Music Video Council 4.0 (Aug. 31, 2007)
EFFECTIVE DATE:  Sept. 15, 2007

This rule set has been approved by the following music video groups:

These rules have been established in an effort to maintain quality
releases and order in the MV scene.

Many of the changes being introduced in MVC 4.0 are intended to
simplify and correct current problems as well as allow the MV scene
to take advantage of newer codecs/containers/etc.

A few of the highlighted changes include:

        - Support for the MKV (Matroska) container, eventually
          intended to replace AVI.
        - Support for the H.264 codec (which is well suited for
          HD content).
        - Dropped support for standalone dvd player compatibility.
          Standalone dvd player limitations should not dictate MVC
          rules.  If you're using an incapable standalone unit, it's
          your responsibility to convert videos to a format compatible
          with your players playback capabilities.  There are many
          howtos, guides, and software available to assist people.
        - Dropped DivX codec since it's practically never used.
        - Dropped VCD/SVCD completely as they are obsolete.

Clarification about some terms used throughout this ruleset:

    - "source" is used as a reference to the actual source material (ie: vob, dvb stream, whatever)
    - "replacement" is used as a reference to material used to REPLACE something from the source

#########################    SECTION 1  -  ENCODING    #########################


        - Allowed containers are: AVI and MKV.

        - AVI container:

                - Pixel shape must be square.
                - Upsampling the horizontal resolution to maintain the vertical
                  resolution is allowed.
                - Upsampling both the horizontal and vertical resolution from
                  the source video is not allowed.
                - Encodes must be within 5% of the original aspect ratio.  To calculate
                  the AR % error use: (Release - Original AR)/Original AR x 100
                - MP2/MP3 audio must be preloaded 500ms and interleaved every frame.
                - AC3 audio must be preloaded 64/96ms and interleaved every 64/96ms.

        - MKV container:

                - mkvmerge MUST BE USED to mux.
                - Aspect Ratio:

                        normal method:  Crop according to the rules in section 1.3 and
                                        resize to a multiple of 16 (mod16) for both the horizontal
                                        and vertical resolutions to maintain 1:1 pixel shape.

                        mkvmerge method:  Crop according to the rules in section 1.3 and to a multiple
                                          of 16 (mod16) for both the horizontal and vertical resolutions
                                          and define the correct AR when muxing with mkvmerge.

                - Including soft-sub lyrics in the MKV container is allowed but not required.
                - Hard subbed lyrics are not allowed.
                - Xvid encodings must be saved directly to the mkv container (ie: do not save
                  them as avi and then remux).

1.2 - AUDIO

        - Allowed audio formats are: MP2, MP3, and AC3.
        - All audio must have a minimum sample rate of 44.1kHz.
        - Audio MUST BE FULLY SYNCED.
        - When no lip-sync is present in the video, you must use audio which matches the source.
          If you're unsure about this, put an alternative version as a 2nd track.
        - Retail CD audio, if available, must be used as a replacement for TV and DVD audio.  If
          proper replacement audio * DOES NOT EXIST * then you may use the best quality alternative
          available (by this we dont condone p2p/torrent/etc use).

          NOTE: Audio used for bootlegs, mixtapes, promos, etc. are commonly NOT the final mastered
                retail audio.  Releases using audio from these sources MAY BE PROPERED if/when
                final retail audio becomes available UNLESS the audio is of nearly the same quality.

        - Source mp3 has got to be encoded with at least 192kbit CBR or with the V2 profile with lame.
        - Audio from a vinyl source is not allowed under any circumstances.
        - If part of the source audio is only available from the source itself, it must be inserted
          into the replacement audio.
        - MP2 is allowed only from live sources and must remain untouched.  Re-encoding MP2 -> MP3
          will NOT increase quality in ANY way so "untouched" also means NO RE-ENCODING!
        - Live performance audio must remain untouched.  This means you may use MP2 or AC3 if that's
          what the live performance was broadcast with.
        - MP3 encoding must be VBR using the LAME encoder.
          Minimum required settings: --vbr-new and -V1 (~210kbps) or -V2 (~190kbps).
        - If no editing is required, the replacement MP3 must be directly
          inserted with no re-encoding.
        - ALL sound effects in the source audio must be inserted into the
          replacement audio.
        - If AC3 5.1 audio is available from the source, it may be included as an extra audio track.
        - Multiple audio streams are allowed at the rippers discretion.  For example,
          including both censored and uncensored audio.


        - Allowed codecs: XviD 1.1+ and x264
        - Video source MUST BE digital and may NOT be passed thru any analog
          equipment (svideo output, analog capture card, etc).
        - Telecined video MUST have inverse telecine (IVTC) applied.

        PAL : This means inverse 2:2 pulldown (ie: 10 pattern in TMPGEnc), manually,
              if possible.

        NTSC: This means either inverse 3:2 pulldown (ie: 10010 pattern in TMPGEnc)
              or inverse 2:2 pulldown (ie: 10 pattern in TMPGEnc), manually, if possible.

          * If a proper IVTC is not possible, the reason must be stated in your nfo.

        - For non-telecined interlaced video, a deinterlacer must be applied before
          compression.  The choice of deinterlacer is up to the ripper, and must be
          mentioned in the NFO.

          * It's STRONGLY RECOMMENDED you DO NOT use the following deinterlacers/filters
            due to poor quality output:

                - fielddeinterlace
                - dgbob
                - decomb/telecide

        - Interlaced videos will not be allowed.
        - Letterboxed videos should be cropped to remove the black bars.
                - If a logo overlaps onto the letterbox area (such as a TV station logo)
                  the ripper may opt to keep the logo intact and crop only part of the
        - Videos with only partial cropping of the letterbox must use equal crop values
          for top/bottom.
        - Cropping out the picture should be avoided if possible.
        - The use of Vfapi is NOT recommended but currently still allowed.  Using Vfapi
          creates unnecessary colorspace conversions resulting in degraded color quality.

                To avoid this if using TMPGEnc for manual IVTC, use "tprivtc" to import your
                .tpr project file into avisynth.  In VirtualDubMod, set the video processing
                mode to "fast recompress".

          CAUTION: Propering for a noticable quality increase IS allowed!  If there's a noticable
                   difference when using vfapi vs. not, your vfapi rip will be at risk of proper.

        - Videos containing mixed-fps/vfr (variable frame rate) must be packaged in the MKV container
          and must be IVTC'ed to preserve the vfr if IVTC'ing them normally causes jumpy/choppy playback.
        - Deinterlacing the entire video is not permitted on IVTC'able sources.
        - Bootleg's shall be defined as any self-made or live-filmed works that are not a product
          of the artists record label and are not intended for network broadcast or commercial sales.

1.4 - XviD 1.1+

        - Both the AVI and MKV containers are allowed.
        - Only MPEG and H.263 quantization matrices are allowed.
        - Key frames must be inserted every 10 seconds or less.
        - CBR encoding is not allowed (use single or multiple pass vbr).
        - The average DRF (detail removal factor) of the video should not exceed 8.

1.5 - x264

        - Use ONLY the MKV container for x264 releases.
        - Codecs supporting VFW are NOT permitted.  Please use the newest
          available from:
        - Allowed profiles:

                - main profile (use for non-HDTV)
                - high profile (use for HDTV)

        - Cabac and inloop filtering must be ENABLED as they directly
          affect output quality.
        - Average quantizer should be below 24 and HAS TO be below 28.

1.6 - SDTV (Standard Definition TV)

        - The width and the height of the video must be a multiple of 16 (mod16).
        - Maximum (PAL) resolution is 720x576 @ 25fps.
        - Maximum (NTSC) resolution is 720x480 @ 29.97fps.
        - Maximum allowed average bitrate is 4000 kbps.

1.7 - HDTV (High Definition TV)

        - Only the x264 codec is allowed for HDTV rips.
        - Only the MKV container is allowed for HDTV rips.
        - Source horizontal resolution must be greater than or equal to 720.
        - Maximum frame rate is 29.97fps.
          * 50fps/59.94fps is allowed only from progressive sources with no duplicate frames.

        - The minimum allowed resolution for HD rips is 1280x720.
        - For converts, same rules apply as for Standard Definition.
        - Upscaled sources are NOT true High Definiton and are not allowed for
          HD releases.  These must be ripped according to Standard Definition.
        - Rips from upconverted/upscaled sources must be kept internal.

#########################    SECTION 2  -  PACKAGING    ########################


        - The directory naming scheme is now REQUIRED and enforced to maintain consistancy
          in the scene.
        - SFV and NFO are required.
        - HDTV and DVD rips must be specified as such.
        - Live performances must include the show name and original air date.
        - Award shows must include the show name and year OR the edition/series number.
        - PROPERS must be specified as such.
        - BOOTLEGS must be specified as such.

        The following are examples of the REQUIRED naming scheme:


        - RAR'ing is at the rippers discretion but recommended for large releases (>175mb).
          Packaging: 15mb, 20mb or 50mb rars, and a 1 minute sample.


        - If ripped in their entirety (introductions & breaks included), you have to
          encode at the closest DVD/x size (i.e. 275MB, 550MB, 1100MB, 1466MB, 2200MB).
          Multi-pass vbr encoding must be used for these. You may also split into
          separate tracks (NOT separate releases).
        - Single-track ripped concerts have to be packaged in ONE release,
          similar to a mp3 album:


        - Non-concert live performances with more than one song (such as award
          show performances) should be released as individual releases with any
          intermediate footage (interviews, presentations, etc.) removed.
        - Third party videos (commercials, karaoke, etc) are not music videos
          and are not permitted.

2.3 - NFO FILE

        - NFO's must contain:
                - artist name and song title
                - format (XviD/x264)
                - resolution and aspect ratio
                - video source (DVD, DVB, ..)
                - audio source (CD, MP3, ..)
                - deinterlace/IVTC method used
                - genre
                - year of video release

                * Live performances MUST include the show it aired on and original air date.

        - Other recommended (but not required) information to include:
                - filesize
                - video playtime (min:sec)
                - audio/video bitrate
                - album name (if available)
                - (release)name of mp3 used


        - Adding an intro/outro, or watermark is NOT PERMITTED.

##################    SECTION 3  -  PROPERS, DUPES, NUKING    ##################

3.1 - DUPES

        - avi/mkv dupe each other.
        - xvid/x264 dupe each other.
        - x264/xvid dupe all releases prior to the date of this ruleset.
        - High Definition releases will NOT dupe Standard Definition.
        - Releasing a lower quality video when a higher quality version
          exists is NOT allowed.  The following quality order shall be
          used (from higher to lower):
                - Standard Definition:

                        NATIVE DVD rip
                        NATIVE TV rip
                        CONVERT DVD rip
                        CONVERT TV rip

                - High Definiton:

                        BluRay/HD DVD rip
                        HDTV rip

        - "Native" refers to the standard in which the video was
          produced, eg. NTSC or PAL.
        - NTSC produced video is native to NTSC broadcasts.
          Native NTSC may be either IVTC'able or progressive.
        - PAL produced video is native to PAL broadcasts.
          Native PAL may be either IVTC'able or progressive.
        - PAL produced video that is broadcast in NTSC is
          converted.  NTSC produced video that is broadcast
          in PAL is converted.  These converts cannot be reversed
          to progressive and must be deinterlaced.
        - Convert releases should be avoided as native versions are
          usually ripped.


        - PROPER / NUKE reasons are as follows:
                - out-of-sync audio
                - user-encoded AC3/MP2
                - incomplete or missing audio/video
                - improper or no IVTC when applicable
                - 1 or more interlaced frames
                - incorrect aspect ratio
                - out-of-spec encodes
                - very bad audio/video quality (including low bitrate on high motion videos)
                - improper audio replacement (excluding concerts/live performances)
                - lip-sync or audio sync to source is broken
                - missing 1 or more sound effects (profanity is NOT a sound effect!)
                - bad cropping
                - one-click tool (such as GordianKnot) was used for encoding
                - disabled cabac or inloop filtering for x264 encodes.
                - improper naming/tagging
                - unnecessarily re-encoded audio

                * Your nfo MUST contain the name of the release you're propering
                  and the reason(s)!  "PROPER" MUST appear in your naming scheme.

                * These proper reasons apply ONLY to releases dated AFTER this

                        - anything related to subtitles (missing, incorrect, bad sync, etc.)
                        - only a SLIGHT increase in quality.


          If you don't know how to determine things like progressive ghosting vs. a bad ivtc, or a
          bad ivtc in general, you should NOT be nuking music videos.  We'll be more than happy to
          explain anything regarding our rules to eliminate any confusion so please don't hesitate
          to ask!