Hosting is a non issue, I was more like thinking "what format", No_Use.
But I think WAV and/or FLAC is the way to go.
We're still on internal debates, but I think we will start something new with MC02 - which will cost us initiators more work, but will pay off on the long run: Loudness Normalization prior to the voting process.
I just tested this in Wavelab and it works fairly fine. So we will not only listen to the tracks the next days and might comment on certain rule violations (learning curve!!!) in the process, but we (or better said I) won't disqualify anyone this time around. Unless we found out that you resubmitted a track - which won't happen since I snagged all files within the first 2-3 hours of their release. So if you say "wait, but that's not my track", we will know... ¬_¬ *cough*
But to get back on topic:
The main advantage of Loudness Normalization is that we (the listeners) won't be swayed (influenced) by the good old "loud = better" phychoacoustic trick. Those tracks that were pre-mastered (not part of the rules btw!), will of course sound less dynamic due to the missing transients. But... it will be easier to A/B the tracks this time around. We (the listeners/bystanders/participants) can actually focus on the sound of the production and therefore judge it more objectively. It will also be easier to spot things that you (again, the listeners/bystanders/participants) might pick up as inspiration for your own future creations.
Due to this, we (unfortunately) have to make it a mandatory rule from now on to also provide a WAV or FLAC compressed WAV file, since lossless files are simpler to process without sound degradation. I hope this is reasonable.
The typical technical bit of information
(and before anyone asks):
This process is pretty much non-destructive. The tracks won't be adjusted "upwards" to a more higher loudness, but down to a more reasonable level. So no compression or limiting involved. Just transparent gain adjustment. Probably down to -16LUFS (SLk, EBU R-128 specs), which is somewhat around -18dB RMS.
Yep, that's where I'm coming from
I've just checked my Wav against some of the others and I'm way too loud so apologies for that ....won't happen next time.
This is actually the spirit of the KVR Mix Challenge:
You stay in practice, you can learn new things, and you can improve on your current skills.
The rules might look strict, but they actually contribute to the learning factor. One of the main reason we started this in the first place, and why some of us on KVR are dedicated to teach new things. Or at least try offer a different viewpoint.
MC01 for example gave me ideas I've never though of pulling off in a production - personally I went more risky with MC02, but I have to wait until the voting is over if it payed off. On the other hand I tried to share how to properly set up signals and mix at a reasonable signal strength since day one. So far it seems to pay off for some users.