RAR’d torrents tend to be more popular and stay alive longer for several reasons.
Originally written and published by an anonymous source at the private torrent site IP Torrents. Some of its information is outdated, but most of which holds true to date.
Most Scene releases get uploaded here within minutes of their being pre’d on a topsite. This is because almost all of them are uploaded by an uploading bot not an actual person (a custom script some uploaders use to grab Scene releases via ftp from a topsite to their seedbox, it creates a .torrent file for it and strips the nfo for the torrent description and uploads them automatically to a site like IP torrents (IPT).
The uploaders TvTeam, G2K, MOVIES, DVD-R, Appz-Team, xXx, etc are some of the bots that currently upload Scene releases at IPT). And even if a person did grab it and up it here before one of the bots did/could, they still are doing so on their seedbox 99.99% of the time (which is what gives us all the awesome dl speeds) & if you think unrarring on your home computer is a pain you haven’t ever tried it on a seedbox. It’s not always easy or even possible on some boxes to set up to extract plus if it is it (1) could take forever and a day to do (just like hash checking it typically takes much much much longer than it would on your home computer) & (2) extra space on a box is expensive as crap comparably, unlike extra GBs of space on your home PC which are cheap as chips these days. We all enjoy Scene releases with faster pre-times at IPT because they are still packaged just the way they came as fast as they could possibly be upped here. For those reasons alone it’s nothing short of n00bish to expect a Scene release to have been extracted first, and I’ve just barely gotten started.
Besides all that, many torrent members (not just uploaders) use seedboxes of their own to download to first then they can securely FTP (SSH, SSL) to their home. Some of the reasons so many use seedboxes are (1) it affords them an extra layer of security (hides home ip from detection) and (2) less bandwidth use as they only need to download from home connection since they seed from box not from home which helps get around monthly bandwidth caps many ISPs impose (3) it’s more laptop-friendly as users don’t need to keep a machine on 24/7 at home trying to seed & (4) allows them to easily keep an insane ratio at any private tracker thanks to seedboxes typically awesome up/down speeds. Rar’d releases are MUCH more seedbox-friendly than unRar’d ones for the same reasons Scene uses rars, so people can more reliably FTP to/from their box. This is because FTP does not have the built-in hash check feature that torrents do so a rar archive provides a quick easy way to ensure file integrity after a file transfer. When a corruption is found only the rar or two instead of the whole release needs redownloaded. Also, lots of smaller files can transfer a lot faster via FTP than one large file. These are reasons why many using seedboxes will not even consider downloading a release that’s not rar’d and the reason why some of the most popular p2p groups like IMAGiNE prefer to rar their releases also.
Even if you don’t have a seedbox, those reasons explained above are why we all enjoy faster upload/download speeds here at IPT because most releases are rar’d (not just Scene ones) thus more seedbox-friendly as that has a LOT to do with why IPT attracts so many seedbox users (peers with the highest bandwidth). Just look on your peers tab in your client to see how many seedboxes are being used here (ovh, leaseweb, kimsufi, server.lu, xirvik, etc) and how fast you are uploading/downloading to/from them on a rar’d release and compare that to non-rar’d ones. lol. If you are maxing out your ul &/or dl bandwidth on a release then it’s very likely thanks in no small part to one or more seedboxes you are connected to at the time. That helps explain why rar’d releases tend to be more popular & stay alive longer than unrar’d ones at private sites like IPT that have a lot of members using seedboxes. For example, here’s a shot I snagged a day after two versions of the exact same release were uploaded just 30 seconds apart from each other in the same category, one unrar’d and the other rar’d.
Given the choice with all other factors being as equal as possible, you can see that a LOT more people preferred the rar’d release to an unrar’d one. Which one do you think is going to live longer before it dies from lack of seeds?
And those aren’t the only reasons rars are better.
Keeping a release packaged just the way it came originally allows for someone to go find a release at one site and be able to seed it at another. This is VERY helpful in keeping releases alive on the internet longer as it’s often how many are able to fill a reseed request.
Whenever there is a corruption on the uploader’s end and it’s rar’d, we find out right away. There are always comments saying so almost immediately after the first person got a crc error trying to extract, and a RARFIX of as little as single rar is usually uploaded not long after so people can download and replace just the corrupt rar(s). Whenever you run into a corrupt rar on a release it’s often possible to find that same uncorrupted rar from the same release at another site right away instead of even having to wait for a RARFIX.
“There is usually no need to unrar to watch a video”
It happens fairly often actually that there is a corruption on the uploader’s end, and for every RARFIX upload there was every bit just as likely a corruption on the uploader’s end in a non-rar’d release (I’m talking about a corruption there on the uploader’s box before the uploader created the .torrent file for it, so just like when there was when a RARFIX was needed, everyone was able to download to 100% because the corruption was already there so bittorrent’s built-in hash checking was of no help, and it’s ONLY because it was rar’d & wouldn’t extract did it become apparent) but since it’s not rar’d people have no way to know until much later when there is some glitch, pause, freeze, sync issue, didn’t install or convert right or completely, etc, and even then they still really have no clue as to where the problem came from. Was it on your end? You don’t know and the comments on the release will likely never reflect it or at least not until hours or even days later. Even if someone could figure out it was due to a corruption on the uploader’s end it would require someone reuploading and you redownloading the entire thing over again instead of a single rar or two. That’s just stupid!
There is usually no need to unrar to watch a video & in fact, if you know what you’re doing, you can download just a single rar or couple rars and play it as a sample (handy when there is no sample or to be able to post some screens in the comments really fast after it’s posted before anyone has time to dl the entire thing) or begin watching from the beginning while the rest of the archive finishes downloading (µTorrent’s ‘prioritize by file order’ setting is cool for helping with that). I’ll often download a couple rars first (.rar, .r00, .r01, etc) & then drop the .rar into vlc player & I’m often 5 or 10 minutes or more sometimes in to a film before it completes and I’m able to continue watching it all the way through. NOTE that this doesn’t always work but usually does especially for xvid releases.
^ If I just wanted to watch the full release without having to unrar it first I’d have done the same as above but without copying the *.rar file into another folder first.
If a DVDR upload doesn’t say whether it’s NTSC or PAL (or like one upped yesterday’s nfo said it was an “R1 PAL” lol) & there is no sample VOB, I can partially download a single rar file – as little as 10% of a single rar from the archive – and drop it into MediaInfo and see the specs on it. It’s really nice to be able to only download 10-20mb of a single rar and be able to find out it’s a PAL DVDR and my DVD Player won’t play it instead of having to download the entire ~4GB before I could find that out just because it wasn’t rar’d. Here’s a MediaInfo analysis of a single rar from a DVDR release.
Complete name : G:\Torrent Downloads\Bhutto.2010.COMPLETE.NTSC.DVDR-NTX\ntx-b.r24
Format : MPEG-PS
File size : 47.7 MiB
Duration : 1mn 25s
Overall bit rate : 4 685 KbpsVideo
ID : 224 (0xE0)
Format : MPEG Video
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@Main
Format settings, BVOP : Yes
Format settings, Matrix : Default
Duration : 1mn 24s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 4 368 Kbps
Nominal bit rate : 8 500 Kbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 23.976 fps
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Scan order : 2:3 Pulldown
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.527
Stream size : 44.2 MiB (93%)Audio
ID : 189 (0xBD)-128 (0x80)
Format : AC-3
Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension : CM (complete main)
Muxing mode : DVD-Video
Duration : 1mn 25s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 224 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Compression mode : Lossy
Delay relative to video : -608ms
Stream size : 2.28 MiB (5%)
Also, like with videos, I can download & drop any of the rars into vlc player and play a bit of the DVDR if it’s a rar archived image file format like any Scene DVDR upload (best to use one of the middle rars. like .r20 or .r45 etc instead of first or last rars so you get the main movie & not a menu or extra feature). From a single rar I can play it to see what audio and subtitle streams are present, etc in instances where the nfo was lacking such info about the release. (Editors note; For more recent examples, see our Latest download reports page)
As you can see, there’s way more pros than cons with rar’d torrents.
It’s simple really.
Rar’d torrents are better.