Official MP3 Release Rules 2.0

 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
      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
      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 or FLASH 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 !
 2. An .SFV and .NFO file must be included in every release.
    CUE/M3U/JPG files are optional. 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.
    If you want to release additional material (Videos, Lyrics, ...) from the
    source medium then you must release that separately with dirname tag
 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.
 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
    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.
    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".
 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.
 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 not allowed either.
         If you are releasing self-made stuff then that must be tagged as   
 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
    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.
 8. Current maximum directory/filename-length is 128 characters
    Exception: Dirfixes that reach the limit by adding "-DIRFIX-"
 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
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.
11. Encoding Quality
      1. For releases made from MP3s (online bought or from FLASH medium) and
         which are not SBD:
         VBR (all combinations, but no maximum bitrate limit) and CBR is
         allowed. The minimum 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/copied 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.
         If the FLASH medium contains both WAV and MP3 then you must choose   
      2. For ALL other sources (CD, Vinyl, DVD, SBD, CABLE, LINE, etc.):
         You must use:
         LAME 3.97 (final version!) with preset V2 and VBRNEW ("-V2 --vbr-new")
         Additional switches which would affect the mp3 quality are forbidden,
         especially no minimum or maximum bitrate limits.
      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.
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". 
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: (.de, .fr ...) (.gr, .fr, .jp) (US shop excluded)
    The shop itself must sell the record (no private sellers).
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 made from them.
    However a physical RETAIL release is allowed even if a free version is
    available when a proof photo/scan is included.
    The tracks of a release must all be from the same source and have the same
    quality/cbr-bitrate/vbr-setting/encoder/setting (Exception: FLASH
    releases). 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.)
     extra nfo info needed:
      - number of channels of source (stereo, 5.1, ...)

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

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

     [FLASH medium] (SlotMusic, CompactStick, ...)
     dirtag needed: -FLASH-
     extra nfo info needed:
      - codec of source (MP3, PCM (WAV), ...)
      - proof photo of medium+cover
     [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 live recording from the audience]
     dirtag needed: -AUD-
     [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.)
     extra nfo info needed:
      - 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.)
     extra nfo info needed:
      - 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-
     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.
17. Fixes
      1. 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%").
      2. Dirname/ID3 Fixes
         If you release a DIRFIX then the dirname of the problematic release
         must be listed in your NFO file.
         If a release gets nuked for BAD DIRNAME or BAD ID3 then the
         releasegroup has 72 hours to release a DIR/ID3FIX. If they don't do it
         within the 72 hours then any other group is allowed to release a fix
         or re-release.
         The 72 hours start when the release gets nuked.
18. ID3 Tags
    All mp3 files need an ID3 v1.1 and ID3 v2 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.
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
      4. It is encouraged to fade-in and fade-out the set. However, lack of
         fades constitutes no proper reason.
20. Scans/Photos
      1. All one track promo single releases must include scans/photos.
      2. A release might get "pre-nuked" if the source of the release is
         questionable. You are able to identify such a nuke by the string
         "SCANS.REQUESTED" in nukereason. The releasegroup then has 72 hours
         (starting when it gets nuked) to supply/release scans/photos which 
         prove that the source is real. If useable scans/photos are supplied
         then the release gets unnuked. If no scans/photos are provided it
         remains nuked and then every other group is allowed to release it if
         scans/photos are included.
      3. "scans/photos" means a scan or photo of either the disc (CD, vinyl,
         ..) or the cover. Make sure that the quality of a photo is not too
         bad. A photo that doesn't show anything because of terrible quality
         does not count. And make sure that your "scan" doesn't look like a
         picture that you downloaded from a webshop (e.g. put more than the
         cd/cover on the scan).
21. FLASH medium ripping
      1. A FLASH release must contain all music tracks. For additional stuff
         (videos, pictures etc.) see rule 2.
      2. If the FLASH medium contains WAV files you must encode them with scene
      3. If the FLASH medium contains multiple formats (e.g. 10 tracks WAV and
         a DJ MIX MP3) it is allowed to release it with mixed VBR/CBR and
         multiple encoders.


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

2007-01-15 first version (v1.0)
2007-06-01 rule 1: live sources addition
2007-06-01 1.4 added (CD after WEB allowed)
2007-06-01 3.4 added (INT tagging)
2007-06-01 3.5 added (live sources)
2007-06-01 rule 4 addition (remix info in filenames)
2007-06-01 rule 7 reworded to make clear it's for promos/advances too and to
           allow full re-releases within 3 months more than 30% is new.
2007-06-01 rule 11 addition: best CBR must be released for WEB releases 
2007-06-01 11.3 added (minimum sampling rate)
2007-06-01 11.4 added + rewordings for live sources
2007-06-01 rule 13 adjusted for live sources
2007-06-01 rule 16 reworded to forbid different encoders in one release  
2007-06-01 rule 16 new sources HD DVD and BLU RAY added
2007-06-01 rule 16 "CDDA" added to all CD-sources
2007-06-01 rule 16 all live sources adjusted, "SBD" rips limited
2007-06-01 rule 19 added (LIVE release quality)
2009-09-01 rule 1.4 CD after FLASH allowed
2009-09-01 rule 2 addition (additional material must be released separately
           with tag -EXTRAS-)
2009-09-01 rule 6.2 reworded to forbid homemade releases
2009-09-01 rule 11 lame 3.90.3 removed
2009-09-01 rule 12 last paragraph moved to rule 20
2009-09-01 rule 15 addition (physical retail release allowed even if free   
           version available)
2009-09-01 rule 16 source AUD re-added and HOMEMADE source removed
2009-09-01 17.2 added (Dirname/ID3 Fixes)
2009-09-01 rule 18 addition (ID3 v2)
2009-09-01 20 added (Scans/Photos)
2009-09-01 21 added (FLASH medium ripping)

                      V2.0 active since 2009-09-01, signed by:
                      SHELTER TCLUB TGX UKi WAV wAx WiTF