Site Comment: The purpose of .RAR files?

As I have uttered on previous occasions, I greatly admire and laud The Will of the Ancients for the phenomenal dedication and comprehensiveness its staff illustrates in imparting articles and information to the site.

However, I regret to inform that I am being soundly thwarted in my endeavours to enjoy a substantial proportion of the site’s downloadable content by this infuriating, exasperating, imperturable, impregnable custodian - the .RAR file.

Be it .MIDIs, .MP3s, films, or even WinAmp skins, everywhere where there is downloadable content, I am confronted by this infuriating and exasperating barrier. None of my programs can read .RAR files - my word, I don’t even know what .RAR files are! Why doesn’t the site simply possess the original files? Is it something included “for tax purposes”, or am I so appallingly computer-illiterate that there is a stupendously popular program that reads them that I’m completely ignorant of?

Thanks for your help.

It’s a compressed file format much like .zip, most every good decompression program should be able to extract the files, if all else fails try Winrar.

.RAR files are basically an alternative to .ZIP files; as far as I know they reduce filesizes a little more than .ZIP files do, which is why the site favours them. Quite a few programs can open .RAR files for you, but WinRAR is about as good as any; you can download a trial version of it here.

EDIT: Yes, I went to make a cup of coffee halfway through typing my post. I’m guessing Alex didn’t. :slight_smile:

Alexander, Lance Way, I thank you very much for clarifying this matter for me. It is greatly appreciated!

Downloading now, for great justice! Depresses the ‘Enter’ key with a dramatic relish :wink:

no problem, glad they could help (I was asleep >_<)


Also, WinRAR allows you to break up larger files into smaller volumes (meaning if you have a 100mb file, you can break it up into 10 10mb files… which makes them easier to store/transfer/etc.)

Plus, you can attach a crc check to those files so that if you download it and one of the files is corrupt, you can just download the parts of the file that are bad rather than the whole thing like you’d have to do with Zips. It’s handy for when I download certain…things…from servers, I don’t have to worry as much about my download getting interupted. I honestly don’t even know why Zip is still around, RARs are really better in every way…but I guess once something becomes popular it will stay that way. Then again, I also would rather use MP3s than OGGs, so I guess I’m a bit of a hypocrit :stuck_out_tongue:

Although some of the files on TWotA were originally compressed as zip files, I converted everything to RAR simply because it saves on webspace. For example, a 56KB MIDI can be reduced to 6KB (which is quite amazing if you think about it).

A lot of Linux users seem to like using the tar.gz format… does anyone know how this compares to RAR?

I have no idea, I know that my cPanel uses it to save my SQL database and the final file comes out at about 20mb. Which if its the actually database i find that amazing cos i think its actually over 150mb uncompressed =S

As a general rule of thumb RAR files are useless, ZIP is the acceppted standard.

I’m not sure what you mean by “useless”. Less popular, sure, but then, does that make Linux a useless operating system, or the Gamecube a useless gaming console?

I like Solo’s replies :slight_smile:
but yeah, zip is more common, …but does it mean it is better? :wink:

Tell that to the piracy groups out there who only distribute their files as multi-part RAR archives :smiley: