SugarMegs Audio @ Terrabyte Station
September 11, 2005 6:48 AM   Subscribe

It is nice to see that the number of well known bands that allows taping continues to grow. I still wish most bands did.
posted by caddis at 6:55 AM on September 11, 2005

Just from a cursory glance, alot of those bands do not allow taping -- Bob Dylan is the first one I saw. And the shows appear to be encoded to WMA, which is craptacular (and won't be embraced by the taping/trading die-hards, who work with SHN or FLAC.)

Nice link, tho.
posted by docgonzo at 6:58 AM on September 11, 2005

Ah. This explains it:

All shows are streaming at 40k/sec. We have eliminated the
128k/sec streams for now in order to serve more kind folks
on the same bandwidth. Let me know how it sounds.

Go to and use windows
media player version 9 or greater to properly stream
these shows. You should see setlist information and sometimes
pictures in the media players window. The file type there is
.asx and they are really just small text files that point to
and play files in THIS directory.

The files in THIS directory end with .wma and are the actual
music files. Right click to download them for playback in your
computer or any portable playback device that can play windows
media files. You will not get ANY SETLIST INFORMATION when you
download. All the text files are located at

For people wanting downloadable SHN/mp3 versions of tape-friendly bands, I recommend the archive.
posted by docgonzo at 7:01 AM on September 11, 2005

Seems odd to provide very low quality streams of stuff you can get as very high quality files from the internet archive or via etree's bittorrent tracker. (Though both those sources do tend to specialise in bands you never heard of that sound a bit like Phish - the tracker even has a 'Hide Phish and Grateful Dead option!)
posted by jack_mo at 7:11 AM on September 11, 2005

There is only one accepted standard in the concert taping community, WAV, distributed with some form of lossless encoding like SHN or FLAC.
posted by caddis at 7:11 AM on September 11, 2005

There's always FabChannel which has tons of good performances straight from the Paridso in Amsterdam
posted by cyphill at 7:27 AM on September 11, 2005

Had some fun downloading for about an hour, and then, predictably...

Try again next week?
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:06 AM on September 11, 2005

I love bootleg concerts from bands I like, but oh boy do I get annoyed by the entire taping community and their stupid rules and standards (no mp3, have to mail a DAT instead of download a song file, must trade other concert for the one you want, etc).
posted by mathowie at 9:09 AM on September 11, 2005

Great to see TMBG on there. Now I've got to figure out if they tour the Texas boot-scooting wasteland.
posted by rolypolyman at 9:15 AM on September 11, 2005

In the days when etree was a project coordinating ftp sites and bittorrent didn't exist, sugarmegs was one of the top live music sites on the web (along with who later put together Phish's livephish.). I doubt that the sugarmegs guy still does this, but as of 4 years ago if you provided him with some live music that he liked and didn't have he would send back 2-3 times that amount music. Even as recently as a year or two ago, sugarmegs was still fairly relevant as it was the only place to get a lot of these shows from bands that don't allow taping (The Band, Captain Beefheart, and Bonnie Raitt together on one page?). Now that bittorrent sites like TheTradersDen have started popping up, sugarmegs is starting to really lose relevance. Still I am glad to see it is still alive and kicking.
posted by aburd at 9:23 AM on September 11, 2005

oh boy do I get annoyed by the entire taping community and their stupid rules and standards (no mp3

The no mp3 rule makes a lot of sense for trading audience recordings. Unless you have a recording from someone who set up a FOB (front of (sound)board) taping set, you are most likely going to get a very low quality recording. Allowing people to turn that into a lossy file and then trade it would inevitably lead to people decoding the wav and then reencoding it to mp3 (causing more loss). To the live music traders who grew up listening 8th generation tapes where the hiss was louder than the music, this rule prevents similar digital circumstances from occurring. Plus it spreads the original lossless files wide and far so they won't be difficult to find if some blasphemous lossy trading circuit becomes prominent.

If you have lossless files that you would like to convert to mp3s or something similar dbpoweramp is a great program for converting directly from flac or shn to mp3.
posted by aburd at 9:36 AM on September 11, 2005

I love bootleg concerts from bands I like, but oh boy do I get annoyed by the entire taping community and their stupid rules and standards

As a longtime collector/trader, I completely agree. Without a doubt, THE WORST is when they say in the setlist comments something to the effect of, "Don't you DARE encode to MP3."

I mean, didn't tape trading come from some of our culture's more "renegade" elements? These die-hard "you won't tell me what to do with my body or my life" people are trying to tell me what to do with my sound files? F@ck that! I encode to 320K mp3 with a completely clean conscience. And if the makes me "unkind" then so be it.
posted by afroblanca at 10:29 AM on September 11, 2005

Enough about sound quality- I grew up listening to the most amazing new music (Who, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Doors, etc.) on crappy Sears record players and cheap transistor radios. The music is what happens between your ears.

The Peter Frampton show from '74 is a special treat- an artist captured at his creative height, before he was remade into a reluctant mass-market pop star.
posted by squalor at 11:14 AM on September 11, 2005

Oops. "Sound quality" should have linked here....
posted by squalor at 11:16 AM on September 11, 2005

Definitely prefer the Internet Archive... though I wish they'd get more contributions to their Robyn Hitchcock collection.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:30 PM on September 11, 2005

I'm a fan of the Internet Archive, mainly the fact that they actually DO have shows in mp3 format (count me in as a FLAC... Annoyed.... By...Guy). At least some shows, anyway. It's cool because they've got both Mountain Goats and my favorite, The Ditty Bops -- I particularly recommend the Cafe Du Nord show -- great sound quality AND it has "Angel With An Attitude", which basically if it does not show up on their next album, I will be a sad, sad spud.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:01 PM on September 11, 2005

Another thing about the "lossless only" crowd is that they make the music inaccessible to most people. Like, when my friends say, "I love your bootlegs, where can I get me some?" I have to say, "Well, theres this website that you can go to, but the files are really big, and its kind of a pain...." I would guess that about 1% of them actually wind up going through the trouble.
posted by afroblanca at 3:01 PM on September 11, 2005

boy do I get annoyed by the entire taping community and their stupid rules and standards (no mp3, have to mail a DAT instead of download a song file, must trade other concert for the one you want, etc).

There's been a change of attitude lately in the taping community. Ever since started automatically converting anything uploaded into MP3 and OGG, the notion of "never convert this to lossy format!!1!" is being mercifully put to rest.

DAT is slowly dying in the taping world, as well, and DAT tapes were usually only traded among tapers, since nobody else had the means to play them. I've been converting dozens of DATs over the past couple of years from a friend's collection and uploading each one to the archive. As long as there's a pristine digital copy of the original source online there, it doesn't matter what anyone converts it to.
posted by wakko at 3:45 PM on September 11, 2005

Good link, really interesting. I like Pearl Jam's attitude:

Q: How does the band feel about this: Will it be ok for us to copy and trade
the official bootleg CDs with other fans after we buy them like we did when
trading our own tapes?
A: Don't Care.

posted by verisimilitude at 4:07 PM on September 11, 2005

[fixed docgonzo's link]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:24 PM on September 11, 2005

Thanks, wakko. That Jesse guy said everything that I've been thinking on the subject for the last few years.
posted by afroblanca at 9:50 PM on September 11, 2005

Yeah, I too have been pissed off with the FLAC-only attitude (I am on a modem), especially since so many recordings start off with inherent audio issues - this isn't a studio recording folks, it's a live concert, and even sound-board output isn't necessarily mixed and equalized for playback on your home stereo.

I never understood their big problem, but I guess I can now understand how they don't want any progressive degradation over generations. However, the very fact that there are now archives of this sort of thing on the internet sort of kills that whole argument, doesn't it? It's not a matter of dubbing tapes and mailing them around the place anymore - there is instead an archive that everyone can access without having to dub tapes, so progressive degradation becomes a non-issue.
posted by Jimbob at 10:11 PM on September 11, 2005

« Older Rex 84   |   New York Haute Cuisine Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments