An Independent Critic presents                  
                         A Rebuttal of......
                    Official MP3 Release Rules 1.1

-The rebuttal of TDX2K5 inspired me to take a look at the current MP3 rules
 and scrutinize all the points I felt were inconcise and vague. The current
 rules are adequate, though they could be much better. In no way is this
 intended to disrespect or offend any of the honorable crews that signed the
 current ruleset. With that said, some of the points I make may seem anal, but
 I personally care about the future of the audio scene and would like to 
 ensure its continued operation to provide HQ Audio to its members.
-In contrast to the author of the TDX2K5 rebuttal, I am NOT a previous
 signee of previous MP3 rulesets, nor am I part of an old and legendary crew.
 Despite this, I fully understand why many of the rules were implemented in the
 ruleset. I just felt that someone outside of the big groups should have the
 opportunity to address any issues and concerns they may have. I hope this
 will encourage anyone who agrees with my points to speak their mind and
 cause much needed vigor in the MP3 scene. Any groups and all groups are welcomed
 to include this in their .nfo, as well as make their own rebuttal. I also
 dont want to make it seem I want the MP3 scene to be something extremely
 difficult to be in, but many of the suggestions I make should
 not be hard for most groups to integrate into their normal routine. I know MP3s
 aren't as difficult to do as XviDs, DVDR re-encodes or X264 encodes, but
 I feel they deserve a ruleset that's clear and eliminates any questions,
 free of any grammatical errors and has a professional appearance.
-Note: Yes I know the standard for nfos/txt is 80 char wide, but I'm doing this
 late in the night since I have insomnia and have nothing else to do, so don't
 dismiss this as pre spam/fake on those grounds. I wrote this article with
 serious intentions.

 Thanks for your time.


 1. No Dupes !
    Complete albums/releases are checked, not single tracks. So a release
    is not a dupe if it has different or more tracks.

      1. It's also a dupe if the complete release is included in a
         previous one. For example CDM is released, now someone releases
         the CDS and all tracks of the CDS were already included on the
         CDM (excactly the same tracks).
      2. You are allowed to create a duplicate release from a release
         that has a source of lower quality (a different source!).
         Example: if vinyl is out then a CD-release is allowed.
         If you do that then please add this info to NFO and dirname. For
         online bought MP3s (-WEB-) we assume the best source quality
         (CDDA or better).
      3. All MIXED cds should be ripped as one track supplied with a
         .cue. If they are not, they may be duped by another group that
         releases it as one track with a .cue supplied.
      4. If a WEB version has been released then a CD RETAIL version is
         allowed if the CD version has scans/photos.

    For all LIVE sources:
       + If a show has already been released (e.g. another name, but the
         mix is the same), no dupe of that same show is allowed. If the  
         show is included in another release (for example, as a guest
         mix), then it is not allowed either.
       + If a show, containing a guest mix, is a partial dupe (either the
         regular part of the show, or the guest mix), it is allowed to
         release them both as a set. However, it is encouraged to release
         only the new part if the other part is available in equal or  
         better quality, denoting in the nfo why the other part was
       + If a show contains the broadcast of a commercially released CD,
         it may not be released if the CD has already been released.

    Note: if you want to release an import-album or some "extendend
    edition" then check rule 7 as well !

-Point 1.1 contains a typographical error (excactly).
-Point 1.2 is vague in respect to DVD, SACD, and DVD-A releases. What if
 an album is released both in CDDA and DVD-A format? Could a proper rip
 from a DVD-A disc dupe a CDDA one? Also, what exactly does the dupe
 order look like? If I understand correctly, it should be as follows.


Correct? Y/N?

-The Mixed CD rule should be tossed. Many devices, notably the iPod,
 support gapless playback, along with many of the popular Media Players
 these days. It's quite annoying to put a single .mp3 rip onto your
 MP3 player or hard disk and not have direct access to the track you want,
 isn't it? I have read many-a-NFOs from groups complaining about this rule ;P.
-The note section contains a typographical error (extendend).
-Another point that comes up are CDs that only have 1 track, and the entire
 track is a mix. I recently heard someone say that all single mp3 rips require
 a .cue file. The rules as they stand don't actually require this. Clarification
 is needed for this type of CD. It should be noted in the rules that a tracklisting
 for such rips would be very helpful, though not required.
-Would a dupe of a previous release be allowed if the average bitrate was higher?
 If seen a couple groups do this; A retail over a promo with the exact same
 tracks, except the average bitrate is higher.

 2. An .SFV and .NFO file must be included in every release.
    If you release a CUE file for multitrack mp3s then the CUE file must
    include artist and tracknames if they are available on the cover or

 3. Directoryname must at least contain:
      1. Artist Name - Title - Published Year (decimal) - Group name
         (extra info is allowed of course)
      2. All bootleg releases must have the word BOOTLEG in dirname.
         (check bootleg rule 14)
      3. If you release magazine CDs then you must tag them as -MAG-.   
         Don't tag them -PROMO-, -ADVANCE- etc..
      4. The directory name of an INTERNAL release must end with _INT.
         Example: Someone_Something-2007-GROUP_INT
      5. For all LIVE sources:
         It is not necessary to include the name of the station the show
         is broadcasted on (if it is not included in the directory name, 
         it is strongly encouraged to include it in the nfo instead). The
         date must be the date of the broadcast. Both USA (-MM/DD-) and
         EU (-DD/MM-) date format are allowed.

    If a vinyl/cd has no title then it's allowed to replace the title by
    labelname+catnumber (both!). If there is only one artist on the
    vinyl/cd then you must add the artistname.

-Why should both USA and EU dating formats be allowed? Sounds like a
 recipe for confusion. I'm not a Live ripper and most Live rippers/crews
 probably already know who/what/where of a particular release, but since
 the scene is based on standards, why not stick to a single standard dating
 format to minimize confusion? Perhaps the ISO 8601 dating standard?

 4. Filename must at least contain:
    Track Number - Song Title
    If it's an album with different artists (one artist per track) then  
    you must add the artist name as well ("VA-tracks" like mixes don't
    need artistnames).
    The song title for the filename must include the full title as it's  
    written on the cover/cd/inlay with all additional infos like
    remixed/featured stuff as long as it doesn't exceed the 128 char
    Make sure that your filename is unique otherwise some sites might

    If no tracknames are supplied by the source (cd,vinyl,..) then you
    *must* provide proof that these tracks have no names. Either by a
    scan of the original cover of the record company/label (no selfmade
    cdr or bootleg covers) or a link to an official or trusted webpage
    with proofs. If these "untitled tracks" are part of a big mix (no   
    silence between the "tracks") then it's considered as one track and
    you must rip it as one mp3/cue and give this track same name as the

-Reword 'Filename must at least contain' to sound less awkward.
-"VA-tracks" like is grammatically incorrect.
-Clarify the dupe filename rules. Does a release with duped filenames
 get nuked and require a repack with unique filenames or a proper by
 another group? Most veterans know about dupeskipping but I've seen
 many of the new groups repack a release or release another rip of
 an album and not take the time to make sure they have unique filenames.
 Does this mean the release is wrong?
-Does missing the extra info of features, remixed, etc. constitute a
 nuke and a valid proper reason?
-I've encountered some bootleg mixtapes without track names. The rules as
 written state not to use bootleg covers. Does this mean it's not allowed
 to release? Should a ripper attempt to name the tracks to his/her best
 ability if a release has no track names?
-See section 1 rebuttal regarding mp3/cue.

 5. Files/directories must only contain characters a-z A-Z 0-9 _ . - ()
    This is to avoid problems with windows/linux-filesystem and

-Some releases how trailing dots in their names. For example,
 This Is Me...Then. Is it allowed to include the 3 trailing dots in the
 dirname, or should they be replaced with 3 underscores or omitted entirely?

 6. Self-made releases
      1. Self-made compilations are not allowed !
         A self-made compilation is when you select tracks from other
         sources, put them together and release that as something new.
      2. A self-made MIX or completely self-made music is allowed if it's
         good. Sites decide if it's shit by nuking it.
         If you are releasing self-made stuff then that must be clearly 
         visible in your nfo.
         If it's not possible to see that it's self-made then it will get
         nuked as bad pack.
         Exception: if the selfmade release is free available at release
         time or when you obviously know that it will be available soon
         then it's not allowed to release it.

    If it's not clear if it's selfmade or not and it's not possible to
    find any information about the release/artist/label then it's up to
    the group to prove that this release is not selfmade (coverscan, url,
    ...). If they are not able to prove that it's real it will get nuked
    as bad pack.

-Clarify and re-write this entire section. When you make a homemade
 mix/release of mainstream music, wouldn't you be taking tracks from
 various sources? Or does this mean taking tracks from other scene releases?
 I know what this section is trying to say, but it should be re-written
 to omit all ambiguity.
-'If it's not clear if it's selfmade...' should be re-worded to sound less
 awkward. Try 'If it's not clear *that* it's selfmade...'

 7. The entire CD,Vinyl,etc. must be released (not individual tracks) 
    If you think it's too much work to rip all tracks you better don't
    rip at all. Releasing the complete CD/Vinyl/.. is necessary because  
    otherwise it would be possible to make several (different) releases
    of the same cd/vinyl/etc..

    Exception for albums:
    If a RETAIL album has been released and you have a different edition
    of the same album (foreign/promo/advance/..) then it's allowed to
    release the new/bonus tracks only. But you may NOT re-release an
    entire inital edition within the first three months except if ... :
    ... it's a 1disc release and more than 30% of the tracks of your 
        version are not on the previous retail version.
    ... it's a multi disc release and either more than 30% of the tracks
        or at least 6 tracks of your version are not on the previous 
        retail version.

    Moreover, it is NOT allowed to re-release a new edition of an retail
    album EVER if the different/extra/bonus tracks are already included
    in one (!) previous release. For example, USA album is released and
    four months later japanese with simply a remix from an old CDM/CDS
    still wouldn't be allowed.

    Example1: album released in US with 10 tracks, japanese edition with
    11 tracks (1 bonus track that is a new song) then you MUST release
    the jap bonus track only (without including previously released  
    tracks of the US album) during the first three months after first 
    full retail release. If it's more than 3 months later then you are   
    allowed to do either the bonustrack-only or the full album.

    Example2: After the retail you got a promo with 1 different track.  
    Then it's not allowed to release this full album within 3 months. If
    the bonus track was already out on a different release then it's not
    even allowed to release it bonus-only.

    Example3: Your different edition has 13 tracks of which 9 were on the
    first retail release and 4 (= more than 30%) are new. Then you are 
    allowed to release the full album even within first 3 months. Except
    when the 4 new tracks were already all on ONE previous release. Then
    a release isn't allowed at all.

    For DVD(A) releases check Rule 10.

-Typographical error (inital).
-'you better don't rip at all.' Try 'you should not rip it at all.'
-Clarify this new edition rule. What if you have a new edition with of a
 certain album and it's bonus tracks spread over 2 or more old releases,
 CDM/CDS/etc. Would it be allowed to release it then? I know the 3rd example
 says ONE, but I have my doubts about releasing bonus tracks of a particular
 album when all of them are already out on older releases.
-Have respect for the Japanese. All countries/nationalities should be
 capitalized. My professors have given me -50 for each instance they are not.

 8. Current maximum directory/filename-length is 128 characters
    Exception: Dirfixes that reach the limit by adding "-DIRFIX-"

-Speaking of dirfixes, they shouldn't be allowed in the MP3 scene because
 MP3s have ID3 tags, and a dirfix does nothing to correct any mistakes there.
 A dirfix may technically fix a misspelled Justin Timberlay in the db's,
 but your media player/digital audio player is going file it under
 Justin Timberlay, not Justin Timberlake. At this point could either edit
 the tags, which will invalidate your .sfv, or keep 2 copies of it. One with
 the typo, and one with proper tagging. Yes, dirfixes save space and credits,
 but to me it's like a temporary fix that should be permanently fixed, which
 is always better in the long run. Repack/Proper it instead. And don't be such
 wuss to take the nuke for a repack :P. Dirfixing saves credits, bandwidth, and
 a nuke, but do really want your files to be mistagged?

 9. No fake-releases
    It's a fake release when artist, title, group or source is incorrect
    - Some_Artist-Crappy_Music-2004-GRP not released by GRP
    - Another_Artist-Lots_of_Noise-CDM-2004-GRP was ripped from TV or
      downloaded from a paysite
    - Madonna-Something_New-2004-GRP really containing some tracks by
      Marilyn Manson

-In the html notes version of the rules, it says '...a release tagged DVD
 and "source: CDDA" in NFO is not allowed).' There are quite a few
 releases out now that have this error. Does this constitute a nuke? Would
 group be able to proper for this reason?

10. DVD/DVDA Ripping
    A DVD/DVDA release must contain all music tracks. Additional tracks
    (interviews etc.) are optional. If those extra tracks are not
    included then a proper (with ALL tracks) or an additional release   
    (extra tracks only) is not allowed.
    If tracks are available in several audio formats then you must use
    the "best" version.
    Priority is:
    - PCM stereo (doesn't matter if DVDA or CDDA quality)
    - PCM 3+ channels
    - AC3 (dolby digital) stereo or DTS stereo
    - AC3 (dolby digital) 3+ channels or DTS 3+ channels
    - MPG
    - DVD contains AC3 5.1 and AC3 2.0 => you must rip the AC3 2.0 tracks
    - DVD contains PCM and AC3 2.0 => you must rip the PCM tracks
    - DVD contains MPG and AC3 2.0 => you must rip the AC3 2.0 version
    Normalizing the sound volume is allowed but optional.

-See Section 1 rebuttal regarding the dupe rules.
-I assume if a group doesn't choose the best soundtrack, a proper with the
 best soundtrack is allowed?

11. Encoding Quality
      1. For releases made from MP3s (online bought) and which are not SBD:
         VBR (all combinations, but no maximum bitrate limit) and CBR is 
         allowed. The minumum bitrate for CBR is 192kbit.

         => You release the MP3 as is. It is NOT allowed to re-encode! If
         the source is below 192 kbit CBR it's not allowed to release it.
         Release the MP3 unmodifed as you downloaded it. Only
         adding/changing ID3 tag is allowed.

         If you want to release a -WEB- mp3 file with constant bitrate
         (CBR) then you must choose the best version (320->256->224->192
         kbit) available at the shop.

      2. For ALL other sources (CD, Vinyl, DVD, SBD, CABLE, LINE, etc.):
         You must use either:
         - LAME 3.97 (final version!) with preset V2 and VBRNEW 
           ("-V2 --vbr-new") or
         - LAME 3.90.3 (modified version preferred) with preset APS  
           ("--alt-preset standard").
         For both LAME versions additional switches which would affect
         the mp3 quality are forbidden, especially no minimum or maximum
         bitrate limits.
         If you use LAME 3.90.3: preset must either be stored in mp3   
         header (= modified LAME version) or be part of info in your nfo
         (If you are going to change your encoder now then switch to
         3.97. LAME 3.90.3 will probably be removed from this rule in 
         next rules version)
      3. The sampling rate must be either 44.1khz or 48khz. 32khz is not
         allowed. Downsampling to 44.1 or 48khz is allowed (if source is
         better), upsampling to 44.1 or 48khz is not allowed.
      4. For all LIVE sources: Straight-to-mp3 encoding is allowed, but
         discouraged. The header of the mp3 file must be correct at all

-Typographical error (minumum).
-Point 11.1 should be re-written. I don't think -WEB- releases are made from
 MP3s, are they? If so, that sounds like a re-encode, which would violate rule
 13 below as well as the note directly below 11.1. Section 1 had it right
 assuming CDDA or better, or do you mean releases *consisting* of MP3s
 purchased online?
-Typographical error (unmodifed).
-Lame 3.98 offers better encode quality over 3.97 (high bitrate too!). See:

 When this encoder becomes final, rules should be re-written to allow it to be
 used, in order to produce the best quality MP3s.
 Lame 3.90 as much as it is historic and revolutionary, considering it allowed
 us to utilize the -aps system, should be retired at this point. It's a dinosaur
 in the land of encoders these days.
-Point 11.2 would be a spot to emphasize rippers to check their encoding
 parameters. Many people mess up in EAC by choosing LAME MP3 Encoder in the
 encoder section, causing a minimum bitrate to be applied. It should be
 User Defined Encoder.

12. Promos   
    If a release is considered not to have every track from the source   
    then it must be labeled as a promo and can be duped by any legitimate
    retail release that DOES contain all tracks. The legitimate release
    can be identified by the CAT number, or more suitable proof.
    Promos do not have to contain track listings, they are promotional
    material, they are not considered legitimate releases, and are still
    governed by quality rules.
    If you release a promo when the retail is already out then you must  
    provide proof that this promo is real to make sure this is not a
    selfmade "promo".
    to reduce amount of fakes:
    A one track promo single release must include cover scans/photos.

-Clarify one track scan/photo rule. Does this apply to promos only?
 What about one track retail releases or a single bonus track for
 a retail album? I've seen some unnukes stating that the scan/photo
 rule for a single track release only applies to Promo releases,
 which shows the confusion regarding this rule. Also note this
 scan rule is under the 'Promos' section, further causing

13. Re-encodes are not allowed.
    Exception: releases of following sources are currently allowed if 
    they are tagged correctly:
    DVD, DAB, DVBC/DVBS/DVBT/SAT (compressed digital tv/radio
    sat,cable,terrestrial), MD (live)

14. All bootleg releases must have the word BOOTLEG in dirname
    A bootleg recording is a cd/vinyl/dvd that was not officially
    released by the person/company owning the rights to do that (for
    example streetmixes, pirate live cds, etc).
    Because very often it's not 100% clear if something is bootleg there
    are conditions when we assume something is or isn't bootleg. This is
    not a defnition of "bootleg" and if a condition is not true then it 
    does not mean the opposite is true. This only helps nukers and groups
    to decide if a bootleg tag is needed and hopefully leads to more fair
    conditions for:
    [records done completely by the artist] (no samples from other  
    It's bootleg if ...
      - there are no signs that the label really released this
      - the "label" has no connection to the artist
    (independent releases (no label, own label) are allowed and don't
    need a bootleg tag)
    even if the conditions above are true it is NOT bootleg if:
    - the record is available at at least 3 major retail shops
    conditions for:
    [mixes] (samples of other artists included)
    It's not bootleg if ...
      - the record is available at at least 3 major retail shops
      - the label exists and lists the record and the label never released
        any bootlegs and released stuff that was available at major retail
      - the artist or label of the samples confirms this release is valid
        (on their webpage or some other trusted place)

    "major retail shops" currently are: (.de, .fr ...) (.gr, .fr, .jp) (US shop excluded)

    The shop itself must sell the record (no private sellers).

-This section needs to be clarified so everyone understands what exactly
 bootleg is. From what I understand, it's a cd/vinyl/dvd that was not
 officially released by the person/company owning the rights, as stated
 in the first paragraph. But many people just seem to skip over this
 and go to the latter part of this section and check if it's available
 at the listed http sites. If it is not, a release gets nuked as
 mislabeled bootleg. Someone might want to highlight the indie
 label/artist section in caps, bold, asterisks, etc.
-The 2nd paragraph is a mess. '...if a condition is not true then it
 does not mean the opposite is true.' Opposite of what? There are too many
 pronouns causing ambiguity. Also, there is a typo (defnition).
-Typographical error (available at at).

15. FREE MP3s
    If music in mp3 format in acceptable quality (CBR 192kbit minimum) or
    files in a lossless format (wav/flac/...) are legally available for  
    download on the net at no cost (artist / record company allows it)   
    then it's NOT allowed to release those files or mp3s of the same
    tracks you made from this or other sources (cd/vinyl/...).

    The tracks of a release must all be from the same source and have the
    same quality/cbr-bitrate/vbr-setting/encoder/setting. Taking tracks
    from other scene releases or internal group releases of other groups
    is strictly forbidden.
    If the source is not a pressed CDDA then the directory name needs a
    valid source tag. Valid tags are listed below.

     [CD SINGLE] (pressed CDDA)
     dirtag needed: -CDS- or -CDM-
     [CD ALBUM] (pressed CDDA)
     dirtag needed: none
     dirtag suggested: -CDA- (-2CDA- -3CDA- etc.)

     [CD OTHER] (pressed CDDA)
     dirtag needed: none
     dirtag suggested: -CD- (-2CD- -3CD- etc.), -CDEP-
     dirtag needed: -VLS- or -VINYL-
     dirtag suggested: -VLS-

     dirtag needed: -LP- or -VINYL-
     dirtag suggested: -LP-
     dirtag needed: -VINYL-
     [DVD] (pressed video DVD)
     dirtag needed: -DVD- (-2DVD- -3DVD- etc.)
     extra nfo info needed: 
      - codec of source (AC3, PCM, MPG, DTS),
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)

     [DVD SINGLE] (pressed video DVD)]
     dirtag needed: -DVDS- or -DVD- 
     dirtag suggested: -DVDS- 
     extra nfo info needed:
      - codec of source (AC3, PCM, MPG, DTS),
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)
     [DVDA] (PCM data of a pressed DVDA, not audio of a video DVD!) 
     dirtag needed: -DVDA- (-2DVDA- -3DVDA- etc.)
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)

     dirtag needed: -SACD- (-2SACD- -3SACD- etc.)

     [HD DVD] (pressed) 
     dirtag needed: -HDDVD- (-2HDDVD- -3HDDVD- etc.)
      - codec of source (AC3, DD+, PCM, MPG, DTS, DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD)
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)

     [BLU-RAY DISC] (pressed) 
     dirtag needed: -BD- (-2BD- -3BD- etc.)
      - codec of source (AC3, DD+, PCM, MPG, DTS, DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD)
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)

     [ANALOG RADIO] (terrestrial)
     dirtag needed: -FM-
     dirtag needed: -CABLE-

     dirtag needed: -SAT-
     dirtag needed: -DVBS-
     dirtag needed: -DVBC-
     dirtag needed: -DVBT-
     dirtag needed: -DAB-
     [MD] (MiniDisc)
     dirtag needed: -MD-
     [direct recording by the ripper from soundboard/mixer through the 
      LINE-in interface]
     dirtag needed: -LINE-

     [MP3 FILE supplied by a radio station or DJ] (and not recorded from 
      a webstream)
     dirtag needed: -SBD-

     [WEBSTREAM] (not allowed, so must be released internally)
     dirtag needed: -STREAM-

     [WEB] - audio files legally available on the net and not free 
     dirtag needed: -WEB-
     extra nfo info needed:
      - codec of source (MP3, PCM, ...),
      - bitrate of source file (if not PCM/WAV),
      - URL to some shop where it's available in that format
     [CDR] (small label/artist releasing CDDA on CDR pr LIVE set supplied 
            on CDR)
     dirtag needed: -CDR- (-2CDR- -3CDR- etc.)
     [DVDR] (small label/artist releasing on DVDR)
     dirtag needed: -DVDR- (-2DVDR- -3DVDR- etc.)
     extra nfo info needed:
      - codec of source (AC3, PCM, MPG, DTS),
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)

     dirtag needed: -HDDVDR- (-2HDDVDR- -3HDDVDR- etc.)
      - codec of source (AC3, DD+, PCM, MPG, DTS, DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD)
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)

     dirtag needed: -BDR- (-2BDR- -3BDR- etc.)
      - codec of source (AC3, DD+, PCM, MPG, DTS, DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD)
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)

     [DAT TAPE] 
     dirtag needed: -DAT-
     dirtag needed: -TAPE-
     [HOMEMADE] (done by a groupmember or close friend)
     dirtag needed: -HOMEMADE-
     dirtag needed: -BOOTLEG-

    All other "sources" are invalid source tags (-LIVE- , -EP-, ...).
    Which means you need a second tag for the source if you use those
    tags (except for CDs which don't need a source tag).

    A SBD release is not allowed if it could be a re-encode/repack of the
    same show streamed or downloaded free from inet. If a free broadcast
    or download is/was available with 160kbit CBR or better then it's not
    allowed to do a SBD release.

-I know a few groups that miss some required information from the  
 source. For example, they may list the codec of source, but omit the
 number of channels of the source, or do the opposite. Some just
 forget to include this info at all. I assume a proper release with
 the correct info is allowed? What about -WEB- releases omitting the
 webshop url?

17. Trackfixes
    Only one trackfix per release is allowed. If the release needs a
    second trackfix or more than 50% of the tracks need a fix then you
    must re-rip the whole release and all previous releases+dir/nfofixes
    getting nuked.
    A 1-track fix for a 2-track release is allowed (=50% and not "more  
    than 50%").

18. ID3 Tags
    All mp3 files need an ID3 v1.1 tag. This tag must include Artist,
    Title and Album (see Note #3). The fields Year, Genre and Tracknumber
    must be present but may not be nuked if incorrect.
    An additional ID3 v2 tag is allowed and recommended.

-I don't see a reason why ID3v2 tags should not be required? The standard
 is almost 10 years old now. Virtually everything supports it. Don't
 you find it annoying when a track name is cut short from the ID3 tags
 because the release only has ID3v1 tags?
-What if a release has the correct filenames, but the ID3 fields for
 artist, tracknumber and title are all incorrect? An odd occurence since
 most groups name their filenames as track-artist-title, but this recently
 happened to a release, so this issue must be addressed.

19. LIVE release quality
      1. The set must be complete. This means that every part of the show
         must be released, and the beginning and end must be included in
         their entirety. A set may not miss more than 1 minute from begin
         or end.
      2. All commercials must be edited out.
      3. DJ talk can be included to a certain extent: track announcements
         and short lines from the DJ should not be removed; interviews
         and other long talk should be removed (or included in a separate
         file if it's special).
      4. It is encouraged to fade-in and fade-out the set. However, lack
         of fades constitutes no proper reason.

-I'm not a Live ripper, so I can't speak for any of the rules for that
 segment. We'll leave it to those who specialize in them to debate the

 1. Releases with an apparently incorrect year may not be nuked. However
    the year should be correct of course. Keep in mind that a lot of
    sites nuke for fake year when it's incorrect. (The Year in dirname is
    not the year when you released it but when the record company/artist
    published it!)

-It takes me less than 20 seconds on Google
 to find the release year for many albums. Some groups will just tag
 an incorrect year, most likely to the current year or something ahead
 of its actual year so their stats look better/spreads more. Also, many
 CDs/DVDs have a copyright year imprinted on them, which is something
 to go by. I know some albums are impossible to find a release year
 (I've been there), which is probably why this note exists, but I felt
 it should be addressed so others can elaborate on it.

 2. If a release labeled as "advance" is identical to the retail version
    then the advance turns into a retail release. This means then it is
    not allowed to dupe it and it counts as retail for ALL rules. If the
    retail is different then of course it's allowed to release it.

-This note is vague. Different in what way? What if the retail has less
 tracks than the advance and all the tracks in the retail version are
 already included in the advance? What if it has more? What if the extra
 tracks are already included in an old CDM/CDS. I understand that
 rule 7 has been re-worded to include promo/advances, but they haven't
 addressed the opposite situation of Promo/Advance vs. Retail. What if
 the average bitrate of a retail is higher than an advance? Does this section
 also apply to promos of upcoming retail albums?

 3. Typos (in dirname, trackname, id3, etc ...) are tolerated if it still
    is readable and either artist or title is 100% correct.

-Any typos/misspelling of the artist, song title or track number should
 not be allowed at all. Yes, I know people are in a rush to release things
 these days, but why should we should we sacrifice the accuracy of our
 typing when we spend so much time focusing on proper encoding and
 packing. Seems like a weak spot in the rules. Since late 2004, RNS hands
 down had the best tagging of any group; very rarely did they have typos
 in their tagging. Why can't others do the same? The rules for encoding
 and filenaming are already strict, why be lax on the typing? I understand
 that many people who rip stuff may not be familiar with the music they
 are doing, or the covers have them wrong, which is probably why this note
 is here, but I just find it unacceptable when a mainstream album,
 which the ripper should know is a big release, has typos in them, when
 it's almost certain the covers have them correctly.  This is especially
 true for any album released on the big labels. Perhaps an exception
 should if the covers themselves mess it up and the group can supply proof?
 But seriously, I hate how some of the releases have obvious typos that
 should have been corrected. A good example of this would be to do
 !dupe form. Many of these releases actually mean from. Perhaps a way to
 solve this issue is to allow a proper with the correct spelling and
 supplied proof to make sure they didn't retag the old release and release
 as their own?

 4. The audio of a normal video DVD is *NOT* DVDA ! The audio of a DVD
    usually is MP2/AC3/DTS compressed (lossy) while the audio of a real
    DVDA is high quality PCM (lossless, e.g. 24bit/192khz). Tagging a
    normal DVD release as -DVDA- will get nuked.

-Technically speaking, LPCM 16bit/48 KHz is a valid mode for DVD-A, which
 is a format also found on DVD Video. Refer to:
 Perhaps omitting the 2nd sentence and replacing it with something stating
 any release sourced from a DVD Video Disc tagged as DVDA will get nuked?

The ruleset should have a section describing Propers, similar to what the
TXD2K5 and TDR2K5 rulesets have. What constitutes a valid proper? An
invalid proper? What about regarding rips with flaws released under an
older ruleset? Another issue on deck, what constitutes a valid nuke?
I assume any violation of the ruleset? I know many groups get quite
grouchy when they are nuked, so I feel it should be precisely explained
what will get you nuked, and what will not get you nuked.

I hope my points spark up talk and debate amongst the MP3 Scene so we all 
can make the MP3 scene a better place to be and kick up the quality another notch.
None of my points are meant to be the ultimate fixes or the final say of a point,
but I do wish to encourage change and advancement in the ailing MP3 Scene. I
probably left out a few points I wanted to mention, but considering the
fact I wrote this entire article in one sitting, I guess that's just fine.
This Took approximately 6.5 hours to complete. I believe
I have typed more than 2,800 words, a little over 3/4 of what the current
ruleset comprises of. My objective was to raise certain points and issues
in the current ruleset. Since no one else seems to have the will to say
anything and give the rules a good read, I feel that I have pointed out
most issues in the current ruleset. Perhaps next revision will see
some changes in the rules ;). May the audio scene prosper!
Yes, MP3s are probably one of the easier releases to do on the scene, but
if the MP3 scene is so easy, why is it on a daily
basis people screw up releases? I tried to keep a NPOV and address issues
as a whole, but I'm pretty sure I wandered off at a few points; for that
I'm sorry. Compared to the rest of the sections in the warez scene, MP3s
seem to hold a low quality point, which is ironic since they are quite simple
to do and should be held to higher standards. I know some rules are carried
over from tradition and old roots, kind of like how 0day still utilizes
.diz files. But I feel that some of the rules (mp3/cue for example) are quite
outdated and need to be removed. The MP3 scene also needs to keep pace with
technology and encoder development (Hydrogen Audio is a good place to start)
in order to keep our end releases at the very best quality they can be. C'mon
guys, this is the scene! Let's keep our hobby alive and the quality up.
But don't forget, nothing can replace the original!

On a side note, there seems to be a lack of progress outside of the general
audio scene other than MP3. There are other formats other than MP3, you know.
Sooner or later, a successor to MP3 will emerge. Not in the near future, but
MP3s will be surpassed by better lossy compression eventually. People should
start to experiment and keep pace with the ever-changing encoding technology
to ensure an HQ copy. As for lossless encoding, I'm surprised that FLAC hasn't
gotten any rap at all. Most people could not tell the difference between
a -V2 MP3 and a FLAC encode, but I believe the choice should be there for the
taking. I personally have some nice gear (hts.jpg) where it is quite easy to
distinguish a -V2 MP3 from it's CDDA original (I also base my quality claims
of the Lame revisions through the headphones and system pictured).
I know most people don't have such equipment, but I can compare compressed
lossless audio to what the current X264 HD scene it, simple an awesome upgrade
if you care for it. Plus, equipment gets better every year, soon today's
current standard may feel inadequate a few years down the raod.
I feel the audio scene should spread its wings and atleast
start a FLAC section, as it seems to be the most dominant compressed lossless
codec of choice. They certainly don't have to be pre-releases; just something
that is available to us. FLAC contrasts with DVD9 releases as it is actually
smaller than the original, but using lossless encoding methods it's just like
a 1:1 copy. If DVD9s are regularly traded and released on the scene, why can't
a 1:1 copy of an audio cd come out occasionally. Again, most people can't
justify the 350+MB jump in space for a single release, but it should
atleast be available for us. Let sites decide if they want to add that
section. I hope this put ideas of the brains of many people. Maybe we can
actually start to see some variety in audio choices, especially for the
discerning audiophile. 

            V1.1 Rebuttal active since 2007-09-21, signed by:

                                And I.