Many files on the Internet are compressed to reduce the time it takes to transfer the files to users requesting them and to cut down on the monthly bandwidth bill. A negative aspect of this is that the files need to be decompressed on the user’s computer system before they can be used.
Standard unpackers like WinRar, WinZip or 7-zip are able to handle most of the operations with ease. They usually fail on the other hand when it comes to extracting lots of archives, especially if those are stored in multiple folders.
This article reviews four specialized programs that are capable of extracting multiple archives at once.
Extract Now is the only program of the four that has been reviewed before by Ghacks. That was back in 2007. The developer has continued to develop the software and extended the functionality by a lot. The basic functionality however has remained the same. Archives can be added for extraction by dragging and dropping folders or files into the Extract Now interface or by selecting them in Windows Explorer and using the context menu link to send them to the program.
- Supports most major archive formats
- Drag and drop files or folders from Windows Explorer to extract them
- Simple user interface and sleek design in a small package
- Recursively search through folders for archives (Just drag and drop them)
- Delete files or close program after extraction options
- Windows explorer file associations for all supported archive types
- Extract files into current directory, named folder, or favorite folder of choice
- System tray icon on Minimize and Always on top features
- Integrates with Windows Explorer via special context menu items
Extract Now supports a variety of formats including zip, rar, gzip, tar, iso and dozens of others. All archives that have been found can be extracted automatically or by clicking on the Extract button in the main program interface.
The software comes with lots of options that make the whole extracting process more comfortable. Extracted archives can for instance be deleted so that they do not have to be deleted manually in the end.
Extract Now is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of most Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Unpacker uses a completely different design but provides almost the same functionality that Extract Now offers. The program does not support drag and drop but selection of files or folders from the file browser in its interface.
Zip-support added! Possible to add archives in archives directly to the queue Added option for ignoring the found window and directly extract everything it find Made the cleanup functions smarter, and fixed a small bug in the renaming feature Now possible to save unfinished extraction queue to file on exit and reload it on startup (or a crash) Logfile support added Also possible to rename the directory youâ€™ve extracted from Possible to pause/resume on Unpacker & Autocopy AutoCopy can now operate in quiet mode Possible to set thread priority Autoscan directories by given interval Check autoscanned archives against the SFV file Automatic adding to queue when archive is equal to SFV, so you donâ€™t have to 🙂 Recursive scan of harddrive anywhere in Explorer for archives Archives can be queued for process Each archive is extracted one by one Possible (optional) to clean up the archive files after use
Selected folders are scanned for archives which are then automatically displayed with selection boxes to select some or all for extraction.
A major limitation of Unpacker is that it only supports rar and zip archives. These two formats make up the majority of compressed files on the Internet but it may mean the occasional manual extraction of unsupported archives.
Unpacker comes with a folder watcher that can be used to monitor folders for new archives. New compressed files are then automatically unpacked by Unpacker.
Scene Unpacker is limited to the rar format. It has been specifically designed for so called scene releases which are normally distributed as rar archives.
A folder can be selected in the file browser. The program will automatically scan that folder and subfolders for rar archives. Any rar archive found is then listed in the interface so that they can be extracted easily.
The application seems to have troubles recognizing rar files correctly since it added several jpg images that ended with numbers as archives as well. This alone makes it rather impracticable to use unless it can be ensured that images are not located in the rar archive folders.
Scene Unpacker requires the Microsoft .net Framework. It can be integrated into the Send To menu for extra context menu integration.
The Scene Release Unpacker (SCRU)
SCRU, just like Scene Unpacker, have been specifically designed for P2P downloaders. It is basically a background program that can watch multiple directories for new archives and process them automatically whenever they are discovered.
The app is complex as it provides lots of features that require configuration. It supports all the basic options one would expect like shell integration or logging. Advanced features include configuring different profiles and filters for specific usage scenarios.
The Scene Release Unpacker supports both rar and zip archives. It requires the Microsoft .net Framework 2.0 and can be downloaded from the developer website.
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Post tags: archives, extract now, rar archives, windows software, zip archives
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