Newbie Guide

Some Terms & Definitions-

File formats

.wav- what a common sound file is on a computer taken from an audio cd. They are very big and are easy to convert into a playable audio cd. They are not easy to transfer online due to size. Once an audio cd is created it can be copied again with minimal quality loss. The most common form of trading shows.

.mp3- The most commonly used compressed music file. They are about 1/10 the size of a wav. They can be played on computers and mp3 players but need to be converted to a wav before or as they are being burned to an audio cd. Mp3's are a good sound for such a small file size, but is a lossy compression scheme. This means that when music is converted into the MP3 format, a certain amount of data is lost and cannot ever be recovered. Plus anytime an mp3 is traded or copied it loses sound quality. Mp3's cannot make continuous sound from track to track as there will be clicks between tracks. If you make a concert cd from mp3's it will radically lose sound quality on each duplication. Therefore don't trade with mp3's!!

.shn- Shorten (also pronounced "shin") is an audio compression scheme written by Tony Robinson of SoftSound that can compact wav files without subtracting out any frequencies. It's "lossless"- everything in the original wav is there, so that full quality is maintained. For many traders of live music, Shorten files (shns) therefore have an undisputed advantage over "lossy" mp3-format files. A shn file made from a wav is quite a bit larger than the corresponding mp3, with a size perhaps ~50-60% of the orginal wav. You will need specific software and need to learn more about them here. These are quickly gaining popularity as a shn can be copied multiple times and still have the quality of its original recording. FLAC is another format that is similar in idea but is less popular for now.

Online trading

FTP- File Transfer Protocol is the simplest way to exchange files between computers on the Internet. Using FTP you can download or upload files to a private or public server. You need to logon to an FTP server with a name and password. It is a way of trading but can be difficult to find and support for trading shows online. You also need software to get to files via ftp. FTP is not generally used by the Coldplay community but may be for individual online traders.

Usergroups- Usergroups are one of the oldest ways to get info and download shows. You will need seperate software and then you it requires a monthly cost and download limit. Coldplay shows have been known to spread in shn via usergroups.

Direct Connect- Unlike napster, this type of peer-to-peer allows people to go to hubs that specialize in certain content and similar to an FTP setting but with many more people and interacting. There is a thriving Coldplay hub that allows for people to download entire concerts for free, in the acceptable shn format, and allows them to chat with each other as well. Visit the Coldplay Hub Page for more info. The great thing abou this format is it allows collections to be online and available consistantly.

Bit Torrent- Bit torrent is the newest way of sharing. One person starts a torrent and then people begin downloading from the original seeder. As you are downloading you also share with people below you with less of the show. Its a great way to spread a show and almost always guarantee a completion in a given evening. However, bit torrents last only a short period of time so it svery possible to miss out on shows. is a great place to bit tottents of shn's & dvd's, and also find other traders. STG is not heavily used to get Coldplay shows but it is a great place to check out other bands, get started collecting, and interact with other tapers and traders.

Trading via mail

Send first- Often used when an unestablished trader trades with an established trader. The person who does the contacting sends to the person first and once the shows arrive the established trader sends their shows to them.

Send simulataneously- Both traders arrange to send their shows to each other at the same time.

tape trees- One person heads the top of the tree and copies for several people below him. These people then copy for several people below them as well. In the example below one person at the top gets 1 show for 12 people (3+9) by making 3 copies and having 2 layers. Forming a tape tree is time consuming but is a great way to get newbies some first shows and is easy to set up via online forums.

b& p or 2-for-1's - A way to get started by contacting an established trader and sending them blanks (at 1:1 or 2:1 ratio) for the shows they want. Also enclosed is a self-addressed envelope with postage to get it back to the sender. A rare occurance but still a nice way to get started.



Soundboard (sbd)- Recorded from the band's mixing board. As good as can be and with the only audience sound coming from leakage or the band's mikes. Often grouped in for Studio recordings, rare soundboard taps, radio,or outtakes. Officially released live albums are always soundboard. FM's are a soundboard source but the audio range is more limited and can come close to resembling a mp3 or md frequency.
Great to good quality.

DAT audience(dat)- A digital audience recording, typically made in a designated taper's section or snuck in by a fan (and recorded with a dat recording (digital audio tape)recorder. Depending on how these are recorded and how noisy the adjacent audience members are these can be as good as a soundboard recording (but with more audience noise inbetween songs) or bad if adjacent audience noise overwhelms the band performance.
Great to horrible quality.

MD audience(aud)- An audience recording using a minidisk player. These are the lowest price available recording devices. While these are genrally frowned apon by hardcore tapers as they do lower the sound range and requiring flipping during a long concert, they can get achieve some great recordings with great mics and with low adjacent audience participation.
Good to horrible quality.

IEM & ALD- First rule of Fight Club is never talk about Fight Club.

Pro-shot Video- A television appearance recorded to vhs, dvd recorder, or tivo can be later transfered to vcd or dvd. A digital capture will be the best resoluation, followed by a first generation high recording quality. Multi-genration vhs or low recording levels can = a sub-par video capture. Pro-shots are the equivalent of video soundboard recordings and will feature multiple cameras.
Great to good quality.

Digital DV- These are digital video recorder snuck into concerts and used to film from the audience members perspective. These are the wave of the future as the camcorders are much smaller than ever before, they are cheaper, better, and easier to share via recordable dvd's. Sound can be a lesser quality but improvements are occuring with better mics in cameras, external mics with better audio sound, and mixes from FM or great AUD audio sources into the finished product.
Good to horrible quality.


About audience recordings- Audience recordings are the major source of getting great shows. Since there are large costs associated with getting equiptment, purchasing tickets, sneaking in equiptment, remaining perfectly still, and ensuring the recording goes off without a hitch, its important to support your local tapers. Even shows taped off the radio onto dats, md, or casette or transfer from tv to dvd exist thanks to someone taking the time to record a show. Please maintain these guidelines for ensuring a steady flow of shows to the community.

The community can always use more tapers to record shows as many shows are still missed or are not shared by the tapers present at that show.

Unlisted Shows- Many tapers trade amongst themselves and these recordings are often asked not to leak out. These may include the best quality shows or shows that have never circulated from a certain city. Be aware that these recordings exist, that they are not supposed to be circulated amongst everyone, and they are part of how the community works. If you want to get the best and rarest shows available than you will probably want to tape be a part of the taper community.

Restricted Shows- These are shows that are available to the trading community but have parameters set up by the taper on how he would like them traded. This generally reflects that they don't want the shows spread through the internet (via hub or torrent), or that they would like permisison before any trade takes place (so they can track who has recordings). These shows are harder to get without a large collection or knowing how to track these recordings down.

Circulated shows- These shows are traded via mail but also online through hubs or bit torrents. They are generally pretty common when widely circulated and may make it harder to trade with other CP traders but easier with people who colelct other bands.

Also the Coldplay trading community does not look favorably on mp3. If you want single rare songs you can find them at various Coldplay websites or on kazaa or soulseek but please do not share entire concerts in mp3 online. Some tapers do share entire shows with other via mp3. Please keep these versions of the shows seperate from the full quality audio and shn versions. Trading these mp3 version with other traders will not be looked at favorably.

Please never shn or transfer a show to mp3 you receive in a trade as you will not have the taper's permission. Shows should be shared online from the taper's master or with their blessing. Otherwise taper's may not share so willingly when Coldplay comes to tour the next time.

Where to find traders

My list of Coldplay Traders - People I have traded with and who collect Coldplay shows. From the hardcore collectors to a few people who have collect a few Coldplay shows and mainly other bands.

Etree - The best way to trade shns and find which shows have or have not been recorded. Also try and - The best way to trade shows on cd, casettes, and most formats. Forum just added. Get an id to browse. You can list your shows online and contact others through the site. - A good to trade shows on cd, casettes, and most formats. Forum just added. Get an id to browse. You can list your shows online and contact others through the site.

tapetrader network

by website- do a search by artist with bootleg, live, trading included for posted website by traders. This also a great way to find specific dates, setlists, and covers for your shows through a google search.

egroups- go to yahoo egroups and search through the many fan egroups. There will genrally always be at least 1 group dedicated to trading bootlegs online or via mail.

forums- go to a band's forum and look for trades there. (esecially if they have a live section) Coldplay messageboard is a great resource for locating tapers and traders.

CDR Trading Ring a handful of traders here.