CD-R Trading in the Modern Age

Note: This page is for information only. By putting down the general "CD-R Trading Rules" here, I am not committing to any promises of providing any CD-Rs to everyone, upon their request. I don't have a lot of spare time to enter the CD-R Trading Circles full time, although I am open to negotiating for a limited number of trades for something that is very desirable to me. I do ask that newbies need not apply, as I also do not have the time to personally start newcomers on the road to trading. Basically, if you've never heard of a bootleg, don't own any, and don't know how to get any, feel free to glean useful info by reading this page, but don't please contact me for any trades until you've built up a collection.

Over the past several years, recordable CD (CD-R) units have become normal consumer electronics units. Prior to the existence of recordable CD machines, music fans used to use cassette tape or DAT tape as a means of trading non-commercially released music (that is, bootlegs). Cassette tapes have the problem of quality degradation with each dubbed generation. DAT machines had, at one time, been popular among professional musicians and serious, well-heeled live tape traders, but they never really caught on with the general public.

CD-R machines are now wildly popular, and most PCs for sale these days already have one installed, or as a very inexpensive add-on option. For those who don't want to learn how to use a PC, or fool around with learning software, there are standalone Phillips and Pioneer CD-R units that work almost like regular cassette decks. Either type of CD-R machine has eliminated the problems of the older analog trading media, namely generational loss or incompatibility with general consumer equipment.

There are two different types of music fans in the bootleg world: newbies and players. A newbie is someone who owns few, or no bootlegs. A newbie can find very appealing "forbidden fruit" things like bootlegs on web pages all over the place, but finds very quickly that obtaining such items are a challenge. Yet there are ways of breaking into the trading world, even as a newbie. The trick is to spend as little time in the newbie phase as possible, and to graduate to the player ranks as quickly as possible.

A player is someone who already has a bootleg collection. A player is sometimes an ultra-specialist... someone who has 300+ boots of one artist. A player already knows the boot trading rules, making negotiations quick and pain-free.

Advice for Newbies on breaking into the trading world

examples of some CD-R's

So You Think You're Ready to Be a Player

More examples of CD-R's

Related Pages:
The Bootleg Manifesto

This article is Copyright 2001, K.F. Louie. May not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.
Got questions? Or do you have something interesting to trade? Write to me at:


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