However, can someone tell me what "seeding" means? Thanks
Seeding means keeping the torrent software up and running so that other people can also download the same thing from you and whoever else is connected/online at the time. In other words, just as someone was willing to share, you should stay connected to make sure to share with others.
I just downloaded one of these bootlegs. My question is why would someone make FLAC lossless files from a recording that sounds like it was recorded with a handheld cassette player?
To me, it's like taking a 50's doo wop song and making it a 320 kbs Mp3. There's no point. It's just wasted file space. Am I wrong on this?
Short answer: to insure you have the best sounding copy as possible, even if the recording is not the greatest.
Long answer: not sure how old you are, or if you are familiar with bootleg trading back in the day, but a lot of focus was put on trying to get the lowest generation ("gen") copy of a bootleg. The higher the generation, the worse sounding the recording sounded since copying from cassette to cassette to cassette to cassette, etc. introduced more hiss and other imperfections. Entering into the digital age with CDs got rid of that problem. But then the introduction of the MP3 and other lossy formats brought it back again.
Basically, the fear is that someone will take an MP3, burn it to CD, then later RIP it to a compressed, lossy MP3 and trade it that way. Doing this over and over will produce a worse sounding recording each time the file is re-converted to MP3. So by insisting on keeping things lossless (in other words, that no information is lost, an exact copy), no digital gens are introduced. Altho an extreme example (re-ripped/compressed 666 times), this might help you appreciate why many bootleg collectors want the files in a lossless format like FLAC:http://www.coryarcangel.com/downloads/Cory-Arcangel-666.mp3
Some people may argue that no one burns stuff to CD any more, so this should be a non-issue. Point taken. But storage abilities of computers and other devices has increased exponentially, besides the bandwidth available for downloading, which argues in favor of the lossless format (since these are no longer limitations like they were in the past).
Personally, I want the files in lossless format whenever possible, for trading purposes. But when I want to listen to the recordings on my iPod or iTunes, I'll convert them to AAC or MP3 format. But I'd never trade them in those formats.
Another reason to trade in lossless formats only is for when people want to tweak the recording to improve the sound - the more information there is (even if we can't hear it at the present), the more possibility a person has to make adjustments to the recording to improve the sound. It's one of the reasons why many tapers today will record shows in 96KHz/24bit or 192KHz/24bit even tho CD quality is only 44.1KHz/16bit - so there's more to work with. It's the same as if you wanted to make adjustments to a photo - a camera RAW file will give you far more information so that you can make much better changes/adjustments than even a .jpg file with minimal compression.
For a more thorough answer, check out this link:http://www.howtogeek.com/142174/what-lossless-file-formats-are-why-you-shouldnt-convert-lossy-to-lossless/