Dear Dave, I have a PSP and I love it, but there is a problem: I am confused about .rar files or documents. What format is RAR and how do I unpack it? I’ve looked for downloads for my PSP but they are all in RAR format and I have no idea what to do with them once I download them. Please help!
There are many, many different packaging and compression programs available nowadays, from the classic Windows ZIP format to the Mac “StuffIt” .SIT format to Linux .tar and .tgz formats. Figuring out which is which, however, isn’t quite so easy and if your computer doesn’t just magically unpack them when you double-click on the icon, trying to identify the right program to use can be darn tricky!
RAR stands for the friendly name “Resource Adapter Archive” (think “aRchive”) and it’s most commonly used in the p2p world, in my experience. One big benefit of the RAR format that makes it so popular for large file sharing is that it lets you split up very large packages into smaller, more manageable flies that are then seamlessly reconnected during the unpack process.
For Windows users, there are a number of RAR packages available, as a quick visit to Download.com demonstrates. Two of the best in class are WinRAR, which is fully featured and lets you create RAR archives, and ExtractNow, which is less capable, but free.
Mac users can use UnRarX or RAR Expander to open up these archive files (both are free), and Linux folk will find that RAR 3.50 for Linux does the trick (trialware, not sure how much registration costs).
That should get you started unpacking these files. Be careful, though: if you were to get a RAR archive and extract a file that was corrupted somehow and transfered it to your PSP, it could theoretically cause problems that wouldn’t be covered under the Sony warranty.