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Why RAR?
Rar-hub, rar only, rar is the best, i'm only sharing rar and so on and so forth. In most cases, when someone speaks of "RAR", they're referring to original-releases.
  1. What is an original release?
  2. What does an original release look like?
  3. What's up with the odd directory names?
  4. How an original-release should NOT look like?
  5. Which are the main advantages of original-releases?
  6. How do I use an original-release?
  7. How do I keep track of the latest releases?
  8. I don't have room for both the RAR-archives and the extracted files!
  9. k, then I'll start packing all my stuff to rar then!?

What is an original release?

Original-releases are archived rips of movies, programs, games and music - all released by organisations and groups specialized in creating these kinds of releases, so called releasegroups. An example of these are DEViANCE, ViTE, LOL, RNS. The advantage of downloading these releses is that you know exactly what you are getting instead of downloading an .avi-file which someone-who-doesn't-know-what-they-are-doing put together. In addition, all release-groups follow a common set of rules which they together have created - rules that contribute to maintain high quality releases!


What does an original release look like?

The way a release is built up is in some ways dependent on what "section" it belongs to. Common, for all releases except music, is that the rip (i.e. the game, program, movie etc.) is always archived in a number of RAR-archives. This has been done to facilitate the actual download of the release, and in some cases is also due to tradition.

Below are a few examples of different types of releases...

Common sections are: TV, DIVX, VCD, SVCD, APPS, 0DAY, GAMES, XBOX, PS2, DVDR, MP3, MVID

Some typical releases:
A movie/television-episode:
Grease.1978.DVDRip.XviD-aNBc/ (the main directory)

Content:
Sample/ (directory with a little spot check)
Subs/ (sometimes there are subs included)
Covers/ (sometimes there is a dir with covers, rare)
.nfo (information about the release, general and technical)
.sfv (checksums for the rar archives)
x number of rar archives

The example above is an xvid-movie in which the RAR-archives contains a regular .avi-file. On the contrary, if it hade been a movie in SVCD or VCD, the RAR-archives would have contained an image of a cd-disc - probably with the suffix .bin/cue.

A game:
TOTAL.CLUB.MANAGER.2004-DEViANCE or Midnight_Race_Club-iMMERSiON

Content:
.nfo
.sfv
x number of rar archives

The same goes for Apps.

A MP3-release:
VA_-_Clubmaster_Vol.1-2CD-2003-MOD (main directory)

Content:
.nfo
.sfv
.m3u (tracklist with all the songs)
x number of MP3-files (not packed)
Sometimes covers

A mvid-release, (music video):
Cypress_Hill-Insane_In_The_Brain-Vood2003-SVCD-2003-UVZ

Content:
.nfo
.sfv
.mpg or .m2v for the actual video-file (not packed)

A 0day-release:
(apps that can be installed directly, without burning/mounting)

Ahead.Nero.Burning.ROM.v6.6.0.3.Ultra.Edition.Incl.Keygen.WORKING-ORiON or FlashFXP.v3.15.Build.1054.Beta.SCENE.EDITION.WinALL-Pandora

Content:
.nfo
file_id.diz
x number of zip-archives (with rars inside)

This is the oldest standard (from the 80s) and is still the most used (in number of releases). The releases always consist of ZIP-files and NEVER rar- or ace-archives! Because of the age of the standard, sfv-files are missing. The pnly thing that is checked is the number of files by looking for a special section in the file file_id.diz where the number of files is written (the section looks like this: [xx/xx] ).

Same standard as above goes for the following sections:

EBOOK - (Oreilly.Learning.C.Sharp.eBook-LiB)
PDA - (GPS.Tuner.v3.5f.ARM.PPC.Cracked-RCAPDA)
GBA - (Harry_Potter_And_The_Sorcerers_Stone_USA_GBC-MNC)
GAMERiPS - (Sid_Meiers_Pirates-DVN)

When regarding game-, program- or SVCD-releases the content of the RAR-archives will be an image of a cd-disc with the movie/program/game on it. That is, it will be a mirror of a complete cd-disc and can be burned with ex. Nero or mounted in
daemon tools.

In the release there is also a SFV- and a NFO-file. The SFV-file contains checksums for the RAR-archives of which the release consists (a checksum is the sum of the symbols which the file consist of). What all this means is that you, with the help of this checksum-file, can control whether you have downloaded a correct release without transfererrors etc., aka. "sfv-check". In the NFO-file you will find information about the release, for example the format of the movie, what the program is used for or even how to crack the game. The nfo-file is in plain text and can be opened with notepad - preferably with the font Terminal. It is also possible to associate .nfo-files with a nfo-viewer, for example DIZzy.

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What's up with the odd directory names?

In the rules I mentioned earlier there are clear guidelines as to how a certain kind of release should be named. This is done so that all necessary information will be included in all releases. Uniformity creates a clear distinction - imagine if all groups would have their own ways of naming relases. This is also done to ensure the release on different kinds of platforms. Some of these can't cope with special letters, as , , or blank spaces. To prevent the risk of getting an error only a certain set of symbols are allowed.


How an original-release should NOT look like?
  • NO renamed foldernames! "[DVD] - Grease (1978)".
  • NO missing .nfo or .sfv (or any kind of the files mentioned above)
  • Ofcourse should ALL RAR-archives be included.
  • And last but not least, sample MUST be included! All movie/television-releases includes samples. If you come across a release which is missing those files the sample will have been lost somewhere on route to you! Ask others for help finding it...

Odd files/folders which shall be removed:

"100%completed@700mb_by_someone"
.debug, .raceinfo, .missing, .checked, .message, .ioFTPd, raidenFTPd.acl

These are directorys and files created along with the transfer of the releases. They have no value and shall be removed!

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Which are the main advantages of original-releases?
  1. Because the releases consists of small parts you don't have to worry about re-downloading the whole release if something goes wrong and a file gets corrupted.

  2. You can control that everything has been downloaded correctly by checking against the SFV-file. Hence you will always know whether you've gotten a complete uncorrupt release of what you were downloading.

    This means that you will have the exact same files on your computer, when you've downloaded and extracted the release, as the person who first ripped the movie and created the release. This instead of downloading an extracted version of the file which perhaps has been transfered a couple of hundred times from one person to another and where there is an overwhelming risk of transfer errors. This doesn't mean that the file won't work, but it can lead to colourdeviations or so called freeze-frames.

  3. You can download from multiple sources at the same time - ensuring comformt and maximizing your download speed.

  4. We ge a standardized way of sharing, which DC obviously benefits greatly from. You will learn to recognize a good release and be spared the inconvenient trouble/surprise of poorly ripped movies by amatures.


How do I use an original-release?

Foremost you have to make sure that all the RAR-archives are intact. Even if you have activated the check-function in DC++ it's also a good idea to have a specialized program for the purpose - considering that DC++ isn't always that reliable. There are numerous sfv-programs to choose from of which hkSFV is recommended since it's both fast and reliable with lots of different features. When you have installed your sfv-program you just have to double-click on the sfv-file to check the release in question. hkSFV is also integrated in the shell so you can just click on a folder and check all releases within.

When all the RAR-files correspond to the checksum you are ready to extract them. This is easily done with winrar. You open the first file, choose extract and then winrar will automatically extract the remaining RAR-archives. The first file is most often the one ending with .rar - or part01.rar if all the files end with the suffix .rar - it can also be .001 dependent on how the files were named in the first place.

To ensure a rich supply of original-releases it's obvioulsy important that you share the release untouched once you have downloaded it. By doing this others will be able to take advantage of the profits generated by an original-release. What this means is that you share the downloaded releases COMPLETELY intact; not extracted or renamed in any way. It is also very important that you sfv-check everthying BEFORE you share it and by doing so avoiding the spread of corrupt releases. As mentioned before, there is a way to activate an automatic sfv-check in DC++, which is run during the downloads. The feature is located under advanced in the settings and is called "Enable automatic sfv checking".

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How do I keep track of the latest releases?

At this moment there are a number of special sites on the net which organize information about the latest releases. An example of these is www.nforce.nl which also is the most used site at this very moment. At nforce you will find anything and everything from movies to tv-series to pc- and xbox-games. www.vcdquality.com is another site where you also have the ability to grade the movie-releases and therefore more easily find the release you might want to get hold of. Even the good old isonews is an available option!

Big sites:
  • www.nforce.nl
  • www.vcdquality.com
  • www.theisonews.com
  • www.swedupe.com

    Swedish releases:
  • www.swecheck.net
  • www.swenews.info

    Mp3's can be found here:
  • www.grokmusiq.com
  • www.mp3hq.net

    Apps (xbox related) are available on:
  • www.xbins.org

    Consol-games:
  • www.console-news.org


    I don't have room for both the RAR-archives and the extracted files!

    This is a complaint often used in discussions regarding RAR. The simple solution is obviously not to keep both the RAR-archives and the extrated files. Store all your releases on the harddrive in RAR-archives. When you feel like watching a movie - just extract the file(s) to a temporary folder, watch and then delete the extracted files from the temporary folder. Extracting an ordinary movie takes about 3 minutes and is by far outbalanced by all the advantages of downloading and sharing RAR.


    k, then I'll start packing all my stuff to rar then!?

    NO NO NO NO NO and NO! NEVER EVER repack unpacked original releases.. if they are unpacked.. they are unpacked for ever, nothing can change that! The point of "rar" is that the rar files you download is EXACTLY the same as the ones packed by the release group at the beginning. Repacking is NOT allowed under any circumstances!!

  • >>> Continue to the DC-Spirit guide >>>


    It should NOT look like this...





    This site is a mix of guides, texts and other explanations... put together and clarified.
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