How To

How Do I Get Material From the Basement Archive?

Add the selections you’re interested in to your Request List (maximum of 10 per order, with some exceptions). Complete the checkout process and you will receive an email reply. Spuds are limited to 10 items/1 collection per 24 hours.

Due to a variety of factors, including bandwidth, we use this manual request/reply system for distribution. A Basement distributor will reply to your order as soon as they are able.

Everything here is freely distributed. Nothing is ever for sale. Please do your part and keep it this way.

Please note that all audio samples on the site are low-bitrate MP3s and are for demonstration purposes only, to indicate the quality of the recording. Please ignore compression artifacts, as they are quite low-bitrate.

What Will I Get?

You will receive an automated email confirming that your request has been entered. You will soon after receive a manual email reply containing download links to the material you requested. Most of links we provide to audio will be in FLAC format. FLAC is a compressed, but lossless, audio codec that provides CD-quality (or higher) audio. This is the best way for us to archive and distribute the audio material, as it retains the full original quality of the recording as best we have it.

Recordings with compressed/lossy source formats (i.e. MP3, AAC) are not transcoded, and are distributed in their native lossy format.

How Do I Play FLAC Files?

On Windows, you can play FLAC files using a variety of players, including VLC and foobar2000 (see here for a setup guide). You can easily convert FLAC to other file formats using FlacSquisher or Trader’s Little Helper. Most modern CD burning software, such as Ashampoo, can burn FLAC files directly.

On Mac, you can play FLAC files using a variety of players, including VLC , Pine Player (free), and VOX Mac Music Player (free with subscription option). You can easily convert FLAC to other file formats using XLD or All2MP3. Best way to burn to CD on a Mac is to convert to AIFF first, then burn using your preferred software.

On Linux, you can figure it out, you’re already using Linux.

There are also a variety of dedicated portable music players that will play FLAC.

Please note that certain items we offer will take up more than one CD if burned.

If you convert any files you receive (i.e. from FLAC to MP3, or MP3 to WAV, etc), please do not distribute your converted copies. Only distribute original, lossless files.

Glossary of Terms

  • (x) – unknown generation dub
  • (1) – first generation dub, (2) is second gen, etc
  • (M) – master recording
  • ANA – analog source (i.e. cassette tape, reel-to-reel)
  • Audience – a recording made by an audience member
  • Bitrate
    • 24bit 48kHz (or 96kHz) FLAC – “high resolution” lossless, cannot be burned to CD
    • 16bit 44.1kHz FLAC – CD-quality lossless
    • 320kbps MP3 – highest-possible quality CBR (constant bitrate) MP3
    • V0 MP3 – highest-possible quality VBR (variable birate) MP3
  • DAT – Digital Audio Tape, a digital recording medium formerly popular among tapers, and Enigma Records
  • FLAC – compressed, but lossless, audio codec that provides CD-quality (or higher) audio
  • Lossless – audio data that is compressed, but retains all data (i.e. FLAC)
  • Lossy – audio data that is compressed, and discards data during compression (i.e. MP3, AAC)
  • MD – MiniDisc, a digital recording medium formerly popular among traders
  • Soundboard – a recording made from a feed from the mixing console at the concert
  • Source – equipment used during recording, and/or recording medium
  • TLH – Trader’s Little Helper, a utility to use with FLAC files for Windows

How Will I Keep Track?

Are you aiming to collect everything in the Basement? Well then you might want to keep track of everything using this handy checklist spreadsheet of the entire collection!

What About Video?

The Video section will return at a point in the future. The goal is to archive high-quality easy-to-download video files and provide them for distribution in a similar way to audio.

Something is Wrong! Help Me!

If you encounter any problems with download links, website, or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to Contact Us and we’ll do what we can to help.