It used to be that if you wanted a recording of a live show that you had to hunt round record fairs, weekend markets or car boot sales. When you did this, you usually ended up paying over the odds for a Nth generation tape that had to be played at full volume before it sounded even halfway decent. You can still buy bootlegs through auction sites and out of the boots of cars but there is no need and indeed, anyone who will sell you a recording of a live show should be avoided! It is not the done thing to sell these recordings – they should always be traded freely!!!
Thanks to the interweb trading high quality recordings of live shows, which capture the true essence of the artist, is now very easy indeed. There are still many recordings where the sound quality is not great, though these can be improved by using software to remaster them. However, there are many more excellent quality recordings of FM broadcasts, shows recorded direct from the soundboard, and very good audience recordings that can now be accessed freely. No more lining the bootlegger’s pockets!
Read on to find out how to start your own collection through on-line trading and off-line trading, learn a bit about lossless audio formats, trading rules, and also about some of the software that I’ve found useful for managing my live music collection.