There are many different file types out there. Lots. Below you will find some information on the various types you may come across when downloading, and what you should do with them. This guide is just an overview, designed to point you in the right direction and credit to Chelsea-Jon for his help with this guide.

Compression Files.rar .r01 .001 .zip .ace .cbr .cbz

Multimedia Files.divx .xvid .wmv .avi .mpg .mpeg .ra .rm .ram .mp3 .mp2 .ogm .ogg . vcd .svcd .mov

Disc Image Files.bin .cue .ccd .img .sub .iso .mds .mdf .nrg

Other File Types.txt .doc .rtf .pdf .nfo

Compression Files

.rar .r01 .001 .zip .ace

These are archived files. They are compressed to make your download smaller and therefore faster. You can use WinRAR (most common) or PowerArchiver to open these. WinZIP and WinACE may also be able to read these files. Once you have the file and one of the programs above to open them, just double click on the file (if it doesn’t know what to open it with right click > open with > select the program from the list). A window will open and ask where you want to extract the files to. Select a location and unpack.

.cbr .cbz

These are normally compressed comics. In order to open these correctly you need CDisplay.

Back To Top

Multimedia Files

.divx .xvid .wmv .avi .mpg. .mpeg

These are usually motion picture formats, usually associated with things like films or TV shows. There are many different players out there, but some of my personal favourites are VLC, BSPlayer, Winamp, DivX Player and Windows Media Player. VLC is particularly good because it supports LOTS of different formats.

These files usually have two parts to them, one picture and the other sound. Sound is driven by Codecs. Some of the popular Codecs are ffdshow, Xvid, DivX, ac3filer & Ogg.

If codecs are a problem you could try installing a popular codec pack which contains many popular codecs.

.ra .rm .ram

These are associated with RealPlayer. Some like it, some don’t. Personally, I’m not a big fan!

.mp3 .mp2

These are music files. There are loads of music players out there, but Winamp and Windows Media Player are the most common.

.ogm .ogg

These are Ogg Vorbis media files. They are music formats and you can use DirectShow Ogg filter to play back OGM files, or the latest version of Winamp.

. vcd .svcd

These are Video CD or Super Video CD files. Once burnt onto a disc they will play in most modern DVD players.


Only associated with Quicktime movies.

Back To Top

Disc Image Files

.bin .cue .ccd .img .sub

These are images of a CD and are quite common, think of them as a “virtual CD”. They are an exact copy of a disc and when you burn them back onto a disc you have a copy, just done in different ways depending on the exact format. There are a few programs out there that you can use to burn these onto disc with, but Nero and Alcohol 120% are the most used. You should definitely get hold of Alcohol 120%.

Alcohol 120% will also allow you to create a “virtual drive”. You can then put your virtual disc into your virtual drive and you don’t need to burn the disc at all. Useful if you want to download dvd rips (4gb in size) but don’t have a DVD burner. If you rely on this method make sure you have lots of HD space to store the images on if you want to keep them.Alcohol 120% will also cope well with various copy protection systems as it can emulate them.


This is another version of a CD image. You can use Alcohol 120%, WinISO, UltraISO or ISOBuster to burn these.

.mds .mdf

These are Media Descriptor Images. You can use Alcohol 120% to burn / mount these.


These areĀ  images made using Nero. You will have to use Nero to burn them yourself.

Back To Top

Other File Types

.txt .doc .rtf

You can open a .txt file with Notepad, and .doc files with Microsoft Word, or something such as OpenOffice. .rtf (Rich Text Format) files can also be opened in Microsoft Word (or similar).


You can view these with Adobe Acrobat Reader.


These are information files. You will probably come across these lots. You should read them every time. Open them with notepad. Or, if you want to see them as they were meant to be seen (graphically better) then use something like DAMN nfo Viewer or UltraEdit.

Back To Top