An Independent Critic presents A Rebuttal of...... Official MP3 Release Rules 1.1 __________________________________________________________ INTRO: -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. Exceptions: 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 omitted. + 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 ! ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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. Bootleg<Tape<Live<Vinyl<DAT<WEB<CDDA<DVD<SACD<DVDA<BD/HD DVD 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 inlay. 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. Exception: 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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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 limit. Make sure that your filename is unique otherwise some sites might dupeskip. Exception: 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 "album". ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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 ftp-servers. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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-" ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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 (different). examples: - 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 ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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 Examples: - 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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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 file. (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 times. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=55767 http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=56778 http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=55697 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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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 confusion. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ 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 nuking. conditions for: [records done completely by the artist] (no samples from other artists) 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 shops - 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: www.amazon.com (.de, .fr ...) www.bestbuy.com www.walmart.com www.cduniverse.com www.virginmegastores.co.uk (.gr, .fr, .jp) (US shop excluded) www.sonymusicstore.com www.juno.co.uk www.deejay.de www.ukdancerecords.com www.dancegrooves.com www.threebeatrecords.co.uk www.4djsonly.com The shop itself must sell the record (no private sellers). ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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/...). 16. SOURCE 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. =RETAIL SOURCES= [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- [VINYL SINGLE] dirtag needed: -VLS- or -VINYL- dirtag suggested: -VLS- [VINYL ALBUM] dirtag needed: -LP- or -VINYL- dirtag suggested: -LP- [VINYL OTHER] 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, ...) [SACD] 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, ...) =LIVE SOURCES= [ANALOG RADIO] (terrestrial) dirtag needed: -FM- [ANALOG CABLE] dirtag needed: -CABLE- [ANALOG OR DIGITAL SAT] dirtag needed: -SAT- [DIGITAL VIDEO BROADCAST SAT] dirtag needed: -DVBS- [DIGITAL VIDEO BROADCAST CABLE] dirtag needed: -DVBC- [DIGITAL VIDEO BROADCAST TERRESTRIAL] dirtag needed: -DVBT- [DIGITAL AUDIO BROADCAST] 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- =OTHER SOURCES= [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, ...) [HD DVD RECORDABLE] 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, ...) [BLU-RAY DISC RECORDABLE] 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- [ANALOG TAPE] dirtag needed: -TAPE- [HOMEMADE] (done by a groupmember or close friend) dirtag needed: -HOMEMADE- [UNKNOWN] 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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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 rules. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Notes: 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!) ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -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. ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Rebuttal: -Technically speaking, LPCM 16bit/48 KHz is a valid mode for DVD-A, which is a format also found on DVD Video. Refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-A 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? ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀ Addendum: 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: Me, Myself And I.