Digital Rush Experience Newsgroup FAQ: Version 1.1 01/04/03
|1.0||What is the DRE?|
|1.2||Basic trading ettiquette|
|2.0||General Trading Information|
|2.1.1||How to spot an MP3-sourced disc|
|2.2||Types of trades|
|2.2.1||"Straight" or 1:1 trade|
|2.2.2||Blank and Postage trade (B&P)|
|2.2.5||Vines, weeds, etc.|
|2.3||CDR Media types|
|2.3.1||Where to find Grade "A" Media|
|2.3.2||How to spot Taiyo Yuden discs|
|2.5||Tips for Newbies|
|2.6||The Rush Trading Register|
|3.1||Extract a CD for copying|
|3.1.2||Other extraction tools|
|3.2||Burn a CD|
|3.2.3||Dealing with Gaps or clicks between tracks|
|3.3||Copy a VCD|
|3.4||Copy a DVD|
|3.5.1||How to download from an FTP Site|
|3.5.2||How to set up an FTP Server|
|3.6.1||Usenet servers - Not all are created equal|
|3.6.2||How to download from Usenet|
|3.6.3||How to upload to Usenet|
The Digital Rush Experience Newsgroup (DRE) is an Internet messageboard devoted to sharing and trading "unauthorized" recordings of the Canadian progressive rock power-trio, Rush. The purpose of this FAQ is to summarize the philosophy of the group, and collect information that is useful to Rush traders in one place. The contents of this FAQ were collected from posts to the newsgroup, and other writings by members of the group. Although the band is the reason for the newsgroup, this FAQ doesn't cover band-related questions. For information on Rush, look here:
The DRE is composed of people who love Rush so much that the studio releases aren't enough. We are lucky because there are so many high-quality unofficial live recordings of our favorite band. Trading bootlegs is an ethical grey area - It is our belief that freely sharing live recordings among fans of the band is acceptable, but that attempting to make a profit from the hard work and talent of the band by selling them is wrong.
Please remember that traders are people, just like you. Some are very serious about trading, and have huge collections which attempt to document every known recording of the band, from the most pristine soundboard recording, to the ones recorded from the parking lot with a walkman and the built-in condenser mic. Some have much smaller collections, only choosing to collect the best of the best recordings, or shows they personally attended. Some people trade a lot, some much less often. Some love to help newbies with blank trades, some will only trade with you if you have something they want.
Everyone is entitled to do things their own way. If someone doesn't respond to a request you make, or turns you down, don't take it personally, just ask someone else. There are lots of people around the DRE newsgroup who will probably help you out.
Another thing almost universally agreed on by the members of the DRE is that MP3 is not an acceptable way to trade live Rush. MP3 files are fine for personal use, but they should not be traded when full-quality recordings are so easy to obtain. At the very least, if you must trade MP3's, trade them as data, not by decoding them to .wav and burning them as audio CD's.
Considering the wide availability of full-quality recordings, and the newbie-friendliness of the community, there is no need to trade MP3-sourced shows. MP3 is a lossy compression method. When a recording is compressed via MP3, parts of the signal are lost, and can never be replaced. This means that if you encode a .wav file to mp3, then decode the MP3 back to .wav, you do not get the original .wav file back. The resulting wav file is also likely to be sonically distorted, with the most obvious compromises occurring in the high end.
The main benefit of MP3 is portability, due to its nominal 10:1 compression ratio. MP3 was NEVER intended to replace previous formats of music, namely raw red book audio (44.1khz, 16bit).
The whole idea of zero generation digital media is to provide the best possible
copy or clone of a source. Anything that would degrade the sound such as high
gen analog dubbing, lossy compression, or other deteriorating affects goes to
undermine the whole purpose of archiving to zero gen media. Bootlegs are already
handicapped when compared to official releases so why make them sound even worse
by compressing them with a lossy format such as MP3?
There are many bootleg tapers, traders, collectors out there that view any form of sonic degradation with utter loathing. Why bother searching for a master analog? Because it is better sonic quality than the 2nd gen analogs. But if you use MP3 compression on it, you've just negated any and all benefits of the lower gen source.
Another problem with converting MP3s to audio discs is that somewhere down the road, they get traded as audio discs where someone forgets to mention on their list that it was MP3 sourced. A trader gets an MP3 sourced disc when he was expecting the real deal. Or perhaps someone extracts the MP3 sourced audio, and converts back to MP3. Now we have a second gen MP3, which will sound even worse than the first gen MP3.
Here's a nice link with more information on this topic:
2.1.1 How to spot an MP3-sourced disc
Easily noticeable signs that a recording might be MP3-sourced are a sort of "wobbly" sound in the high-end and audible clicks or gaps between the tracks. Note that neither of these is a dead giveaway, they are just potential warning signs. Either might be present in a non-MP3 sourced recording. Some people assume that those micro gaps are a sure fire way to tell an MP3 sourced show, but there are many things that can cause the gaps. The mini gaps are not alway indicative of an MP3 source. The Spectral Analysis is a more reliable indicator.
Several pieces of software allow you to graphically examine the audio spectrum of a .wav file, including EAC, and Cool Edit 2000. It is rather difficult to explain what to look for in text, but looking at the spectra in the link below should give you some ideas.
A typical sign of an MP3 encode is frequency cut off around the 14k range or so. What makes it more certain is the pitch black above. You have to be careful here because many FM shows will also cut off about the 14k range as well, but it normally isn't pure black above, there is some light colour, it's not such a sharp cut off with pitch black above. An MP3 source will leave none of this high frequency "colour" behind. Sometimes it is very obvious, and other times it is harder to tell.
Here is a helpful site. Its purpose is to show the differences between different mp3 encoders, but it has several good examples of typical spectra for MP3-encoded files.
There are several different types of trades commonly practiced. These are described
briefly below. Remember that every trader does things a little differently -
be sure to make it clear what you expect before agreeing on a trade. There is
no particular right or wrong way to do a trade, and in the end, if both traders
are happy with the terms of the trade, and there's no money changing hands,
then people are free to do these as they see fit.
2.2.1 "Straight" or 1:1 trade
This is the most common and straightforward type of trade. Each trader chooses from the other trader's list, then both send the other trader the discs they requested. Some traders may ask that you send your discs first if they don't know you and you have initiated the trade.[Top]
2.2.2 Blank and Postage trade (B&P)
A Blank and Postage, or B&P trade, is also simple and straightforward. You send the trader the blank discs (as many as are needed for the shows he offered to copy for you), along with a stamped self-addressed mailer. The trader copies your discs, and drops them in the mail back to you. B&P trades are a good way to get your collection started if you don't have many shows to do straight trades.
A very well-written description of how to do a Blank and Postage trade may be found here:
2.2.3 Two for One (2:1) trade
For a 2:1 trade, you send the trader two blank discs for each disc you want recorded. For example: you want a show from the T4E tour which requires 3 discs. You would need to send to the trader 6 blank discs, 3 Discs he/she would keep for themself, The other 3 would be sent back to you with music on it. 2:1 trades are a good way to get your collection started if you don't have many shows to do straight trades.
Originally, the extra blank discs were intended to cover the cost of postage and the trader's time. Since CDR's are so cheap these days, some traders may also ask you to provide postage for 2:1 trades, in addition to the extra blanks. Different traders handle 2:1's in different ways, always ask to be sure.[Top]
Trees are a little more complicated. They are larger and more organized, and are intended to get a show distributed to a large number of people quickly. Often when a new show surfaces that many people want, someone will organize a tree to spread it around. The downside to trees is that organizing them is quite a bit of work.
The tree is composed of "branches" and "leaves". The tree organizer will distribute copies of the show to the branches (in whatever manner he chooses, through straight trade, B&P, 2:1 or whatever). The branches in turn provide the show to the leaves, again using whatever type of trade they wish.
The tree organizer puts out a notice that he is sponsoring a tree, and will be taking sign-ups through a given date. He will also ask applicants to indicate whether they are interested in being a branch or a leaf. People who wish to be branches are usually asked to provide details of their disc copying setup, to ensure that they will be sending out good copies. When all the applications are in, the organizer divides the applicants up (usually by geographical areas) and assigns branches and leaves. Very large trees may even have sub-branches.
Being a branch has its benefits, as you are given a show you know people want, and usually have a chance to make several nice trades. Being a leaf also has its benefits, especially to new traders, or people without CD burners.
Planting a Tree ....
First somebody decides they have a show or collection of tracks that they wish to share with the list.
An announcement is then made that he/she would like to make this available
to the list. The announcement will request certain information to be
supplied in the responces, usually NAME, e-mail ADDRESS, COUNTRY, BURNER CAPABLE, HOW MANY LEAVES.
A deadline will be set when no further signups will be accepted. (the tree has to be planted sometime:-)
The responses to the announcement, if supplied correctly OFFLIST (this is important)
will enable the tree planter to arrange the trunk, branches, and
leaves in such a manner to minimise shipping distances, and therefore costs.
| |-----Leaf 1.1
| |-----Leaf 1.2
| |-----Leaf 1.3
| |-----Leaf 1.4
| |-----Leaf 2.1
| |-----Leaf 2.2
| |-----Leaf 2.3
Once the tree structure has been determined it is drawn up and presented to the list. This then enables leaves to contact branches and branches to contact trunk to arrange terms (B&P, trade, etc.) and confirm delivery addresses.
Soon after the tree structure is announced the seed will distribute copies to each branch. The branch will then copy and ship to each leaf on receipt of agreed terms.
Everybody ends up happy ...... except those that missed the deadline. For them it is a case of waiting, checking the structure and arranging a private B&P, trade, etc. with somebody on the tree.
SHN TREE FAQ
2.2.5 Vines, weeds, etc.
Vines and weeds are newer trading methods that have been gaining popularity, because they are easy to organize, and can also spread shows widely, if not as quickly as trees. The downside to these methods is they are very dependent on people living up to their word to pass shows on.
Growing a Weed ...
First somebody decides they have a show or collection of tracks that they wish to share with the list.
Then they decide how many copies they wish to make available. A reasonable amount is 5 copies for a single disc and 3 for a double disc set.
An announcement is then made to the list that he/she would like to make this available to the first 5/3 persons to respond OFFLIST. They may wish to reserve a place or two for digesters and maybe if they are generous also reserving a place for a newbie/burnerless.
Other than the burnerless (obviously) the people responding have to agree to weed the discs to a further 5/3 people.
Eventually announcement will not be receiving 5/3 responses at which time the weed is saturated and everybody is happy.
This system does not require B&P or trade from respondents. It is sharing the music. You only have to ship to 5 people at most and I'm sure you will be responding to many announcements and getting plenty of free shows.
As you can see this is a quick and dirty way of getting the music out there.
Seed | ------------------------ | | | | | W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 | ------------------------ | | | | | W1.1 W1.2 W1.3 W1.4 W1.5 | etc. ----------------------------
Making a Chain ....
First somebody decides they have a show or collection of tracks that they wish to share with the list.
An announcement is then made that he/she would like to make this available to the list as a chain. The announcement will request certain information to be supplied in the responces, usually NAME, e-mail ADDRESS, ADDRESS.
A deadline will be set when no further signups will be accepted. Responses are to be sent OFFLIST.
The chain is then set. In a chain the originator sends the original discs to the next person in the chain. He/she makes a copy for himself from the original discs and then passes the originals on to the next person in the chain. And so on till the last person in the chain, who makes their copy and returns the originals to the originator of the chain.
Everybody ends up happy ...... except those that missed the deadline. For them it is a case of waiting, checking the structure and arranging a private B&P, trade, etc.
One for the Vine ....
An announcement is then made that he/she would like to make this available to the list. The announcement will request certain information to be supplied in the responces, usually NAME, e-mail ADDRESS, ADDRESS, BURNER CAPABLE, HOW MANY LEAVES.
A deadline will be set when no further signups will be accepted. Responses will be sent OFFLIST.
The responses to the announcement, if supplied correctly (this is important) will enable the vintner (vine grower :-) to arrange the vine and leaves in such a manner to minimise shipping distances, and therefore costs.
Once the vine structure has been determined it is drawn up and presented to the list. This then enables leaves to contact vines to arrange terms (B&P, trade, etc.) and confirm delivery addresses.
Soon after the vine structure is announced the vintner will send out the original set to vine 1. He/she makes a copy for himself and for his leaves from the original discs and then passes the originals on to the next person in the vine. And so on till the last person in the vine, who makes their copies and returns the originals to the originator of the vine.
Everybody ends up happy ...... except those that missed the deadline. For them it is a case of waiting, checking the structure and arranging a private B&P, trade, etc.
2.3 CDR Media types
CDR media quality is quite important to many members of the community. Insisting on Grade "A" media is a fairly common trading condition for many traders in the DRE community.
Many people judge the quality of media by the color of the recording face of the discs. In fact, the Grade of the media has little to do with the color and all to do with the formulation of the Dye used in the manufacture of the disc.
A Grade A dye has the longest lifespan and the greatest resistance to degredation. Taiyo Yuden makes such a dye as does Mitsui Chemicals. Both these companies are based in Japan and are essentially the only manufacturers in Japan. Therefore if the media says made in Japan, it is Grade A.
Other, more cheaply made media use grade B & C dyes that have shorter lifespan and are more likely to degrade over time. The blue Verbatims are Grade B and made by Mitsubishi Chemicals. Mitsubishi has also serviced Sony in the past. Currently Verbatims are made by Ritek or CMC and have their typical platinum green color. That also makes them Grade C media now.
Kodak and TDK used to make their own discs and they were Grade A as well. But both have since stopped making their own media and just remark media made by other manufacturers. So at this point in time, only Mitsui and Taiyo Yuden continue to make media with a Grade A dye. So look for the "Made in Japan" label unless you are buying Mitsui or Taiyo Yuden media.
Also note that any CDR Audio media made for standalone CDR burners are considered Grade A.
Some good general info sites on CDRs:
Some good discussions of media quality are available here:
There is a nice little program called CDR Identifier, which will tell you the manufacturer of a disc you ihave inserted into your CD drive. It is available here (although it seems it is no longer being updated):
2.3.1 Where to find Grade "A" media
In the US:
In the UK:
CDR Supplies Direct
2.3.2 How to spot Taiyo Yuden discs
Taiyo Yuden branded discs are available from many of the retailers mentioned above, but many other companies also contract TY to manufacture media for them. TY discs are widely available at computer and electronic stores, under a variety of brand names. At the time of this writing - HP, Fuji, Sony, and Memorex are all known to sell TY media with their brand name on them. But they may also sell grade C media under the same brand name, in similar packaging. How can you spot the grade A TY discs?
The first thing to look for is the "Made in Japan" label. TY discs are also
often packaged in a distinctive screw-top container. There are also definitive
signs on the discs themselves. You can always tell a cdr is Taiyo Yuden by couple
of signs. the obvious one being the opaque inner ring. second one is the identifying
number on the bottom layer. the format is "80 (or 74) P?#####". ? is a letter
followed by 5 numbers.
2.4 Electronic trading
In recent years, with the growing popularity and availability of broadband internet connections, it has become quite common to trade bootlegs via the internet. This section describes SHN, a lossless compression format commonly used by internet traders, and also briefly describes several methods internet traders use to swap shows. More details on how to do the things described here are in Section 3 - How To...
SHN is a lossless compression algorithm specifically designed for music files. If you take a .wav file extracted from a CD and compress it with SHN, then decompress it back to .wav, the two .wav files will be identical. SHN has nowhere near the compression of MP3, but it does significantly reduce file sizes (an average of perhaps 25%). The difference between a Gigabyte download and a 750 MB download is certainly significant. Unlike MP3, SHN has been accepted by almost everyone in the Rush trading community.
Another benefit of SHN is that the SHN files are treated as data files by computers, and therefore subjected to more rigorus error-checking than audio files. There is no real likelihood of introducing errors by copying SHN files from a CDR, unlike the potential errors that may arise during a Digital Audio Extraction (DAE - See Section 3.1 Extract a CD for copying). Most SHN software also generates an MD5 file when it compresses to SHN. The MD5 files may be used to perform a file integrity check on the downloaded SHNs, to ensure that there were no errors introduced during the download process.
Here are some helpful links and FAQs on SHN:
Etree.Org - The source of all things SHN
SHN Tools and Software
Here's a nice hint culled from the DRE Forums for users of Windows XP and mkwACT:
From: "Jonathan G. Weston"
Date: Sun Dec 2, 2001 1:23 am
Subject: Solution to the XP woes (no seek tables + MD5 unreliability)
Since I've rearranged the hell out
of my Start Menu, I don't remember where
it's SUPPOSED to be, so I can't give step-by-step instructions on running
it, but to make mkwACT work properly in Windows XP (with *reliable* MD5
checking and seek table support), just run the Program Compatibility Wizard
(probably in Accessories), manually browse to mkwact.exe, and tell it to run
it in Windows 98/Windows Me compatibility mode. This will make it ALWAYS
run in this mode, even when launching it via a right-click menu or an MD5
File Transfer Protocol, or FTP has been around a long time, much longer than the WWW (and probably longer than the internet itself). FTP does pretty much what its name describes: It allows transfer of files from one computer to another via the internet. FTP is fairly simple to use, and there are numerous FTP client programs available as freeware or shareware.
An FTP client allows you to connect to an FTP server containing files to download (in our case, Rush shows). FTP servers are set up by friendly, giving individuals who want to share their collection of Rush shows. FTP server software is also readily available, and it is also possible to set up your own small FTP server for the purposes of private electronic trades by FTP.
For more information on setting up and using FTP clients and servers, see Section 3.5.1 How to download from an FTP Site and Section 3.5.2 How to set up an FTP Server.
Usenet is another old technology still in wide use. Usenet began well before the internet as we know it, as a series of discussion groups. The messages in these groups were passed around dial-up bulletin board systems all over the world in an incredibly complicated and arcane system which allowed posting a message on one BBS, and propagating it to other BBS, along with any replies. Eventually, as is typical of the internet, someone figured out a way to use it for a number of fascinating purposes for which it was never intended.
Usenet today is still used for discussions, and also for file sharing. There are over 30,000 Usenet newsgroups on every topic you can imagine. There are several Usenet groups devoted to filesharing of lossless music. The primary group of interest to Rush fans is alt.binaries.music.shn (and its companion group alt.binaries.music.shn.repost). Other groups containing lossless music include alt.binaries.sounds.led-zeppelin, alt.binaries.music.shn.dmb, alt.binaries.sounds.bluegrass.shn, and several others.
The benefit of Usenet is its decentralization. The number of people who can access an FTP site is limited by its bandwidth. There are many Usenet servers out there, typically connected to very fast internet pipelines. A file posted to Usenet is soon available for dowload all over the world to a very wide audience. Most Internet providers provide access to a Usenet server as part of their subscription (although not all of them are created equal). There are also several high quality premium Usenet servers available for reasonable prices. For more details on this subject, see Section 3.6.1 Usenet servers - Not all are created equal.
The downside of Usenet is that you don't really get to choose what you want. People post things to Usenet groups - you can decide whether you want it or not, and perhaps even post a request for something specific, but you are really at the mercy of the posters as far as what is available to download. For Rush fans, though, Usenet can be a great way to get shows. Often newly released bootlegs are posted to alt.binaries.music.shn very quickly. This makes them available to many traders all over the world in a short time. If you don't have access to Usenet, develop a relationship with a trader who does, and you will find he or she is often one of the first to have a new show.
For more details on uploading and downloading from Usenet, see Section 3.6.2 How to download from Usenet and Section 3.6.3 How to upload to Usenet.[Top]
The Rush trading community in general, and the DRE in particular, is very newbie-friendly. It is quite possible to start with nothing and, with diligence and patience, build a sizeable collection in a fairly short time. If you have only a few shows to trade, or none at all, start off by looking around the newsgroup or on the Rush Trading Register for people offering B&P or 2:1 trades, or find a vine or weed and get in on it.
When you find someone willing to help you out, make your choices carefully. Don't get just the very best sounding, most common shows (i.e., "Mirrors", the St Louis '80 show). Get some less common shows, or newly surfaced ones, this will make it more likely that you will have something another trader won't have yet. Use the DRE listings, and the lists of people you would like to trade with in the future, to help you choose.
If you have good Internet access, look into the electronic trading methods described elsewhere in this FAQ, they can really help you build your collection quickly. (See Section 2.4 Electronic trading.)
Once you have a good handful of shows, the fun can really begin. Make a list of your shows and put it up on the web if you can. (There are lots of free web-hosting sites, and a show list doesn't have to take up much space.) List yourself on the Trading Register, so people can see your list and know where to find you. Then start looking for trades - look for newer traders like yourself, who don't have some of the shows you have.
And remember - the guy you trade with this month may be the guy who finds the show you want more than anything next month. Keep an eye on the lists of the people you have traded with before. They will remember you and (hopefully) will want to trade with you again when you have both added new shows to your lists.
Finally, remember that the traders in the group are people, with jobs and kids and regular lives. Be patient, it may take a while to get your collection rolling. There are lots of people who will be happy to help you out, but don't forget this: No one owes you anything! If someone tells you "No", just tell them "Thanks anyway" and ask someone else. The community is really pretty small - being demanding and rude will get you nowhere fast.
Here's a nice newbie trading guide from a Pearl Jam trader site:
Here's another from a Smashing Pumpkins trading site:
2.6 The Rush Trading Register
The DRE Rush Trading Register is maintained by HuggyPack, and is a listing of Rush traders from all over the world. It can be found at:
3.0 How to...
This section contains more detailed instructions, or links to information related to the activities involved in trading CDR's.
3.1 Extract a CD for copying
Contrary to poular belief, it is actually much more likely for an error to be introduced into the CD-copying process during the ripping phase, than during the burning phase. Ripping digital audio files is quite different from simply copying data files from a CD, and the software used to perform the extraction can definitely make a difference. Exact Audio Copy (EAC) is generally agreed to be the best software for audio extraction, having the best error-checking algorithms. Here are some more detailed articles on this subject.
A nice FAQ on Digital Audio Extraction
"Ripping Off Recordings: Digital Audio Extraction Do's, Don'ts, and Do-ers" a very nice article.
Exact Audio Copy (EAC) is the preferred means of performing digital audio extraction. Here are links to the software and tutorials:
Tutorials on setting up and using EAC
3.1.2 Other extraction tools
[This should especially cover options for Mac/linux folks - I really have no idea what this should include][Top]
3.2 Burn a CD
3.2.1 Popular software
NERO Burning ROM: http://www.nero.com/en/
Easy CD Creator http://www.roxio.com/
3.2.2 Cue sheets
A Cue Sheet tells the CD burner what to do; what tracks to burn, what order
the tracks should be in, whether the tracks are Audio or Binary and where the
indexes should go. Cue Sheets can also contain text such as TITLE and PERFORMER.
Cue Sheets use the extension cue . . . as in File.cue. As a text file a Cue
Sheet can be edited using NotePad, WordPad or any or text editor. Not all CD
burning programs support using cue sheets. CDRWin does, and EAC allows burning
audio discs with cue sheets. I think Nero supports them as well.
A Cue Sheet for a single Wave file might look something like this . . .
Remember: if you want to share the Cue Sheet it is recommended to remove the Drive and Path information so that just the file name appears.
More information can be found here:
3.2.3 Dealing with Gaps or clicks between tracks
You may receive a show now and then with clicks or gaps between the tracks. The first things you should do if this happens is be sure that a) it's not an mp3-sourced show, and b) the trader you recieved it from didn't make a mistake in burning it. Unless you are somewhat experienced, it is probably easier to track down a good copy from another trader than fix it yourself. If you do find yourself needing to fix a disc with clicks or gaps, here are some hints from DRE newsgroup members:
Load track one in Cool Edit. Then use the append command to add track two. Zoom right down to the point where to two tracks meet to look for gaps. Then append the third track, and check, and so on till the end. If all is OK, then simply burn the wavs to disc. If not, cut out the gaps, save as one big .wav file, making a note of where all the track indices are, and then load the combined .wav file up in cdwav and split on sector boundaries.
This works well only if the .wav files you are working with are from .wavs extracted from a cd, because the gaps will be present in the .wavs. However, these gaps are only inserted by the cd burning progam while burning.
What if the .wav files you have come straight from the DAT? For example, what if the taper transfers the DAT to his hard drive, does his editing, and then cuts the wav file up into tracks, but does NOT divide on sector boundaries. Then, he takes these .wav files and converts direct to .shn. They have never gone through a burning process, and thus when you join them together in Cool Edit, all the transitions will line up perfect, with no gaps. When you burn your disc, the gaps show up, because they were not cut on the boundary. Bummer, to say the least.
So, I would recommend burning a few tracks to a cdrw that you can erase after your test. No need to burn a whole disc worth. I normally go with 4 or 5 sequential tracks. If the transitions are fine, then you can be relatively certain that the guy who put out the show knew what he was doing when he cut up the .wav files to begin with. If not, join them all together, and then cut them properly with cdwav.
Why is splitting on 2352 byte/588 sample borders so important?
A CD audio disc is divided into sectors. Each sector holds 1/75 seconds of audio, or 588 samples at 44100 samples per second, or 2352 bytes. If the size of a WAV recording is not a multiple of 588 samples, the recording software will fill the remainder of the sector with zeroes. If you have a continuous recording (live), you’ll hear a short click in between two songs, as a result of the padding zeroes. To prevent this, the program always cuts on 588 sample borders, so two adjacent songs will have no clicks in between.
CDWav, a tool for breaking up WAV files (on sector boundaries so no gaps are added):
A CDWav FAQ:
3.3 Copy a VCD
VCD's - background
Copying a VCD is a totally different thing than copying an audio cd. VCDs are written in a different format than audio; Just as an audio disc is in a different format than data discs. For one thing, the sector sizes are different.
Take a look at an 80 minute cdr. It hold 700 mb of data. However if you are burning it as an audio disc, it will hold 80 minutes of music. If you look at the .wav files used to burn that 80 minutes of music, you will see that they are roughly 800 mb in size. How to you fit 800mb of data on a 700mb disc? It's because it is recorded in a different format.
Just as an 80minute cdr will hold 80 minutes of audio, it will also hold 80 minutes of Mpeg1 video in vcd format. Therefore, there is no need to be concerned if you see that the file size of the video is 800mb in size. It will still fit on an 80 minute cdr.
Copying a VCD
If you place a VCD in your cdrom, and then use Windows Explorer, you can examine the directory structure of the VCD. It will contain a few directories, and in each directory will be some files. In the "Mpegav" directory you will find the actual video files, with a .dat extension. Because of the file format, some people assume that you can simply copy the directories to your hard drvie, and then burn these files as data to a new disc. While you could actually do this, it would destroy the vcd format, and you would not be able to play this disc in a DVD player, as it would not be in a format that the DVD player could recognize. This mistake accounts for the majority of unplayable VCD's in circulation.
The way to copy a VCD is by using either CDRWin, Nero or Easy CD's 'Disc Copy' function. The general premise is that the program will copy the information on the disc and create a "disc image" of the VCD on your hard drive. This preserves all file structures and formating of the disc. You then use your program to burn that image onto a new cdr.
What follows is a step by step guide for copying VCD's using these 3 above noted programs.
Copying a VCD with CDRWin
A free version is available for download, but is limited to burning at 1x. There are cracked versions you may find on the internet, but the makers of this program are very aware of the hacking going on and have taken aggressive steps to avoid cracking of the program. Many of the cracks will appear to work at first, but then will begin routinely making coasters, on a hit or miss basis.
The following is based on version 3.8d. Other versions should work similarly.
|2.||Click on the button for Extract Disc/Tracks/Sectors (This is the middle button on the top row in my version)|
|3.||At the top of the next screen, click the radio button that says "Disc Image/Cue Sheet" (It's probably already selected by default)|
|4.||Make sure that the cdrom that the VCD is in is selected in the "CD Reader" box|
|5.||At the right end of the "Image Filename" box is a little button with 3 dots in it. Click on this to allow your to browse your hard drive and select a directory to extract the disc to. Make sure you have enough free drive space on this drive to extract an 800mb file to. Select the directory and then type a descriptive file name into the file name box, then click "OK"|
|6.||I use all the rest of the default settings|
|8.||Once it has completed reading the disc and writing an image to the hard drive, you will find two files in the directory you selected. One will have a .bin extension, and the other will have a .cue extension. The .bin file is the disc image, and the .cue file is a text file that will tell CDRWin information about the .bin file and how it should be burned.|
|9.||Close and restart CDRWin.|
|10.||This time, click on the "Record Disc" button of the main window. On my version, this button is at the left of the top row of buttons.|
|11.||Make sure your burner is selected in the CDROM Recorder box.|
|12.||Click on the "Load Cuesheet" button.|
|13.||Navigate the "Open Cuesheet File" dialog box to find the directory where you extracted the image to, and select the .cue file with the descriptive name you'd given to the vcd image in step 5. Click open.|
|14.||If your burner supports "burnproof" make sure to check that option.|
|15.||I leave all other "Recording Options" check boxes unchecked, but you can decide if checking any of the others might be applicable to your situation.|
|16.||I have no problem burning VCD's at MAX speed, but if you wish you can select which speed you'd like to burn at. If you are using the free demo, you will be limited to burning at 1x.|
|17.||Click the "Start Recording" button. Once completed, you will have an exact replica of the original VCD|
Copying a VCD with Nero
The following instructions apply to version 188.8.131.52 of Nero. Your version will likely work similarly.
|2.||Click on "File" in the menu then select "CD-Copy"|
|3.||Click on the "Image" tab and then specify the directory where you would like the image stored on your hard drive. Also, give the image a descriptive name.|
|4.||Specify any Copy and Read options by selecting their tabs. I've always been able to use the default settings, but your situation may vary.|
|5.||Click the "Burn" tab and specify any options, such as the speed you'd like to burn at. If your drive supports "Burn Proof" you should enable it here. "Disc at Once" will probably be showing by default on this screen, but if not, select it.|
|6.||Click on the copy button|
|7.||The VCD will be copied as an image to your hard drive. Once Nero has done that, it will pop open the CDROM tray and ask for you to insert a blank disc. (Assuming you are using your burner to read from and write to.) Insert a blank disc and Nero should resume automatically once it recognizes that a blank disc has been inserted.|
|8.||When Nero indicates that the burn has been successful, you should have an exact replica of the original VCD|
Copying a VCD with Easy CD Creator
This portion of the tutorial is written based on version 4.03 of EZCD Creator. The steps should be similar with your version.
|1.||Start the CD Copier module of the EZCD Creator software. You don't want to do a disc to disc copy. Instead you want to copy an image to your hard drive first. Click on the advanced tab.|
|2.||Make sure the "Copy" and "Disc at Once" radio buttons are selected. Also, check the box for "Copy Source Disc to Hard Drive First"|
|3.||Click the "Select Location" button and specify the directory you wish to copy the disc image to.|
|4.||Click the "Copy" button.|
|5.||Once the image has been written to your hard drive, the cd tray should pop out, and a message will appear telling you to inser a blank cd into the recorder. (This assumes that you were extracting from your burner.) Insert a blank disc, close the tray, and then the software should automatically resume by writing the iamge to your blank disc.|
|6.||When complete you should have an exact replica of your original VCD.|
3.4 Copy a DVD
3.5.1 How to download from an FTP Site
The first thing you need to do is get FTP client software. There are many free ones out there that can be downloaded. Links to several popular ones are provided at the end of this section. Most are very similar.
In order to log into a site, you need three pieces of information: Address, username/password, and port number. First, you need the site address, which may be a series of numbers (i.e., 999.99.999.999) or an internet address, usually beginning with “ftp” (i.e., ftp.microsoft.com). Second, you need the username and password to use. Some sites allow anonymous logins, for these you will need to enter “anonymous” as the username, and an e-mail address as the password. For most sites however, you will need to use the username and password supplied by the site admin. Third, you need the port that the FTP site allows connections on. The default port is 21, and many sites use the default port, but others may use a different port, so be aware.
Once you have entered this info your FTP client, you are on your way! Most clients will keep track of the login information for multiple FTP sites, so that you only have to enter it once.
Next, check the options settings for several things: PASV mode may need to be enabled. Different servers require it, while others do not. Also check the file download settings: the available options should be binary, ASCII, or autodetect. Choose binary or autodetect or the files may be corrupted in the download process. Most modern FTP clients default to autodetect.
You should now be ready to download! A typical FTP client has two windows, the first showing your PC, and the second showing the server you are connected to. The first thing you need to do is to pick a place on your own PC to save the files you download.
Next, in the other window (the FTP server) you will probably see several directories. There will probably be one called “upload” which is there for people to upload things to. The other directories may be categorized by different bands, or there may just be a lot of folders with a different show in each. Look around the folders until you find what you want, usually by double-clicking to open, and double-clicking the arrow pointing up to back out.
Each folder will contain many files: tracks, artwork , hmtl, etc. You can download the individual files or the entire folder. With most clients you right click the files or folder you want and select download, or highlight them and simply drag them over to the window representing your PC.
For some clients, this is all you need to do, the download will start immediately. On others, this will place the files in a queue to be downloaded. It may be necessary to activate the queue before the download starts. The help files for your client should tell you how to do this.
This should be all you need to know to get started, but there are a few more important things to remember. In the options or setting for your client, there should be a setting for the maximum number of threads (or concurrent downloads). This should be set to 1 as this is all that most small server allow at one time. (Some very large FTP servers operated for other purposes may allow more than one concurrent download, which can greatly speed downloads, at the cost of greatly increased bandwidth use.)
Another thing to be careful of is the setting for frequency of attempts to connect. DO NOT set it to attempt too often and too quickly. This is called hammering the server, and some operators will ban you for it. The default should be set at a moderate number. Some people have been known to set it to continuously attempt to login over and over very quickly, then leave their machine for hours. This can really tie up the server, and make it impossible for others to access it.
The last few points to bring up are difficulties you may encounter when trying to connect to an FTP server. Most of the servers are extremely busy, and are run on private computers with a limited amount of bandwidth. For this reason, they are usually set up to only allow a certain number of users at once (usually 10). The reason for this is to ensure that the people who are able to connect are able to download at a reasonable speed. An error message on attempting to connect usually means that all the available download slots are full.
Different servers have slightly different rules which are often posted in a readme or welcome file in the first directory you find on the server. Please follow them. It is usually considered bad form to attempt to connect to one of these servers with a slow dial-up connection. It will take a dial-up user far to long to download anything, and they will be taking up a slot that would be far better used by someone with a fast connection. Another common rule is a prohibition against downloading via the account provided for uploaders (which usually has a different login/password).
Suggested FTP Client software:
Links to the E-Signals Mailing list, which is devoted to FTP sites with Live Rush
3.5.2 How to set up an FTP Server
[Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller?][Top]
3.6.1 Usenet servers - Not all are created equal
All usenet servers are not created equal. Two important factors to consider about news-servers are completion and retention. Completion refers to whether the server gets all the parts of a binary file. Retention refers to how long the files remain on the news-server. The binary newsgroups can take up huge amounts of bandwidth and disk space, so many ISP's may set the retention time on them quite low, or not carry them at all. The only way to find out how good your ISP's news-server is, is to try it out. If you find that you are frequently missing parts of files (poor completion) or are unable to download things before they dissapear from the server (poor retention) - you may need to consider a premium news-server.
Premium Usenet services offer very good completion and retention that is typically far longer than that of most ISP's. Prices vary, according to amount downloaded and length of contract. many people get a small account with a premium service and use it to fill in the gaps of their ISP's news-server.
Here are a few popular premium usenet services:
3.6.2 How to download from Usenet
There are lots of good tutorials available, so rather than reinvent the wheel, here are some links:
Popular Newsreader Software:
Agent & Free Agent
3.6.3 How to upload to Usenet
Before you think about posting to usenet, lurk and download for a while. Get a feel for how people do things, and watch others make mistakes. The people in usenet can be pretty merciless to newbies sometimes, and it's lots easier to learn from the mistakes of others. Also, test your posts to alt.test before posting to the regular newsgroups. Posting gigabytes of gibberish is not a good way to win friends and influence people.
Using a premium server like Giganews for posting is great. Although you have a cap for how much you can download in a month, there is no cap on uploading. You can upload as much as you want without cost. Also, posts through Giganews seem to propagate well, so that you don't normally get too many repost requests.
By far the best posting software out there now is Power-Post 2000, by Cosmic Wolf Software. It is pretty easy to use, and it allows re-posting of segments, so that you can fill in missing parts for people, rather than having to re-post entire files.
Get Power-Post here:
Here's a tutorial for using Power-Post:
3.7 Direct Connect
Direct connect is a peer-to-peer filesharing program something like Napster or Gnutella. The Rush trading community has a good number of people who share shows this way. First, you will need the software, available here:
Here is a nice DC FAQ Written by one of the members of the DRE:
4.0 Revision History
8/6/02 Version 0.2 First Draft by Chuckboy (and everyone in the DRE forum)
8/7/02 Version 0.3 HTML-ized by FrankM
10/20/02 Version 1.0 Including lots of additions from DRE Denizens
1/04/03 Version 1.1 Added a couple of links