Official MP3 Release Rules 1.1

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 !

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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 Manson

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

- 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) 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

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.

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).

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, ...)

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.

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.

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.

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)

V1.1 active since 2007-06-01, signed by:


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