[clinton/abcde.git] / README
c9c2ca27 1ABCDE
4abcde is a frontend command-line utility (actually, a shell script) that
9f659ada 5grabs tracks off a CD, encodes them to Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, Ogg/Speex and/or
6MPP/MP+(Musepack) format, and tags them, all in one go.
c9c2ca27 7
9f659ada 8Your finished Ogg/MP3/FLAC/Speex/MPP's are, by default, stored in a subdirectory
9of the current directory (named after the artist) with a filename based on the
c9c2ca27 10track title. Spaces are replaced by underscores, and apostrophes and
11control codes are filtered out. Colons are replaced with an underscore and a
12hyphen. The end result usually looks like: Our_Lady_Peace/01.Supermans_Dead.ogg
13This filename munging is customizable - edit the mungefilename function in
14your abcde.conf to change it.
16Need to go through an HTTP proxy for CDDB access? No problem, just export
17your http_proxy variable first so wget/fetch/curl can see it.
19You already store CDDB entries for your CD collection on your hard disk? Piece
20of cake. Just edit CDDBLOCALDIR to point to the repository and give abcde the
21"-L" flag to make use of it.
23Low on disk space? abcde has different algorithms to schedule ripping and
24encoding - to optimize for disk conservation, use -l.
26abcde can also take advantage of SMP systems, just like make. Try
9f659ada 27'abcde -j 2' - it'll run two encoder jobs while it rips the next track.
c9c2ca27 28
29abcde now uses FreeDB by default. To use a different FreeDB mirror or
30another CDDB service, change the CDDBURL option in your abcde.conf.
32Frustrated that you can't use the CPU power on Machine A sitting right
33next to Machine B with the fast cdrom drive? Now you don't have to be -
34Run distmp3host (included in distmp3) on Machine A, and then run
35abcde -r MachineA from Machine B (where "MachineA" is a dns name or IP
36address). Use this in combination with '-j 0' to shift all encoding off the
37local machine.
39You do not have internet connection, or just feel with free time to write
40down all the song names and artists instead of using CDDB? Use -n and edit
41the template.
43To make abcde 2.x work more like 1.x, put these options in your abcde.conf:
49NOTICE: abcde needs cd-discid. Grab it from:
99d009fa 54Changes in 2.2-pre2:
56* Support for MPP/MP+(Musepack) format. It can be downloaded from
57 It is supposed to be Free (not only free), and released
58 under the GPL...
59* New "-s <number>" option for starting the numbering of the output files at
60 a given starting number. Ideal for albums with more than one CD.
40c61684 61* Support for keeping an existing playlist (and not add new entries to it),
62 erase the existing one (overwrite) or append new entries to the existing
63 one.
7acef70b 64* Under ./examples you will find a very basic way to make abcde run in the
65 background and start a non-interactive rip of a CD, if it can find an
66 audio CD in the tray.
67 The abcded script depends on eject and cdparanoia being installed in your
68 system.
69* New mungegenre function to switch off (or modify) the default behaviour of
70 transforming uppercase characters to lowercase.
99d009fa 71
72Changes in 2.2-pre1:
74* cdparanoia permits performing a query to the CD drive and obtain a list of
75 valid audio tracks. So, now we perform such query and process the results.
76* Support for "None of the above" has been added with the "0" selection. A
77 template is created, and the selection to edit it is defaulted to "y".
c9c2ca27 79New options in 2.1.19:
81* ONETRACK mode has been introduced. Setting the flag "-1" will create a
82 single file with all the tracks from the CD.
84Changes in 2.1.18:
86* CDSPEED option defaults to eject. However, since cdparanoia has a built-in
87 option to set the speed, we use it. There is not way (right now) to force
88 the use of eject, but it will be introduced in a future release. Also one
89 can use the pre_read function to set the speed with other program.
91New options in 2.1.16:
93* -S, CDSPEED and CDSPEEDOPTS for setting the speed of the CDROM. One can
94 set the options in abcde.conf and pass the value on the command line.
95 This option can be used with "eject -x <speed>", "setcd -x <speed>" or the
96 built-in cdparanoia option "-S <speed>", if the CD reader supports it.
97* Added a pre-read function. Modify it at your pleasure in abcde.conf
98 One can use it to close the CD drive.
99* -m option, to modify the playlist to include CRLF in every line. Some
100 players insist on having those to work properly with playlists.
102New options in 2.1.15:
104* -V can be used to obtain some more information about the CDDB queries.
105* -v shows the version, basic help, and exits.
107New options from 2.1.10 to 2.1.13:
109* CDROMID has been introduced for cdda2wav use with SCSI devices.
110* Use -L to retrieve the CDDB entries from a local repository (also one can
111 set CDDBUSELOCAL in the config file).
112* If CDDBCOPYLOCAL is set to "y" we store copies of the CDDB entries, under
113 CDDBLOCALDIR (defaults to "~/.cddb).
115Modifications from 2.1.9 to 2.1.10:
117* Initial (still incomplete) MacOSX support is on the works.
118* A new tool (curl) has been added for MacOSX compatibility, as HTTPGET
119 option.
121Options modified from 2.1.8 to 2.1.9:
123* KEEPWAVS option now sets the clean to "no".
125Options added/modified from 2.1.3 to 2.1.5:
127* Ogg/Speex added. Use "-o spx" to rip your audiobooks, for instance.
129Options added/modified from 2.1.1 to 2.1.3:
131* WGET has been substituted by HTTPGET. Now we support fetch as retrieval
132 program.
133* KEEPWAVS has been introduced. Set it to "y" and the wav tracks will be
134 kept.
135* CDDBPROTO is used to specify the protocol level in the CDDB retrieval.
136* DAGRAB has been introduced as a cd ripper.
138Options added/modified from 2.0.3 to 2.1.x:
140* -b use batch processing. It uses normalize to adjust the volume of the
141 songs, and a -g gapless option from lame to remove gaps. Only available
142 for mp3+lame combination.
143* a new "normalize" option has been added to -a, to normalize the volume.
144* -o works now with a combination of the different outputs: ogg, mp3, flac.
145 Combine them separated by ",". Example: "-o ogg,flac".
146* OUTPUTTYPE is no longer used for the output file type. From version 2.1
147 abcde implements multiple-output and the file type is always appended at
148 the end of the file. The OUTPUT variable can be used in the
149 PLAYLISTFORMAT and OUTPUTFORMAT to create different directory structures
150 and playlist names for each of the output formats selected.
151* DYEAR can be used as DiskYear value in CDDB data. If the data is not
152 supplied by the CDDB server, it can be added.
154Other options that changed from 1.x to 2.x:
156* -e doesn't exist anymore, abcde now presents you with all of the cddb data
157 and asks you if you want to edit it. If you don't want to be asked,
158 use -N or INTERACTIVE=n
159* The output type defaults to Ogg/Vorbis. Specify -o mp3 or OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
160 if you still want to output mp3's.
161* -l 2 is now just -l, LOWDISK=2 should now be LOWDISK=y
162* -V and -v are gone, abcde will now prompt you if you'd like to use Various
163 Artists handling, after showing you the cddb data.
164* -P is now '-a playlist,clean', PLAYLISTONLY=y is now
165 ACTIONS=playlist,clean
166* -p is now '-a playlist,move,clean', PLAYLIST=y is now
167 ACTIONS=playlist,move,clean
168* cddb-tool has been cleaned up a little bit. 'get' is now 'query' and
169 'read', and the tempfile handling has been removed.
171* FreeDB is now the default CDDB database.
177abcde requires the following backend tools to work:
179* An Ogg/Vorbis encoder (oggenc, the default, or vorbize) or:
180* An MP3 encoder (lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, etc). Any MP3 encoder that
181 takes two filenames on the command line, one for input, one for output,
182 will work.
183 You can get lame at:
184 You can get gogo at:
185 You can get BladeEnc at:
186 You can get a trial version of mp3enc at:
187 or:
188* FLAC encoder (flac) or:
9f659ada 189* Ogg/Speex encoder (speexenc) or:
190* MPP/MP+(Musepack) encoder (mppenc)
c9c2ca27 191* normalize for volume normalization.
192* CD Paranoia, an audio CD reading utility,
193* Or cdda2wav, the audio CD reading utility cdparanoia was born from,
194* Or dagrab, another audio CD reading utility.
195* cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program. Formerly bundled with abcde.
196 It's available in Debian or
197* An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (MacOSX)
198* id3, an id3 tagging program. Available at:
199* id3v2, an id3 version 2.0 tagger.
200* (optional) distmp3, a client/server for distributed mp3 encoding.
201 You can get distmp3 at
203Potential problems:
205Having trouble getting cdparanoia to read from your drive as a user?
206Add yourself to the cdrom group, change the permissions on your cdrom device
207to 660, and if you have a SCSI cdrom drive, check the permissions on
208/dev/sg* as well.
210Running out of disk space for .wav files but don't want to use -l? Put them
211in a different location by adding WAVOUTPUTDIR=/some/other/path to your
212/etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf.
214If abcde seems to be ignoring your configuration options or not running
215commands such as the encoder, you may have misquoted something. Config
216options such as the following do not work:
218LAMEOPTS=-h -k
220Try this instead:
222LAMEOPTS='-h -k'
224Abcde's new mailing list is So far has not
225been actively used.
226The posts from non-subscribers are moderated to prevent spam.
228Archives of the old list are publically available at:
231Abcde's current page is at
232Abcde's new homepage will be at
233Abcde's old homepage is at
235Robert Woodcock <>
236Jesus Climent <>