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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > NFO Creation & History

NFO Creation & History

NFO Creation & History

Added: Friday, November 6th, 2009
Category: Geek Zone > Technology News
Tags:File Sharing, ET, Extra Torrent, p2p, Torrent, Peer To Peer, Scene, BitTorrent, .torrent, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent.com, .nfo, NFO, info
Do you release your own torrents, which you encoded or recorded or compressed? Have you a wide variety of custom created content you wish to share, but are not sure how to make an .nfo file? I'd like to share with you all a great application to help you in building a .nfo file extension for your content.


Many of you see in certain releaser's torrents, an "NFO" file, which is the .nfo extension. Sadly, most do not understand how to even open it, let alone create one. Here we'll go over the methodology of the extension, and the history of why it was used, and I'll even give you all a handy program to use for building an .nfo file.

If you do in fact release your own work, or you wonder how .nfo files are made, it has a long history. The "scene" groups for years have been including nfo's, ASCII, and ANSI art along with their releases. It's become somewhat of a tradition, and it carries on today with p2p groups as well.

Think of an nfo as a means of release information. Inside an nfo you will find certain details such as the codecs used in an encode, the run time, the file size, the bit rates of both audio and video, possibly the track list, plot, or other important details pertaining to a release.

The nfo has been around longer than the BitTorrent protocol itself has, dating back to the mid 1980's, and the most respected in the game use it. You too can use it, with the proper techniques.

There are many nfo viewers or applications out there, and most all are freeware, available on various locations around the web. My personal favorite, which was recommended to me from a good friend, is NFO Builder. I use this app for all my releases, and I find it easier to create them with it.

No need for backspacing, aligning the images, or any other dreadful process while using NFO Builder. It's an all-in-one tool that gets the job done. Yes, you could just change the file extension to .txt and open the NFO file if you wanted, but why? Why not respect tradition, and get yourself a viewer. It's a great means of using the files the way they were meant to be used.

You can visit Defacto, and find a wide range of viewers here. Also the fore mentioned NFO Builder tool is here available freely as well. Try it out, you might learn a thing or two.

Warez groups as well in the late 80's and early 90's used these files, as a means to "brag" their releases, or show off their unique artistic abilities. These files were used in that period as often as notepad is used today. It was quite common. Oddly the technique is still very misunderstood by today's generations and youth, and oh so many do not know how to read or open the extension. Again, any NFO viewer, Microsoft System Information tool, or notepad, can easily open the document.

If in fact you want to display an NFO file properly, you must use the proper font. Most newer PC's, newer source codes that modern web pages are running, do not display this type of elite code properly. Terminal, or "Code 437" is what needs to be selected in order for an NFO to be viewed how it was intended to be seen, or how it was created. If you do not have this font or you see an incorrect or out of alignment for an NFO, then you need to change the font on your browser or PC.

The "era of BBS" as it's called, basically required all release groups to use an elaborate or decorated NFO file. This was a must have in what is now known as the "scene". ANSI art, and ASCII art, were both highly common at the time. This was the during the arising of the DOS shell, and many PC's were able to display this form of art correctly.

Then came Windows 95. Windows 95 basically destroyed the ability for the ANSI art to display correctly, and NFO files soon would decline in usage. The more elite releasers, still used this method, although the common person was unable to understand how to enable their PC to display this technique correctly.

As fixed width fonts faded, and proportional fonts rose, this also complicated the display of the ASCII art, and unless you were viewing with MS-DOS or Unix consoles, it proved quite the task to be seen correctly. Thus came the name "scene".

Wikipedia dates NFO files back to a 1989 PC organization known as "The Humble Guys" (THG), with the release of the anticipated "Bubble Bobble" PC game. Although this is disputed as the first group to use NFO's, it's the first proven documented release. Shortly after this, almost all "warez" and "crack" groups began using the art form, on all the Usent binaries and other p2p networks which were popular.

"README.TXT" and "README.1ST" file names began appearing more commonly, and this created a huge revolution for the file sharing world and NFO files. This tradition continued and is still used, now, nearly 20 years after the first documented release, by THG.

More commonly today, the "scene" archives or "rars" their releases, and includes an NFO. P2P groups have followed the NFO tradition, but rarely will you see a P2P group's files in archived format. The "scene" relies on peer to peer to propagate their releases, and the p2p groups rely on the "scene" for their sources. It's a dog eat dog world, yes, but the amount of communication between the two are heavy, even today.

I hope I helped shed a little light on the history of the NFO, and gave you a nice link to check out various viewers. Anyone currently releasing their own work, I ask to respect tradition, and check out the history of the NFO file, and use it properly. Enjoy guys.

November 6th, 2009

Posted by:  Blocked
Date:  Friday, November 6th, 2009

Comments (14) (please add your comment »)

posted by Site FriendXbox (2009-11-06 09:56:29)
Painless avatarAnother Great post from Sexy Obscene, 10/10 Thanks, ET is growning everyday :)

posted by Site FriendKitty (2009-11-06 10:10:16)
aSBo avatarOBS It`s fantastic that you write these articles. You write them
in such a way I believe they are comprehensive & very informative.
All members of Extra whatever their previous knowledge of the subject
matter get insight & the opportunity to expand their skill set.

Thank you :)

posted by (2009-11-06 10:30:38)
marblezilla avatarSuper informative info-tidbit! I only thought the NFO ext was used to "fool" anti-sharing groups trying to auto-search any torrent's text files for security about the file's creators. I rem long ago googling the NFO ext and reading about simply using the "Open With..." command. I always thought there was some greater purpose than covertly changing .txt to .nfo.

I have seen certain font inconsistencies when I viewed certain NFOs with notepad then seeing a slightly different style using wordpad.

I'll download NFO BUILDER & check it out. I just love more usefully software. It's like a fetish for me. Well...a Socially Acceptable one...Heh!

posted by (2009-11-06 10:33:35)
XxGoLDxX avatarGr8 and helpful post thanks obs

posted by (2009-11-06 11:04:01)
SnakeyB avatarGreat read, Thanks Obs.
I have to admit, when I come across one of those files, If I click to open and it doesn't, I skip it. I never try with another application. I will now take the time to see whats "inside".

posted by (2009-11-06 15:48:28)
moontan101 avatarXcellent read Obs, Thx!

posted by (2009-11-06 18:19:23)
Infectious avatarThe man that keeps us all "In the Know"Thx as usual Obscene,another excellent read.

posted by (2009-11-06 19:17:14)
Wedmaster69 avatarSome more good info from the big man OBS. Thanks :-)

posted by (2009-11-06 19:57:11)
bluepeas avatarYes, this was an informative article! Answered some of my questions
Thanx Ob!

posted by (2009-11-06 21:17:27)
Lboogie382 avatarANSI art was the $hit! Down its all about photo shop. But that stuffs good too!

posted by ET lovermenTurtle (2009-11-07 02:24:59)
damanyal avatarHey thanks for the info Obs...think u need to write a book "Knowledge is power" definitely be first in line ^5

posted by (2009-11-07 04:31:16)
arrimmapirate avatarGod I miss BBS's.

posted by (2009-11-07 09:48:29)
MindTrixXx avatarNice read...thx OBs! ET Forever!

posted by Trusted UploaderSite FriendET lover (2009-12-30 02:08:06)
sam_code4u avatarTo view nfo files i use "damn nfo viewer" and to build nfo files i wil also suggest "nfo builder"
thx obs 4 the information

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