A binary file (commonly, but not necessary, with the extension .bin) is a computer file which may contain any type of data, encoded in binary form for computer storage and processing purposes; for example, computer document files containing formatted text. Many binary file formats contain parts that can be interpreted as text; binary files that contain only textual data-without, for example, any formatting information-are called plain text files.
Binary files are usually thought of being a sequence of bytes, but binary files can also contain images, sounds, compressed versions of other files, etc. Some binary files contain headers, blocks of metadata used by a computer program to interpret the data in the file.
A BIN file is often accompanied by a .cue file. The .cue file serves as the table of contents and gives instruction to programs to deal with the data. A .bin file can also be a Generic Binary File used to store data in a binary format. Another common association with .bin files is a Sega Genesis Game ROM where the data from Sega Genesis cartridge is stored into a single data file and played on a PC with Sega emulator. Besides, a .bin file can also be a Unix Executable File or a Binary Video File.
As a disk image, a .bin file can be copied on a CD/DVD with programs like Nero, Fireburner, and DVD Decrypter.