pkzipfix Shortfall.zip
That'll then create another zip file called pkfixed.zip.
3. Attempt to open that "fixed" zip file with your extraction tool (Winzip, Winrar, etc) and the password if required. If it opens, you will be able to extract whatever is in that file.
If its an avi file inside, its almost guaranteed that it wont play. An avi file must be complete for it to play as a rule. Repairing a zip file may end up corrupting the passworded portion. In that case, aren't you glad you just practiced the above dos routine? Cause all you're gonna have to show for the work is the practice, you're not gonna see anything.


Video Types and Players 

A codec is a method of COmpression and DECompression for audio and video files.

If you don't have the right codec installed on your system, certain video files won't play at all.  Others will play only the audio or the video portion.  This is a common problem with some older and newer codecs, since they wouldn't have been installed on your system along with your present operating system or movie players. Check out the Codec page for information.  If you wish to test your system to discover what codecs you have loaded, and which you need, try the Codec Testing Matrix.

Windows:
The player included with the Windows operating system, with the constant upgrades it seems to require, will handle most of the file types posted in A.B.M.E. with these exceptions:
   1. Rm - Real Media file types are best played with their own "free" player ( hunt for the free one on their hard sell "buy it" page).
   2. Viv - Video Active files. While I can't understand why viv files keep popping up ( they were bought out by Real years ago, we recommend you open them with Real Player, then allow RP to download the add on for viv.
Other codecs - maybe yes, maybe no - depends on if M$ likes you this week. See below.

There are several players if you find you just must have something other that a Microsoft product. Of the many out there I would suggest the first you try is the divx playa - most discussed of the non M$ players, and a faqs favorite for its price of free.

Windows Media Player -
For those who have not updated their player after May 21st, here's an important note from M$:

"Windows MediaPlayer Security Fixes
Microsoft has released security fixes for its audio and video player. The problem could allow hackers to run any code they want on your machine. The security advisory has details for the technically inclined. Media Player 6.4 users should install a patch which has been posted on its security website. Users of Media Player 7 should install the latest Windows Media Player 7.1, which is available at Microsoft's media website."

Direct links to the info Bulletin: MS01-029
and to the media center download site

From Chuck99 - with some changes by TL:
As installed it will play MP42 avi's, MPG, ASF along with the old Indeo codecs and windows .MOV filest.  An interesting point is that if you call up the Properties fields on an MP42 vid, the details tab displays an *unknown video codec* and it won't play in the Preview tab.  Load 'em up normally and they play just fine.

When you try and play a vid with a codec not installed on your system, WMP still tries to go to M$ and download it, and still fails with two notable exceptions:
I-263 is now a M$ codec (M263).  The new M$4x series continues the development of the H263 codec, and it's been broadened to play I263.  I tried it out on some of Rockers and Wolfies old I263 clips and they play just fine.

WMV's  --  Load a WMV8 and WMP goes out to the MS site, finds a codec and offers you the chance to download **WMP version 8**. It downloads a 135K file and enables WMV8 in Windows Media Player 6.4, AND, MP42's display properly in the Properties field.  It DOES NOT change the version number in WMP.  It remains at 6.4.07.1112.  This works on Windows 95 & 98SE.  Dunno about WinMe.
The WMP included with Win2K plays WMV, MP42, and if I remember right, MP43 as well right out of the box.  You need the Divx 3.11 to play Divx.  Others may play as well, that's all I tested in Windows 2000. The WMP version number is different in W2K than W95/98. You'll still need to download the Divx codec,  the MP43 crack and all the other avi codecs.  Test your system for installed codecs here.

Pay Attention!  This Microsoft Update thingie does not always Work!!!  The site isn't up all the time or it gets too busy and won't allow any more connections.  You may have to "try again later".

Mac: 
The Macintosh platform can deal with most sorts of video formats (mov, avi, and mpeg) by using the movie viewer application included with quicktime 3 and 4. It can also play mp3 files as well. Macs can use RealPlayer to play ra/rm files.  No versions of I263 or VCR1 and 2 known for the Mac.


Unix 

All current formats - might we suggest if you don't have a favorite already that you consider flunkboy's choice:
Xine.  A media player for all types of vids. Supports DVD/VCD, Mpeg1 & 2, DivX 3.11 & DivX 4, MS Mpeg4  and via win32 codecs indeo 3.1-5.0, cinpak, Windows Media 7 & 8. Quicktime and real video are in devolpment.

MPG
The best supported codec is the MPEG-1 stream. There are several freeware MPEG-1 players: MPEG_PLAY from UCB (video only), Xanim by Mark Podlipec (I frames only, use to sync audio with video for separate m1v and wav streams). An inexpensive industrial grade MPEG-1 player is MPEGTV. MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (real mpeg4, not that abomination from Microsoft) players, with source code, are also available.

AVI
With thanks to flunkboy, a serious update to avi on Linux:
Avifile now handles:

Video
Win32 VfW DLLs: Cinepak Video, ATI VCR-2, I263, Indeo Video 3.2, 4.1 Microsoft MPEG-4 v1 & v2 beta Microsoft MPEG-4 v3 ( also known as DivX 3.11 ) and can now Capture and Encode to DivX4.
Win32 DirectShow filters, decompression-only support: Microsoft MPEG-4 v3 ( this decoder is slower than VfW one, but offers wider range of picture control features ) Windows Media Video 7 Indeo Video 5.0 Motion JPEG ( using Morgan Multimedia shareware codec )
Open-source plugins: Motion JPEG ( using libjpeg, very slow )
Audio
Win32 ACM DLLs, decompression-only support: Windows Media Audio ( also known as DivX3.11 Audio ) MS ADPCM Intel Music Codec
Open-source plugins, decompression-only support: PCM AC3 IMA ADPCM MPEG Layer-1,2,3 ( compression into MP3 is also supported ) MSN Audio GSM 6.1 Audio
Win32 DirectShow filters, untested decompression-only support: Voxware Metasound ACELP.net

Real Media
ryeth provides the following notes on Real Player:
"The version I have now identifies itself as "8.0.3.421" and handles G2 just fine.  It's not officially supported by Real.com, and is released as "community supported software" (available, in various flavors including Linux, Solaris, IRIX, and others).  Even if they do consider it a "red-headed stepchild," it works!

Par and Sfv
For Par use ParArchive, for Sfv use Check sfv.
ryeth provided the following update:
SmartPAR (for windows) seems to run just fine under WINE (free Windows compatibility layer for Linux, http://www.winehq.org).  I wouldn't even have tried it if I'd known about the native Linux "parchive" program.  If you have a fast system and like a graphical interface (even though not much interfacing goes on with SmartPAR), it might be an acceptable alternative.




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