Beginner’s Guide to internet file types

Posted on 31 July 2008

What is a RAR file

RAR is the native format of WinRAR archiver. Like other archives, RAR files are data containers, they store one or several files in the compressed form. After you downloaded RAR file from Internet, you need to unpack its contents in order to use it.

How to handle RAR files

WinRAR provides the complete support for RAR files, so you may both create and unpack them. If you installed WinRAR on your computer and downloaded RAR file from Internet, you may double click on RAR file icon to open it in WinRAR, select all files, press “Extract To” button, enter a destination path and press “OK”. Another Image

way is to click on the RAR file in Explorer using the right mouse button. If you enabled “Shell integration” option when installing WinRAR, the file context menu will contain “Extract to …” item.
Some RAR files can be parts of multi-volume sequences. In WinRAR you can split a huge archive to a few smaller files, which are called volumes. They may have extensions .rar (the first volume), .r00, .r01, …, or .part1.rar (the first volume), .part2.rar, …, etc. If you need to unpack volumes, place all them to the same folder and start extraction from the first volume.

What is a ZIP file

ImageA file format that compresses data to a small fraction of its original size in bytes. This makes transfer across a network or the Internet much faster. A single ZIP file can contain many individual files that will be reconstituted after the data is uncompressed. The ZIP format is used by many file compression programs. In order to use a file that has been compressed into a ZIP file, you must have a compression/uncompression software program ie WINZIP OR WINRAR.

What is a FTP (File Transfer Protocol)Site

An FTP site is like a large filing cabinet. With a traditional filing cabinet, the person who does the filing has the option to label and organize the files how ever they see fit. They also decide which files to keep locked and which remain public. It is the same with an FTP site.

The virtual ‘key’ to get into an FTP site is the UserID and Password. If the creator of the FTP site is willing to give everyone access to the files, the UserID is ‘anonymous’ and the Password is your e-mail address (e.g. ). If the FTP site is not public, there will be a unique UserID and Password for each person who is granted access.

When connecting to an FTP site that allows anonymous logins, you’re frequently not prompted for a name and password. Hence, when downloading from the Internet, you most likely are using an anonymous FTP login and you don’t even know it.

To make an FTP connection you can use a standard Web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc.) or a dedicated FTP software program(flashFXP), referred to as an FTP ‘Client’.

What is a ISO

ISO files are actually images of complete CDs compiles as one whole image.ISO images can be loaded into several different CD recording software packages to create CDs ie.ALCOHOL 120% or NERO.

What is a BIN & CUE file

So you have downloaded two files, one with a .bin extension and one with a .cue extension. “What do I do with these?” you ask. There are a number of options.


You will need either NERO or ALCOHOL 120%.

To burn with NERO:

Start NERO, choose FILE, choose BURN IMAGE, locate the .cue file you have and double click it. A dialog box will come up, for anything other than music make sure you choose DISC-AT-ONCE (DAO). You can also turn off the simulation burn if you so choose.

Then burn away.

To burn with ALCOHOL 120%

Start ALCOHOL 120%,choose image burning wizard,locate the .cue file you have and double click it.


The most common error you will get with a .cue file is when it points to an incorrect path. This is easily fixed.

Find the .bin file, copy the exact title including the .bin extension. Now find the .cue file, open the .cue file using notepad. It should look similar to this:

FILE “name of file.bin” BINARY
TRACK 01 MODE2/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00
TRACK 02 MODE2/2352
INDEX 00 00:04:00
INDEX 01 00:06:00

Delete everything in the quotes, in this case we would delete name of file.bin. Now place the title you copied in between the quotes. Save the changes and close out. Thats it, your .cue file should work now.

If your missing a .cue file you can make one easily using the tiny application found here:



This program will allow you to extract MPEG streams from CD images, convert VCD files to MPEG, correct MPEG errors, and more.

Daemon Tools:

This program creates a virtual drive on your PC which will allow you to “mount” the .cue file and use whatever is in the .bin file without having to burn it to a cd.


This program will allow you to “bust” open the .bin file and extract the files within the .bin

You can open the .bin file with vlc media player

What is a MP3 file

Moving Picture Experts Group Audio Layer 3 File. MP3 files are highly compressed audio tracks, and are very popular on the Internet.

What is a OGG VORBIS file

Ogg Vorbis is a new audio compression format. It is roughly comparable to other formats used to store and play digital music, such as MP3, VQF, AAC, and other digital audio formats. It is different from these other formats because it is completely free, open, and unpatented.

What is a MPEG file

MPEG-1(.mpg, .dat) is the predecessor to MPEG-2 used for DVDs. MPG files are a lower quality/bitrate format usually at half of the resolution of DVD VOB files. They encompass CD quality 2 channel audio, as opposed to the 5.1 channels found in some DVD VOB files. Quality depends on the encoder used, and can be quite good if done properly.

What is a AVI file

An AVI is a container format that will hold audio and video. Windows Media Player does support playback of AVI files, but in the past few years their have been many new codec’s developed to compress the audio and the video that is inside the AVI file ie DivX, XviD, 3ivX.

What is a WMV file

WMV is a generic name of Microsoft’s video encoding solutions and doesn’t necessarily define the technology what it uses — since version 7 (WMV7) Microsoft has used its own flavour of MPEG-4 video encoding technology (not very surprising, it’s not compatible with other MPEG-4 technologies..)

12 What is a rmvb file

This is a file specifically made to be played with Realplayer,the files can be smaller than standard mpeg files

What is a MKV file

The Matroska Multimedia Container is an open standard free Container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks inside a single file. It is intended to serve as a universal format for storing common multimedia content, like movies or TV shows. Matroska is similar in conception to other containers like AVI, MP4 or ASF, but is completely open source. Matroska file types are .MKV for video (and audio) and .MKA for audio-only files.

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4 Responses to “Beginner’s Guide to internet file types”

  1. John says:

    You should also tell them about .nfo files that are included in most torrents…you won’t believe how many people I’ve found that actually would try and open them…Just right click and open with notepad or word or whatever text editor you use, they usually contain info and maybe instructions on the file you just got.

  2. I just found your blog and think it’s fantastic, keep posting!

  3. Just dropped by and I see your post this is so informative. Thank you for sharing.. Keep it up!

  4. Nice post! some kind of interesting one… Thank you for sharing.


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