Live Music Archive (

Can I upload live recordings that were broadcast on XM Radio or Sirius Satellite Radio?

At this point in time, cannot host recordings that were broadcast over either of these services.

Subscribers have informed us that they were required to sign a “Terms of Use” document that forbids the recording/hosting/rebroadcasting of any material received from these services.

A recording I uploaded and marked “no lossy formats” had them created (mp3, ogg, m3u, etc…). How can I remove them?

You simply need to go your item’s details page and select edit.

Select the Change the Information option.

Select under Derivation options:

Do not allow lossy* derivatives for files in this item and click submit.

You should see the message Format Options Updated Successfully.

Within 10 minutes the system will create a “_rules.conf” file in the recording’s folder. Then, the next time the system performs an automatic sweep looking for changes, it will notice the new rules file and remove the lossy files automatically. The sweep occurs approximately twice a day, so you should see the files removed within 12-24 hours.

If you are not the uploader, send us an email ( and an admin will remove them.

The best way is to go to our Live Music Archive collection at

Type in the name you would like to search. For example, Del McCoury, in the Search This Collection box and hit Enter.

Follow the numbered steps below this image.

  1. Select the Prefer List view by clicking the icon (the four stacked horizontal lines) all the way on the right side of the SORT BY bar.
  2. Select the SHOW DETAILS box to show more information.
  3. Then select DATE PUBLISHED. You will then have a list sorted by concert date.
  4. You can reverse the order by clicking the arrows next to SORT BY.

Why is a .txt file required?

The .txt file is used by the LMA collection to populate metadata in the item, especially the titles of tracks in the playlist.

Please be sure it is a .txt file and not another text format.

Should I upload checksum files like MD5 or ftp?

We no longer require nor desire checksum or fingerprint files. Often they cause problems when files are changed in the item.

Systems have improved to the point where we no longer see checksums as necessary to verify accurate upload/download.

Can I upload concert videos?

At this time, video uploads are not being accepted, namely because most of the bands archived prohibit the videotaping of their shows.

Moreover, unlike audio, where we actually have a shot at archiving the vast majority of any given band’s live concerts (in very high-quality format), video is scarce and, unless made by the artist (in which case, it’s typically for commercial purposes), is not of particularly good quality.

There’s no set list for this show, or, the set list does not match up with the number of files. Should I submit an error report?

There has been an increasing number of shows uploaded to the Live Music collection without setlist information, or the setlist was not properly matched to the files.

When you notice a recording like this, please email us only if you have an updated setlist, or you are able to match the files up correctly.

We would prefer that you do not submit error reports letting us know that there is no set list — tracking down set lists for every concert and matching them up to the recordings is a monumental task that has grown beyond the capabilities of the small group of admins.

We would like fans that are familiar with each artist’s material to help us with this project — in your email, please give us specific instructions on what changes to make and we will do so.

I’m an artist who would like to be included in the Archive, what do I need to do?

We’d love to have you!

Just write to us in English at giving some kind of permission for us to archive your shows for public download and noncommercial, royalty-free circulation.

It does not need to be a formally worded declaration, and can come from anyone you feel has the “say-so.” We just need to be clear on how you feel about the project.

We will put relevant quotes onto a new “collection” page (examples) for your performances, along with a link to your official website.

It is necessary for you to email us in order to create a new section. We want to be sure that the go-ahead really is coming from you.

Please do not attempt to create your own collection, or to upload any of the band’s shows, in advance of receiving an emailed confirmation message from curators; such attempts may significantly complicate or delay the curators’ setup process.

You can give as much or as little scope for archiving as you like. Some bands place limits on what can be hosted, and we can accommodate those.

Archive Curators, volunteer fans who have proven to be in line with the spirit of this archive, will attempt to screen contributions for OK’d material only.

At the same time you give the go-ahead, feel free to pass along any notes or policy links on your general taping/trading stance as well.

You don’t need to have a formal written or posted policy before inclusion, but we’d like to know how you feel about the topic.

Besides fans sending their copies of your shows, you can also prepare and upload your own live recordings to the Archive, if you like.

In fact, if you’d like to limit your material to selected contributions from you only, please just let us know.

If you have any questions about the project, please ask us anytime.

I have a different source for a show that is already in the archive, should I upload it anyway?

Yes! In keeping with the nature of this Archive, it is appropriate for multiple sources of the same show to be available for download.

When you upload the new source, be sure to name the source in the show’s top-level folder to avoid confusion.

Some bands do place limits on the types of sources allowed (such as soundboard recordings), so please check the policy for any given band.

The progress of my upload says “File metadata XML invalid. Waiting for user to correct.” How can I fix this?

This is typically caused by illegal symbols being used somewhere in the information that was put into one of the forms submitted with the show (either the import form or “File Options”).

Double check that the only characters used are those visible on a standard English-language 104 key keyboard.

More information and a few examples are here.

If you have trouble finding the cause, please post to the forum for help. An admin will have to resubmit the recording for another try, so please send an email including a link to the recording to  if you believe you have cleared the issue.

More information on what XML files are and how they are created can be read here.

Can bands place restrictions on material to be archived?

Yes. Each band can tailor the extent of their permission to the Archive.

We quote the band’s wishes in the Rights section of the band’s Collection page.

Here are some examples of special restrictions that bands have requested. We point out different cases in a band’s policy information using a shorthand “Limited Flag” tag.

We have a contribution system set up to accommodate individual bands’ requirements. During the upload process, contributors are urged to double check the band’s policy notes at different stages.

Archive Curators, volunteer fans who have proven to be in line with the spirit of this archive, will attempt to screen contributions for approved material only.

In addition, access to a particular item can be removed if it becomes restricted later (for example, a date newly chosen for commercial release must be removed under some band’s policies).

Bands, please contact us at anytime to let us know how we can work with you to make things happen.

Do you provide an RSS feed of new updates to the LMA?

Indeed! The URL of the feed is:

You can plug this into a front end like AmphetaDesk (available at:

What does the “Transferred by” field mean?

This field indicates the person who did the original DAT/MD/Cassette to WAV conversion.

Also, note that in the case of recordings made directly to laptops, there is no transfer.

Regarding removing the lossy files … I edited my show, checked the box to remove them and clicked update. Now when I click update again, the box is still not checked. Why?

It takes 2-10 minutes for your checking of that box to “stick” … see this discussion board post: for an explanation of why.

Where can I find other recordings by [trade-friendly band] that aren’t in the collection?

If the artist is OK with Internet trading, you may be able to find downloadable recordings through

Also, check  or to find people who have copies of shows and who may be willing to trade.

Lastly, you can check out a band’s own fan forums and mailing lists. Good luck!

In contrast, the Live Music Archive forum at the Internet Archive is not a good place to post about trades or to ask for shows that are not yet archived here, whether or not the band presently has a section here. Moderators may delete these posts.

More posting etiquette tips for that forum are here.

What are the options for streaming a full recording?

Hi-Fi: An MP3 playlist, readable by most players, that has the addresses of MP3 files encoded with a variable bit rate.

Lo-Fi: An MP3 playlist, readable by most players, that has the addresses of MP3 files encoded at a constant bit rate of 64 kilobits per second. These files are ideal for users with slower Internet connections.

What file formats are accepted for contributions to the Live Music Archive?

Currently, the Live Music Archive will only accept lossless audio files in these formats: flac, aiff, wav or shn.

Do not upload the lossy files (MP3 or OGG) next to your lossless format files. The derive task creates those automatically, provided that the contributor agrees to have them available. This ensures that all the files here have uniform quality options selected.

Please follow’s Seeding Guidelines when preparing your contributions for addition to the collection.

Pay particular attention to the Naming Standards section. A well-named identifier helps patrons find your show in our large collection.

A well-named set of files allows files to be listed in the proper order at the site and allows patrons to listen to them in playlists and burn them to CD in the proper order, too.

I like adding concerts. Do you have a preference on the way I put in information?

Yes, here are some guidelines that will help us maintain good records for each concert.

  • Do not include HTML in the source and lineage fields.
  • Do not repeat information in the notes fields (such as source information, or the number of discs). Only include information in the notes fields that are not already in any other field.
  • If at all possible, keep absolutely nothing but song names in the setlist (even things like disc splits, set splits, etc. should not be in this field). If possible, putting all song names on one line, separated by commas is wonderful.
  • Do not fill in an unknown field with questions marks or N/A – just leave them blank. The exception to this guideline is the venue, setlist and source fields (which are mandatory) – in the event that this information is not known, simply write “unknown”.

Where can I see the rest of the ‘Most Downloaded Items’ in the Live Music Archive?

To view the entire Live Music Archive (everything in the “etree collection”) sorted by “Most Downloaded Items” go to this link:

And here’s one that lists everything but the Grateful Dead (like the one on the LMA front page):

I have more Live Music Archive questions… who do I ask?

Feel free to email with any questions, and we’ll do our best to post the answers here as soon as possible.

Also, the message board is a great resource; with so many helpful, knowledgeable folks out there, you can often get a speedy answer to your question

The images or text content of Live Music Archive collection pages can only be changed by an Internet Archive admin. Please email an image to the Live Music Archive admins at

How do I upload a show to the LMA?

Uploading instructions for the Live Music Archive collections can be found at

Before uploading any show<, read the band’s policy notes for this site. Many artists place limitations on their material here, and info is often updated.

Please do not upload shows for any band that does not yet have a curator-created collection page here, even if you know the band has recently emailed their permission. Advance attempts may significantly complicate or delay the curators’ setup process for the band.

Next, be sure that you are logged in as an Internet Archive member. Have the file set on your computer already, correctly prepared and correctly named. Files must be in lossless format (.flac or .shn), from lossless parent source material; we will optionally create the extra “lossy derivative” copies such as mp3 onsite.

How are view (download) counts calculated?

For this definition see view section at

What is the Live Music Archive all about?

This audio archive is an online public library of live recordings available for royalty-free, no-cost public downloads. We only host material by trade-friendly artists: those who like the idea of noncommercial distribution of some or all of their live material. Live recordings are a part of our culture and might be lost in 100 years if they’re not archived. We think music matters and want to preserve it for future generations.

The LMA draws strength from the members of and other online communities of music fans devoted to providing public access to high-quality digital recordings of tradable performances. Typically, recordings are made by the fans. Recordings are preserved in “Lossless” archival compression formats such as Shorten or FLAC (MP3 is not Lossless) for highest quality preservation.

Patrons may download from the LMA with the understanding that the artists still hold their copyrights. All material is strictly noncommercial, both for access here and for any further distribution.

What are the options for downloading a full recording?

Lossless: A ZIP file containing Shorten files or Flac files. Unlike formats like MP3, lossless formats are true to the original – there is no degradation in quality.

Hi-Fi: A ZIP file containing MP3 files encoded with a variable bit rate to deliver high quality at roughly 160 kilobits per second.

Lo-Fi: A ZIP file containing MP3 files encoded at a constant bit rate of 64 kilobits per second. These files are ideal for users with slower Internet connections.

Other Web Options: All files are displayed as individual links on any item details page. Web-based download managers can be set up to download all the files you want from the page, as a group. For Firefox, the extension DownThemAll is a popular option.

BitTorrent: Some Items that are downloadable via HTTP are also downloadable via a BitTorrent client; these items show a “Torrent” link next to the “HTTP” download link. (To trigger the creation of a BitTorrent file for an item in the LMA that does not yet have one, write a review for it, e.g. “Make me a Torrent!”). 

Note: Only items downloadable via HTTP can be downloaded via BitTorrent.

How can I help get bands into the Live Music Archive?

If you know of a trade-friendly live-performing band that is a good candidate for the Archive, you can initiate contact. Some tips and letter templates can be found here. When you write, make it clear you are asking about the Live Music Archive at Don’t just ask about their general taping/trading stance. We want bands to know what’s up.

Next, follow up with a message to Mention when you tried to contact the band and what contact point you used. These are important in order to update our contact records. Admins will update the contact status in an announcement forum about Pending Bands based on the message you send us.

If you receive a reply from the band, positive or negative, send a complete copy of the email, complete with its sender’s address/brief header info, to It’s a good idea to send a copy of what you asked them as well (if not quoted in the reply), since it will give context to the answer. We need to have full info in hand in order to set up the band appropriately in the Archive, and we may need to contact them for follow up questions.

If you are hesitant to make contact yourself, you can mention the band to Archive admins (send email to and they can try a contact as time permits. To help out, supply any contact or policy info you may already know about the band.

How do I make corrections to shows?

Sometimes people make typos or other mistakes on uploads, or leave gaps in info that can be filled in later. You can help supply good information for archived items. Here is the current best method to submit corrections:

If you uploaded the show, you can make the changes to the details page yourself. Make sure you are logged in as the user who uploaded the show and go to the details page of the show you are trying edit. Click on the “edit” link next to the band name at the top of the details page and you will be able to edit the show details including venue, location, source, set list, etc. Be aware that editing these fields will only change the show details, not the files themselves.

If you uploaded the item and would like to replace or add to files within your item, under the current system this can be done without reuploading the entire fileset. More description may follow; meanwhile there is a walkthrough as a Word document with screenshots.

If you did not upload the show, please email the admins (, and state precisely what the problem with that particular show is. If the problem is a missing set list, please see this FAQ). If there are one or more missing or broken files that you can provide, please re-upload and re-import the entire show under a new directory name, and then email us a link to the old, broken show, asking for that show to be removed.