The most common file formats used in P2P (peer-to-peer) networks
- torrent - torrent files store metadata used by BitTorrent protocol, which is used for distributing large amounts of data.
Compressed archive file types
- zip, rar, ace - To speed up download/upload many files are compressed and usually also split. To open them, you will need one of the popular extraction tools such as WinZip, WinRAR or WinACE. Although some basic zip files can be opened and extracted with basic Windows functions also.
Information text files
- nfo, readme, 1st - Small information files, can be easily opened with basic text editor like Notepad, although are not associated with it in Windows by default.
- iso - The iso files are disk images of optical disc in a format defined by International Organization for Standardization (ISO). All CD burning applications and disk image emulators can handle those files.
- nrg - The nrg files are disk images, very similar to ISO, created using NERO, which can also burn them.
- c2d - A disk image file, very similar to ISO, created using Roxia Easy CD Creator.
- bin, cue - The bin files are binary images of whole CDs, accompanied with their smaller counterpart cue files. While Bin files store the actual data, the cue files store informations about the laid out of the data on the disk. Basically for every bin file, there should be a cue file with same file name. You can handle those files with most burning applications or virtual drive software such as Deamon Tools or Alcohol 120%. If, for some reason, your bin file doesn't have a cue file, you can create one using the Makecue application you can find on Internet.
- mds, mdf - A disk image files created using Alcohol 120%. The actual data are stored in the mds file, while the header and track information is saved in the mdf file. All file share the same name, just different extension.
- bwi, bwt, bws - A disk image files created using older version of BlindWrite. The actual data are stored in the bwi file, bwt is a control file and bws is a optional file created depending on the options selected. All file share the same name, just different extension.
- b5t, b5i - A disk image files created using Blindwrite version 5 and above. The actual data are stored in the bwi file b5i, while the settings, track data and controls are stored in b5t file. All file share the same name, just different extension.
- ccd, img, sub - A disk image file created using CloneCD. The actual data are stored in the img file, while the settings and controls are stored in ccd file. The sub channel data of all tracks of the CD are stored in the sub files. All file share the same name, just different extension.
Audio and music files
- mp3 - A very common audio encoding format used mainly for music files. Nowadays can be opened in any media player.
- flac - A file format for lossless audio data compression. FLAC files do not loose quality from the audio stream, which is notable characteristic of MP3 formats.
- ogg, ogm - Ogg is a free, open standard container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation. The Ogg files are audio, and ogm video files.
- ape - Another lossless audio data compression format. You can create and play ape file using Monkey's Audio.
- mpc - Musepack audio file. Musepack is purely variable bitrate codec and does not work at a constant bitrate. You can open those files using tools found on MusePack site.
Movie and video file types
- avi - A commonly used audio video format, which can be opened with all kinds of media players.
- srt, sub - The most common movie subtitle files. They store the informations about textual versions of the dialogs in movies. Most media players have options to select and view subtitles. Mostly, the file name of subtitles has to be the same as the movie file. Subtitles are very often used for language translations of movies.
- mp4, fla - Movie video files used on Internet, mobile devices or mobile phones