The Genesis Bootleg FAQ

(originally posted on the forum by Eric_R. on Oct 30 2006, 06:56 PM)
Updated by Simon Funnell, April 2007.

Welcome to the Boots Forum FAQ! It will hopefully be of use to new members hoping to get started in the bootleg trading community, as well as those more experienced traders looking to get involved in the exciting world of sharing the wealth online!

This FAQ is intended to give new traders a helping hand and is not intended to be an in-depth tutorial on the ins and outs of the various issues discussed. Wherever possible I have included links to more in-depth discussions which will help you out, should you want to learn more!

This was compiled with help from James Hendry. Thanks go to GW (Bill) for allowing me to do this and thanks to many websites for the info to make this possible.


1. What is a bootleg / ROIO?
2. What's on these bootlegs and where do they come from?
3. That sounds great! So how can I get hold of these live shows?
4. What about MP3s? (Lossy)
5. What is SHN / FLAC / APE? (Lossless)
6. What is Highland?
7. What are audio CDs?
8. How can I see what shows are out there?
9. What's a B+P, tree, vine, weed, etc?
10. Now what are all those remastering projects I have heard about?
11. How do I know who are the good traders or the bad ones?
12. What about these Genesis Archive releases that I keep hearing about?

1.What is a bootleg / ROIO?

The term “bootleg” originates in the smuggling world, where smugglers would hide contraband inside the long boots that they wore to escape detection by customs men. It gradually came to be used to describe any item with dubious origins (implying some kind of criminal activity), and eventually ended up as a convenient name for Unauthorized recordings, which were sometimes pressed up onto vinyl or CD and issued by obscure record labels, without the consent of the artist or the record company. These would take the form of live concert recordings, demo versions of tracks, and sometimes even completely unreleased songs by popular artists (as in the case of the first important bootleg, Bob Dylan’s “Great White Wonder”.)

For more information on the history of bootlegs, check out Clinton Heylin’s excellent book “Bootleg!” which charts the history of unauthorised recordings from the beginnings right up to the 21st century.

Bootlegging should not be confused with piracy. Piracy is the act of making (and selling or trading) illegal copies of officially available material. Material contained in bootlegs is not available to buy from the shops, and although in some cases the record labels have noticed the demand and issued some of this rare material, the vast majority of it will only ever be available through these “unofficial” lines.

Bootleg is a term, which has some quite negative connotations, and so traders sometimes prefer the term “ROIO” (Recording of Indeterminate Origin). Some also prefer to call them live shows.

2. What’s on these bootlegs and where do they come from?

Bootlegs, as explained above, contain any material from a particular artist, which has never been released by themselves or their record company. This can include:

- Live performances, soundchecks and rehearsals
- Studio Demos, different mixes, alternate takes
- Completely unreleased, totally new tracks

As for where they come from, there are various sources for bootlegs. Most traders will have this information on their trade list so that you can make an informed guess on how any particular bootleg is going to sound.

Audience Recordings (AUD) – As the name suggests, these are recordings made at live concerts by a member of the audience, using a portable recording device and a microphone. Although the sound is not usually comparable to that of a soundboard or radio recording, audience recordings have certainly come a long way since the early 70s when an enterprising member of the audience in Belgium recorded the first Genesis concert outside the UK with a very crude cassette recorder! Nowadays, thanks to DAT recorders, Minidisc recorders and even Pocket PCs an audience recording can actually be an enjoyable listen. In fact, with some bands and some tapers, shows sound just as good as a soundboard!!

Soundboard Recordings (SBD) – (This term is often used to describe any recording which is made using professional equipment, but in fact should only properly be used to describe recordings which are made directly from the mixing desk at a live concert.) This term is usually described any recording that was taped directly from the mixing desk, so you hear what the audience hears. This means that the recording quality is usually excellent, however Soundboard recordings often have a lack of bass, as bass is naturally loud at the venue and so is often turned down on the mixing desk. The other problem with soundboard recordings is that they often lack much crowd noise. This can be a good thing, but often sounds odd when an excellent performance ends, and it sounds like the audience are asleep! If you notice with some of the recordings, such as the Peter Gabriel Encore series, its taped from the soundboard, and ambient microphones are used to pick up the crowd noise to create a nice matrix to make it really feel like you are there at the show.

Radio Recordings (FM) – Self-explanatory, these are shows which are broadcast on the radio and then recorded off the air by fans. The sound quality on these will depend on the quality of the broadcast and the equipment used to record it at home, but is generally very good. Unlike soundboard recordings, these have a proper mix with decent bass and the right level of crowd noise.

Pre-FM Recordings – The best of the best, these are recordings taken from the radio station’s master LPs, CDs or DAT tapes which they used to broadcast the show. As they have not been transmitted over the air and recorded at home, the quality on these is usually the best, and they do not suffer from the compression, which can affect FM recordings.

Studio Recordings – Anything which is not from a live concert is hard to pin down to an exact source; however, demos, outtakes and unreleased songs are usually professionally recorded and then somehow leaked from the studio, either via promo or reference CDs, or in some cases by theft from the studio itself.

ALD - Assisted Listening Device - some venues have these for guests and its usually an FM feed of the soundboard. People have hooked in recorders to the receiver and taped the show. There may be dropouts due to the feed but its a compressed sounding soundboard.

IEM - Inner Ear Monitor - some bands use these instead of floor monitors to hear what they and the other bands of the member play. This allows the musician to listen at a comfortable level and hear exactly what they want to hear. These are all sent out via radio signals. People can take receivers and listen into a specific IEM feed from a member. They aren't like a soundboard because you hear what the specific musician hears, which maybe thier instrument turned up high and a few others in the background but you don't know what you are going to get. Some people swear on these and others ignore them. They are really hit or miss.

OAM - Open Air Microphone - Genesis often did not always have the ability to record their gigs through the soundboard in the early days. In these cases, the band would record gigs using Open Air Microphones, ie. microphones placed on or near the stage. This technique was also used to capture the ambience of a show and to presumably record the audiences reaction to some songs.

3. That sounds great! So how can I get hold of these live shows?

Bootlegs started out in the late 1960s as actual releases, pressed in factories onto official vinyl and later CDs, and then sold (often for extortionate amounts of money) at record fairs, small record shops and other outlets. The practice of buying and selling bootlegs is still around today but has been made largely redundant by the internet, the widespread availability of CD-R, and the vast trading communities which have built up between fans. It should be pointed out that buying and selling bootlegs is legally no different to trading them, however when there is so much material available free if you look in the right places, there really is no need to be spending any money on this stuff. 8-)

Here is a brief overview on where to obtain live shows:

- The official site forum (membership required). The members of this forum are amongst the most knowledgeable and helpful traders around, so if there’s something specific you’re after, try asking in here. Bear in mind that a lot of traders are very busy people who also have lives outside Genesis music so don’t despair if you don’t get any response immediately. It will help you if you have something to trade, but there are plenty of people out there who are willing to help newbies as well – just remember to be nice and polite, and try to do the same for other newbies once you’re up and running. Also please include a link to a list. Showing your list makes it easier to get a potential trade rather than just asking.

- Mailing lists. Groups, such as Genesis-Trades, ( are an ideal place to get started. Established traders will find plenty of people to exchange lists with, and newbies can get started thanks to processes called ‘Weeding’ and ‘Vining’ which are explained below.

- Download sites. Sites such as ( host files known as BitTorrents, in which you can download full audio and video concerts from a wide range of artists, including Genesis and its offshoots. Although this is technically possible using a dial-up modem, you really need broadband access to make this option viable. A bit torrent FAQ can be found here ( The Movement site now also has a Genesis Only torrent page so check out (

- Direct Connect - To connect to the lossess SHNGENSIS hub where you can freely trade boots in lossless formats (APE, SHN, FLAC)

Download DC++ from:
Now connect to the addresss:

Here are the rules that you have to follow:

These are the rules you have to follow to be allowed to stay. If this is a problem,
please contact a hub operator immediately, or you risk getting kicked and banned from the hub.

1. Share at least one complete Genesis or related show in SHN or some other compressed lossless format.
Please share something from your collection. You are a beginner with
nothing to share? No problem! Just let us know and you can start sharing later
when you have something to share. Note that you need to share at least
1GB for the Hub to let you in. If you share a full show or two this should not be a
2. Do not share MP3 files.
This hub is only for lossless bootlegs.
Also never ever convert MP3 files into SHN or any other lossless format.
3. No illegal material, warez, porn, games, etc.
You can get lots of that elsewhere. We don't want it.
This includes videos and mp3 files of any officially released material (including b-sides).
4. Do not share incomplete shows unless they are very hot at the moment.
SHN and video shows MUST include an md5 file for checksum purposes.
Please split huge files (such as DVDs) into smaller, say 50MB, files with e.g. WinRAR.
5. No WAV files.
These are a waste of people's bandwidth. Use SHN or other lossless compressed formats.
6. No arguing.
Be nice to people and they will be nice to you.

Have fun!
Any questions feel free to ask any of the mods.

4. What about MP3s? (Lossy)

MP3s are also available of Genesis bootlegs and are sometimes traded via email between traders. Encoding to MP3 reduces the sound quality of bootlegs and in some cases very noticeably. MP3 should only be done for personal use (e.g. if you want to listen to something on your iPod…!). It is a format tries to cut as much of the file as it can in order to keep it small and keep the main sound quality. The higher frequencies of .WAV file are removed in an MP3 because those frequencies take up the most space. Although there are not many who can hear those very high frequencies, but it still degrades the quality. Many people swear that they cannot hear the difference but listen to a 96kb/s MP3 and compare it to the original CD. You can hear the difference.

If something is in MP3, you should leave it as MP3. If you make an audio CD out of these MP3 files, this does not restore the sound quality of the tracks. What is worse, if you then go and trade this audio CD with someone else, they might not be aware that it was sourced from MP3. Therefore they might then trade it with several people. Before too long, many people will have this ‘reduced quality’ version of the bootleg and it will get harder and harder to find the ‘real’ version. Some great examples include the Vienna 92 show where it was very hard to find a non-MP3 source because everyone spread the MP3 version around

As the aim for many traders is to find the ultimate in sound quality for each particular show, passing round reduced quality versions of the shows will not make you very many friends… Wink

5. What is SHN / FLAC / APE? (Lossless)

As we have established, MP3 is not generally accepted by audio traders. However, uncompressed, or ‘WAV’ files are huge and not practical for transferring over the internet. This is where ‘Lossless Compression’ comes in. Lossless compresses the raw WAV file so no quality is lost. The files are stored as data rather than in audio which is something different than audio. With data, you know the file is corrupted when you play it. The file size is still large in comparison to an MP3, but no data is lost. Most people will keep copies of shows in lossless to ensure that when they need to burn a copy, they have the “original” version. There is a problem because most of the shows do not have originals, so there are people whom fill find the lowest, cleanest generation source and initially convert it into lossless so it is then archived. It is their determination whether to spread it around or not, but that would be considered the source to get. Do not convert any show to lossless that had and problems such as digi-noise, pops, clicks, TAO, etc.

SHN is the first of the lossless formats to come out. You will mostly see shows in this. SHN utilizes something called an MD5. This is a checksum used to ensure that the data hasn’t been corrupted. With every SHN set, there is at least one of these files. After receiving a show, check the MD5s to see if they verify. Programs to find to utilize this format are MKWACT and SHNAMP. These can both be found at ( A FAQ can be found at (

FLAC is a newer lossless format. This has internal checksums so the when you play the file in WinAmp or try to burn it. You will know whether it is corrupted or not. FLAC also has levels of compression, which does not degrade the quality. Nevertheless, this allows you to save some space. Useful tools as well as an FAQ for FLAC can be found at (

APE is another lossless format. The compression sizes are quite small in comparison to SHN but about the same as FLAC. The problem w/ APE is that it takes a long time to decode compared to SHN or FLAC. More information can be found at (

6. What is Highland?
Highland was a bootleg company in Japan that would take any recording it could (regardless of what generation the recording was) press it onto cds then sell it. Their shows ranged from every tour Genesis had as well as studio material. Fortunately people started trading and weeding out these releases and the company went out of business. With new sources of recordings coming out all the time, almost every one of Highland’s releases has lower generation (better sounding) recordings.

Moral of the story, DON’T BUY BOOTS! Why buy them when you can get them through trades, and even make a new friend?

7. What are audio CDs?

Audio CDs are disks that can be played in CD players. The audio is stored as .cda files or .wav files. It also holds up to 80 minutes of music, which in reality is more than 700 megabytes data wise. It’s weird but that’s the way it works. What makes audio CDs different is the lack of error correction. Simply copying and pasting the audio files from a CD will not ensure the song is the same as on the disk. A program called Exact Audio Copy is used to extract the audio tracks from the CD and ensure that you have what is exactly on the disk. This program also checks for errors as well and will notify you. This also forces you to take care of your disks for little scratches could mess up an entire CD. This is one reason to keep a lossless copy of a show. That way, you can burn your exact copy from the “originals” rather than worry if your audio copy has errors or not.

Audio disks are burned two ways. There is Track at Once (TAO) and Disk at Once (DAO). The difference between the two is DAO is seamless, creating no gaps between the tracks. TAO adds up to 2 seconds of space between tracks. So just think of hearing a medley with gaps between the different songs, really sucks doesn’t it? Make sure when you burn CD’s that it’s set to DAO rather than TAO.

Now if you already have a show that is TAO you cannot make it DAO. Regardless of how much you remove the gap there is still a click or micro gap. This is what we call Forced DAO (F-DAO). In this case you need to try to find a new copy if you want a seamless copy. No program can competely remove the gap because you will miss something that although is very small, changes the original. There have been shows such as the Savoy 81 show that have been spread w/ microgaps and finding a seamless copy was very tough. Another reason why having a lossless copy, because if you have the original, you know that there aren’t any gaps between tracks.

Moral of this story, don’t burn TAO and don’t spread TAO or F-DAO. Although it is fun to give out TAO or F-DAO shows to friends who don't trade and get them into the music.

EAC can be found at (

After downloading it refer to ( This page will help you set up EAC so you are ready to extract your disks.

8. How can I see what shows are out there?

The biggest resource for Genesis and related can be found at Simon Funnell’s site ( He has created a database with all the available Genesis, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, and Peter Gabriel recordings out there. He is constantly updating and any help would be appreciated with any new recordings out there.

Etree ( is a huge database of recordings. Almost any band you can think of has recordings of their live shows. People also put their lists up there for easy viewing.

Posting an ISO (in search of) to a message board is another way to see if someone is willing to trade. There are many knowledgeable traders out there can help you out if you would like some information about a specific show. You would also either put a link to your list or post your list just so people can see what you have in order to trade. Asking people for a trade and not telling what you have won't get you anywhere.

9. What’s a B+P, tree, vine, weed, etc?

B+P stands for Blank and Postage trade. This is when you send CD or DVD blanks to a person and enough return postage to burn the disks and send them back to you. It’s how we all started. Instructions can be found at (

Trees are ways to help spread a show. The root of the tree will B+P out to branches, which will then B+P it out to its leaves. This spreads the show out to many people relatively quickly and it depends on the person above you to burn quickly.

Vines are ways to spread out a show. It sacrifices speed for integrity. One master copy of a show (in either audio or lossless) will be sent out to someone. That person copies the show from the master copy and then sent it out to the next person.

A weed is the quickest way to get a show out to a group. One person will start the weed and send out multiple copies out to people who promise to send out multiple copies out to other people. The number of people with the show multiplies after each time the disks are sent out. There is a flaw in this technique. Depending on how people burn the disks, errors are introduced and then spread out to many others who may not notice it. Weeding will help a newbie start a collection but it will not get them certain shows that they want.

10. Now what are all those remastering projects I have heard about?

There are many groups of people out there who have taken some of the band’s (and related) live shows and touched them up, creating new recordings that sound better than ever. Here are links and descriptions to a few:

Hogweeds - Between the years 1970 to 1975, Genesis played more than 500 concerts. Of those, about 130 are known to have been recorded.
The Hogweed project aims to make available the best versions of these recordings. Wherever possible, we will be working from master or low generation tapes, restoring them as necessary using professional digital technology.

Fan Approved Definitive Editions - There are simply too many recordings of some shows, and nobody should have to sustain the agonizing choice of which one to listen to, knowing that each one of them will disappoint. FAde seeks to reconstruct, from the highest grade masters possible, COMPLETE shows. You will never again have to choose between four different versions with hideous sounding titles. With FAde, the choice is clear.

Bataitis Ultimate Remaster Project - The BURP project, as the name suggests, was conceived by Mark Bataitis in February 2003. Since then, a number of recordings have been released primarily through the BURP mailing list. The wizardry in fine-tuning these gigs is attributed to Jeff Miller, who displays utmost talent in the re-mastering process. Jeff also has his own band called Simon Apple and engineers their songs as well.

Bataitis Ultimate Remaster Project II - This is the second version of BURP using a different remasterer and a new set of releases.

I4Detail -The i4detail project remasters concert performances by Genesis and its members for free distribution through a tree structure and by download.
I4detail is a non-profit group set up to help Genesis fans, by remastering and releasing non-copyright material into the trading community.

SAB - As a Genesis fan since 1976, Dan recorded quite a few shows from local (Philadelphia, PA) FM radio stations over the years. Only soundboards and FM recordings are considered for the program, and they are remastered almost entirely in the analog domain. "What does SAB mean?" Although it has a very personal meaning to me, for you the, the Genesis collecting public, it means 'Soundboard And Broadcast' Remasters.

The Coaster Factory is a remaster project started by Dave Kempler in 2001. Generally, he attempts to make improvements in audience recordings, but has also remastered a couple of radio shows from Pre-FM sources. The main goal has been to make audience recordings exciting and life-like. Coaster Factory also has welcomed guests who also enjoy remastering while Dave oversees and does the final touch-up.

MUPPET stands for Moonen's Unofficial Project for Playable Ear Treatment. This project focuses only on Peter Gabriel solo recordings. The releases range from audience-recordings to soundboard-recordings, from 1977 'til present, and are remastered..

GMDVD - This group is designed to offer Genesis and related live/rare DVDs to the masses as cheaply as possible. The Genesis Museum will be offering custom DVDs, but any non-official DVDs are welcome. Currently these include Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Led Zeppelin, Rush, The Rolling Stones, and others.

PRRP- This project does not solely concentrate on Genesis recordings, but also includes other bands from the Prog era. The purpose of the Progressive Rock Remastering Project (PRRP) aims to help preserve, restore and enhance these recordings as much as possible. With modern digital audio engineering equipment many of these recordings can be made to sound substantially better than the original.

The West Side is James Hendry's baby. This project focuses on Phil Collins recordings only, and is always aiming to release recordings, which can be considered must-have releases for every Phil fan. Artwork is being designed by Willem Beens and the remastering is done by Jesper Moonen. TWS releases can be found as weeds/vines on the genesis-trades Yahoo group in both FLAC and audio copies. The releases can also be found on the Direct Connect hub. The FLAC-files are master FLACs, which means they are made straight from the audio files of the remaster.

Epping Forrest DVD - EFDVD is a project which aims to track down the best PAL TV footage from Genesis and solo, right from the beginning to the present day, and transfer it to DVD for fans to enjoy in its original format. The project also needs your help so if you have any footage from UK, European, Australian, New Zealand or South African TV which you recorded yourself, we would love to hear from you!

Steve Hacket Remastering Project - SHRP was started by Massimo P. in 2001 to transfert with minimal editing (not a very remastering) the tapes held by Bill Herley; soon I've got other nice tapes from others traders and put on cdrs as well; the last releases are in box set form (DVD plus cd) and don't have a regular basis.

The Digital Brothers - This project consists of a few Genesis fans with professional audio engineering experieice. With this knowledge they take tapes that are in need of restoration and remaster them. Once the shows are remastered they are sent out for free trade and weeding. This project is like Hogweeds and is in search of master tapes to restore from any era.

TM Productions - Started in 1998 and is the brain child of professional sound engineer, Tom. During the first years none of the shows he remastered were intended for public release. This policy changed in 2005, after he had to realise that some of his work already circulated in the trading pool, partially worsened in sound and uncredited of course. Since then, this group of one member has rapidly attained a solid reputation for quality.

11. How do I know who are the good traders or the bad ones?

One of the first places to look at is the Citizens of Hope and Glory website. This list is updated frequently with good traders and bad ones as well. That page can be found here ( (link currently dead)

There are many traders pages which also list their own personal good traders and bad so check them out when you are browsing trading lists.

When you have any question about a trader feel free to ask on the board. We are all glad to help out.

Now when you think you may have been burned by a trader there are a few things to considder:

1. Personal lives (trading isn't everything)
2. Post office problems (across the ocean and other countries take time)
3. Computer problems

Now after you think this has taken enough time and if communication hasn't worked you should do an ISO post. It could look like this:

Title it ISO: Name of user

Then I would just call the person out and say like,

"I was in a trade with so and so for so many disks. I haven't heard from this person for x days. Does anyone else have some experience with this trader."

This way you can get some other responses from people who traded with this person. Calling a bad trader is an absolute last resort and its worth adding it to the Citizens of Hope and Glory website.

12. What about these Genesis Archive releases that I keep hearing about?

Back in 2004, GW asked to make a list of the top wanted soundboards that were not in circulation. He also asked for no PG era shows. The following list was compiled by a small group of traders.

01.05.76 The Starlight Bowl Burbank, CA SBD
13.06.76 Hammersmith Odeon London UK SBD
01.01.77 Rainbow Theater London UK SBD
11.05.77 Gigantinho Stadium, Porto Allegre, Brazil SBD
30.03.78 War Memorial Rochester, NY SBD
22.03.80 Friar's Club, Aylesbury UK SBD
29.06.80 Madison Square Garden New York, NY SBD (1 tape)
25.09.81 Plaza de Toros Monumantal Barcelona Spain SBD
26.11.81 The Spectrum Philadelphia, PA SBD
09.08.82 The Forum Los Angeles, CA SBD (1 tape)
22.08.82 Forest Hills, New York, NY SBD (1 tape)
07.11.83 Horton Fieldhouse Normal, IL SBD
13.12.83 The Omni Center, Atlanta, GA SBD
26.11.86 Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia SBD
23.10.92 Mayflower Theater Southampton UK SBD

1 tape means a partial show. All of these shows had something special to them which is why they were picked and do contain a show from every tour post PG.

The full list of soundboard tapes that are in the band's possession can be found at: