.rar .zip .ace .r01 .001
These extensions are quite common and mean that your file(s) are compressed into an "archive". This is just a way of making the files more compact and easier to download.
To open any of those archives listed above you can use WinRAR (Make sure you have the latest version) or PowerArchiver.
If those programs aren't working for you and you have a .zip file you can try WinZip, or 7-zip.
These are usually comic books in an archive format. a .cbr file is actually the same thing as a .rar file and a .cbz file is the same as a .zip file. However, often when opening them with WinRAR or WinZip it will disorder your pages. To display these archives properly it's often best to use CDisplay.
.avi .mpg .mpeg .divx .xvid .wmv .asf
These files are usually movies or TV shows, or a host of other types of media. They can be viewed using various media players including Windows Media Player, but I suggest using BSPlayer, VLC media player (aka Videolan) or Media Player Classic.
Do you want to know what codec is used for the file you downloaded try using GSpot. It tells you what codecs you need. Then just look on the net to find them.
K-Lite (Mega) Codec Pack
K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of codecs and related tools. The K-Lite Codec Pack is designed as a user-friendly solution for playing all your movie files. With the K-Lite Codec Pack you should be able to play 99% of all the movies that you download from the internet.
There are three versions of the K-Lite Codec Pack:
Basic contains only the most essential things. It contains everything you need to be able to play the most popular and widespread formats. It is small enough to fit on a single floppy. Also great for including on your movie cds.
Standard contains everything you need to play all the commonly used formats. This package should be enough for the average user.
Full contains even more codecs. It also has encoding support for the various formats. This package is for power users and people who do their own encodings.
K-Lite Codec Pack Full
K-Lite Codec Pack Standard
K-Lite Codec Pack Basic
K-Lite Mega Codec Pack is a combination of three codec packs; K-Lite Codec Pack Full, QuickTime Alternative and Real Alternative.
K-Lite Mega Codec Pack
These are QuickTime files. There are alternatives to the original program, if like me, you don't like it. Check out QuickTime Alternative or Media Player Classic which can play these files so long as you have the codec already installed.
.ra .rm .ram
These are RealPlayer files. I'm not a big fan of Realplayer. It installs lord knows what on your system and never really goes away when you want to uninstall it. Still if you insists you can get the player here. There are however alternatives to the original program, check out Real Alternative and Media Player Classic.
They can be viewed using various media players including Windows Media Player, but I suggest using VLC media player (aka Videolan) or Media Player Classic.
Not all dvd players will play vcd/svcds, and some will play vcd but not svcd. There is a searchable database for dvd player compatibility here.
And a list here
.vob .ifo .bup
Usually these files will come all together in one folder called Video_TS. This is a direct backup of a dvd's file system. Use Nero to burn them onto a dvd-r by selecting "dvd video" from the dvd menu.
NTSC and PAL are the two main standards used across the world. NTSC has a higher frame rate than pal (29fps compared to 25fps) but PAL has an increased resolution, and gives off a generally sharper picture. Playing NTSC discs on PAL systems seems a lot easier than vice-versa. An RGB enabled scart lead will play an NTSC picture in full colour on most modern tv sets, but to record this to a VHS tape, you will need to convert it to PAL50 (not PAL60 as the majority of DVD players do.) This is either achieved by an expensive converter box (in the regions of £200+) an onboard converter (such as the Dansai 852 / certain Daewoos / Samsung 709 ) or using a World Standards VCR which can record in any format.
Sources, Formats And Scene Tags
Downloaded a movie and you don't understand what the Source, Format or Scene Tags mean? Have a look here.
Usually music files. Play them with WinAmp or your favorite audio player. Most new dvd players support the playing of mp3 cds. Making mp3 cds lets you put 100+ mp3 files on a cd for playing on your dvd player, computer, or portable mp3 cd player. They will not work on a regular cd player though.
Ogg Vorbis media files. You can find out more about them and download applications here. This filetype is another encoding format that can be used for various media. You will probably want to download the DirectShow Ogg filter to play back OGM files. Any new version of WinAmp will also do.
There are many other audio formats, but .ogg and .mp3 are the most common on File Sharing networks. If you install the K-lite (Mega) codec pack you will be able to play all music files
Lossless is also not scene standard as many people do not see the difference between lossy and lossless. Also MP3 is a small format and has massive support from music players such as Ipod where as Lossless does not. Download DBPowerAmp (http://www.dbpoweramp.com/) and install a few of the codecs you need (http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codec-central.htm). This program can convert from lossless into MP3 and hundreds of other formats.
Also please remember;
* Highest Possible Quality - go for a lossless (it looses no sound quality) codec such as Monkeys Audio,
* Compromise on Space - best lossy would be Musepack above 160Kbps it cannot be beaten,
* Most Compatible - that would be mp3, it is built into dBpowerAMP so no need to download it,
* Portable Player - if supported by your flash memory player go for Windows Media Audio and fit more audio tracks, if you have an iPod go for the newest mp4!
CD Image Files
.bin and .cue
These are your standard images of a CD. To open them you have a couple options.
You can burn them using Nero , FireBurner or Alcohol 120%
You can also use Daemon Tools, which lets you mount the image to a "virtual cd-rom", so basically it tricks your computer into thinking that you have another cd-rom and that you're putting a cd with your image file on it into this virtual cd-rom, it's great cuz you'll never make a bad cd again.
Alcohol 120% also sports a virtual cd-rom feature. Finally, if you're still struggling to access the files contained within any given image file you can use CDMage to extract the files and then burn them, or just access them from your hard drive.
You can use VCDGear to extract the mpeg contents of a SVCD or VCD image file such as bin/cue.
If you don't have an .cue file you can create one with Cueator
Another type of image file that follows similar rules as .bin and .cue, only you extract or create them using WinISO or ISOBuster. WinISO can not be used for DVD .iso files use ISOBuster for DVD iso.
Sometimes converting a problematic .bin and .cue file to an .iso can help you burn it to a cd. Examples of programs that burns iso's are: Nero, FireBurner and Easy CD Creator but there are many many more!
.ccd .img .sub
All these files go together and are in the CloneCD format. CloneCD is like most other CD-Burning programs, see the .bin and .cue section if you're having problems with these files.
These are Discjuggler image files. Alcohol 120% is able burn these. Daemon Tools and Alcohol 120% can mount them.
Another type of image file created with Nero. As far as I know these are not mountable, except maybe by Nero. you can also use Nero to burn these files.
These are media descriptor files created with Alcohol 120%. They are mountable using either Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120%.
These are text files. .txt files can be opened with notepad or watever you default text editor happens to be, and .doc are opened with Microsoft Word. Be careful when opening .doc files from unknown sources, they may contain macro viruses.
These are compressed install files. Just double-click the file to load the installer. If you have downloaded an .exe file using file sharing software it is recommended to scan the file with your anti-virus software. if double-clicking doesnt work try renaming the file extension to .rar, .zip or .iso
These contain information about the file you just downloaded, and it's HIGHLY recommended that you read these! They will usually contain information regarding: the particular release group, the release date, the encoding method used (xvid, divx, vcd, svcd...) and format (ntsc/pal) for movie files; any cracks, keygens or cd-keys for applications and games; and various other pieces of important information. They are plain text files, often with ascii-art. You can open them with Notepad.
Unfortunately Windows uses this extension for it's system info program so simply double-clicking on the file probably wont work.
On Windows Xp
Right click on the .nfo file and select "properties"
click the button marked "change"
click "select the program from list"
check the box next to "Always use the selected program to open this type of file"
Now any time you double click on a .nfo file, it will open correctly.
Adobe Portable Document Format
Like Microsoft Word documents these can contain text, pictures and formatting. Unlike Microsoft Word documents, they cannot contain viruses, and cannot be modified.
Opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
.jpg .gif .tga .psd .png
Basic image files. These files generally contain pictures, and can be opened with Adobe Photoshop or whatever your default image viewer is.
Checks to make sure that your multi-volume archives are complete. This just lets you know if you've downloaded something complete or not. You probably will only need to use this file type if you are downloading off of newsgroups. Because most releases come from the newsgroups, these files tend to show up on file sharing networks. You can open/activate these files with SFVChecker (Trial version) or hkSFV
A .tar file keeps related files together, and thus facilitates the transfer of multiple files between computers. The files in a .tar archive must be extracted before they can be used. they can be extracted using Winrar
.p** (where the asterisks are numbers)
These are parity files, and are often used when downloading from newsgroups. Parity files are usually posted along with the original files, with an index file at the beginning of a post and different sizes of volumes at the end of a post. These files can fill in gaps when you're downloading something from a newsgroup and get corrupted or missing parts. Open them with QuickPar.
If you can't find your extension in this list you can also check here.
If you cannot open a certain file please don't post it in this thread (PM me or start a new thread).
Only post comments related to this guide, other replies will be removed.