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SECOND DRAFT - Most of the non-SPL links work, so in case it's useful here's a draft. Moved most links to SPL threads to the lower section, which no longer work since the crash.

Some links that may be especially useful:
  • BitTorrent 101, including some seeding discussion. There's also related information such as file formats, etc., so it might be useful for other questions as well.
  • Use Trader's Little Helper for flac and shn; or flac frontend for flac and mkwACT for shn. dBpowerAmp will handle flac, shn and mp3 if you download the extra "codecs" for the different formats; some people like it, some find it cumbersome.
  • GrabIt for downloading from ABMS, with some tutorials
  • QuickPar software download and tutorials, if you're trying to use par2 files from ABMS
  • etree wiki and etree software, for info on audio, flac, etc.
The rest of this thread has some useful links to information here at SPL and elsewhere. Please read what's already posted, chances are most of your questions can be answered.

SPL does not support the copying of officially released material (by any artist). Please do not post links or information which might allow or encourage copying such material. Please do not circulate copies of such material at sites posted here or in the newsgroup.


  • Please don't make requests for new recordings before they have even entered circulation. They will all come in time, and posting a request will NOT speed up the tapers in any way.




  • For audio, WinAmp can be used to play mp3, shn and flac files (without decoding to wav). You need the ShnAmp or FLAC plugins.
  • For video, look at the folders on a video disc to tell whether it is VCD or SVCD. The video on VCDs (MPEG1 format) can be played with Windows Media Player. The video on SVCDs (MPEG2 format) can be played with DVD software or with VideoLan Client (free, all OS platforms). Open the program, then open the video (DAT or MPG) files in the MPEG folder on the disc. VideoLan can also play directly from a bin file.

Old FAQ - this might still be useful to give you the general idea, even though the links to threads don't work:


You can sign up to get discs by mail via the trees and vines here at SPL:

  • See the Vine, trees and trading starter guide for an introduction to sharing by mail.
  • With a vine, you copy the discs and send along the originals to the next person. Audio CD Vines share shows burned as CD audio. The SHN/FLAC Vines circulate lossless compressed audio files, a more reliable approach to getting a high-quality copy. That forum also has Video Vines.
  • In a tree, a "branch" makes multiple copies for other members, each of which makes more copies, and so on. See the Bootleg Audio/Video Trees forum.
  • Making A Tradelist - what info to include in your list of boots
  • The Requests and Trades forum is the place to post requests, and to look for trades, B&P and freebies.

It's very important to rip and burn CD Audio, DVDs and (S)VCDs carefully, or you may create or pass along a bad copy.


  • See the ABMS FAQ for an overview of most file formats used here, including rar, par, shn, flac, bin, and cue.
  • par2 is a new, improved version of the magic parity archive system for recovering files on ABMS.
  • SHN Links and Info - A well established lossless audio compression format used by many bootleg collectors. Available for PC, Mac and 'nix.
  • FLAC - An increasingly popular lossless audio compression format, under active development. Available for PC, Mac OS X and 'nix.
  • For a discussion of the issues around lossless formats (shn, flac) or lossy (mp3), see Is Shn For Me?, also known as the MP3 vs. SHN debate.
  • The LAME Encoder with a Variable Bit Rate setting will give you the best quality MP3s for a given file size.
  • Search the MP3, SHN, FLAC and Other File Formats Forum

GETTING STARTEDFinally, some things you don't want to miss ...

(This will always be a work in progress, as we fill in gaps and address new topics. Please post, in the appropriate forum, links to essential SPL threads or outside links - or write new faqs and we'll link to them. Post or PM suggestions on what's here, and I'll update this post.)
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