Check-in after database failure
[clinton/abcde.git] / README
c9c2ca27 1ABCDE
4abcde is a frontend command-line utility (actually, a shell script) that
5grabs tracks off a CD, encodes them to Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC or Ogg/Speex
6format, and tags them, all in one go.
8Your finished Ogg/MP3/FLAC/Speex's are, by default, stored in a subdirectory of
9the current directory (named after the artist) with a filename based on the
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
27'abcde -j 2' - it'll run two encoder jobs while it rips the next
30abcde now uses FreeDB by default. To use a different FreeDB mirror or
31another CDDB service, change the CDDBURL option in your abcde.conf.
33Frustrated that you can't use the CPU power on Machine A sitting right
34next to Machine B with the fast cdrom drive? Now you don't have to be -
35Run distmp3host (included in distmp3) on Machine A, and then run
36abcde -r MachineA from Machine B (where "MachineA" is a dns name or IP
37address). Use this in combination with '-j 0' to shift all encoding off the
38local machine.
40You do not have internet connection, or just feel with free time to write
41down all the song names and artists instead of using CDDB? Use -n and edit
42the template.
44To make abcde 2.x work more like 1.x, put these options in your abcde.conf:
50NOTICE: abcde needs cd-discid. Grab it from:
55New options in 2.1.19:
57* ONETRACK mode has been introduced. Setting the flag "-1" will create a
58 single file with all the tracks from the CD.
60Changes in 2.1.18:
62* CDSPEED option defaults to eject. However, since cdparanoia has a built-in
63 option to set the speed, we use it. There is not way (right now) to force
64 the use of eject, but it will be introduced in a future release. Also one
65 can use the pre_read function to set the speed with other program.
67New options in 2.1.16:
69* -S, CDSPEED and CDSPEEDOPTS for setting the speed of the CDROM. One can
70 set the options in abcde.conf and pass the value on the command line.
71 This option can be used with "eject -x <speed>", "setcd -x <speed>" or the
72 built-in cdparanoia option "-S <speed>", if the CD reader supports it.
73* Added a pre-read function. Modify it at your pleasure in abcde.conf
74 One can use it to close the CD drive.
75* -m option, to modify the playlist to include CRLF in every line. Some
76 players insist on having those to work properly with playlists.
78New options in 2.1.15:
80* -V can be used to obtain some more information about the CDDB queries.
81* -v shows the version, basic help, and exits.
83New options from 2.1.10 to 2.1.13:
85* CDROMID has been introduced for cdda2wav use with SCSI devices.
86* Use -L to retrieve the CDDB entries from a local repository (also one can
87 set CDDBUSELOCAL in the config file).
88* If CDDBCOPYLOCAL is set to "y" we store copies of the CDDB entries, under
89 CDDBLOCALDIR (defaults to "~/.cddb).
91Modifications from 2.1.9 to 2.1.10:
93* Initial (still incomplete) MacOSX support is on the works.
94* A new tool (curl) has been added for MacOSX compatibility, as HTTPGET
95 option.
97Options modified from 2.1.8 to 2.1.9:
99* KEEPWAVS option now sets the clean to "no".
101Options added/modified from 2.1.3 to 2.1.5:
103* Ogg/Speex added. Use "-o spx" to rip your audiobooks, for instance.
105Options added/modified from 2.1.1 to 2.1.3:
107* WGET has been substituted by HTTPGET. Now we support fetch as retrieval
108 program.
109* KEEPWAVS has been introduced. Set it to "y" and the wav tracks will be
110 kept.
111* CDDBPROTO is used to specify the protocol level in the CDDB retrieval.
112* DAGRAB has been introduced as a cd ripper.
114Options added/modified from 2.0.3 to 2.1.x:
116* -b use batch processing. It uses normalize to adjust the volume of the
117 songs, and a -g gapless option from lame to remove gaps. Only available
118 for mp3+lame combination.
119* a new "normalize" option has been added to -a, to normalize the volume.
120* -o works now with a combination of the different outputs: ogg, mp3, flac.
121 Combine them separated by ",". Example: "-o ogg,flac".
122* OUTPUTTYPE is no longer used for the output file type. From version 2.1
123 abcde implements multiple-output and the file type is always appended at
124 the end of the file. The OUTPUT variable can be used in the
125 PLAYLISTFORMAT and OUTPUTFORMAT to create different directory structures
126 and playlist names for each of the output formats selected.
127* DYEAR can be used as DiskYear value in CDDB data. If the data is not
128 supplied by the CDDB server, it can be added.
130Other options that changed from 1.x to 2.x:
132* -e doesn't exist anymore, abcde now presents you with all of the cddb data
133 and asks you if you want to edit it. If you don't want to be asked,
134 use -N or INTERACTIVE=n
135* The output type defaults to Ogg/Vorbis. Specify -o mp3 or OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
136 if you still want to output mp3's.
137* -l 2 is now just -l, LOWDISK=2 should now be LOWDISK=y
138* -V and -v are gone, abcde will now prompt you if you'd like to use Various
139 Artists handling, after showing you the cddb data.
140* -P is now '-a playlist,clean', PLAYLISTONLY=y is now
141 ACTIONS=playlist,clean
142* -p is now '-a playlist,move,clean', PLAYLIST=y is now
143 ACTIONS=playlist,move,clean
144* cddb-tool has been cleaned up a little bit. 'get' is now 'query' and
145 'read', and the tempfile handling has been removed.
147* FreeDB is now the default CDDB database.
153abcde requires the following backend tools to work:
155* An Ogg/Vorbis encoder (oggenc, the default, or vorbize) or:
156* An MP3 encoder (lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, etc). Any MP3 encoder that
157 takes two filenames on the command line, one for input, one for output,
158 will work.
159 You can get lame at:
160 You can get gogo at:
161 You can get BladeEnc at:
162 You can get a trial version of mp3enc at:
163 or:
164* FLAC encoder (flac) or:
165* Ogg/Speex encoder (speexenc)
166* normalize for volume normalization.
167* CD Paranoia, an audio CD reading utility,
168* Or cdda2wav, the audio CD reading utility cdparanoia was born from,
169* Or dagrab, another audio CD reading utility.
170* cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program. Formerly bundled with abcde.
171 It's available in Debian or
172* An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (MacOSX)
173* id3, an id3 tagging program. Available at:
174* id3v2, an id3 version 2.0 tagger.
175* (optional) distmp3, a client/server for distributed mp3 encoding.
176 You can get distmp3 at
178Potential problems:
180Having trouble getting cdparanoia to read from your drive as a user?
181Add yourself to the cdrom group, change the permissions on your cdrom device
182to 660, and if you have a SCSI cdrom drive, check the permissions on
183/dev/sg* as well.
185Running out of disk space for .wav files but don't want to use -l? Put them
186in a different location by adding WAVOUTPUTDIR=/some/other/path to your
187/etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf.
189If abcde seems to be ignoring your configuration options or not running
190commands such as the encoder, you may have misquoted something. Config
191options such as the following do not work:
193LAMEOPTS=-h -k
195Try this instead:
197LAMEOPTS='-h -k'
199Abcde's new mailing list is So far has not
200been actively used.
201The posts from non-subscribers are moderated to prevent spam.
203Archives of the old list are publically available at:
206Abcde's current page is at
207Abcde's new homepage will be at
208Abcde's old homepage is at
210Robert Woodcock <>
211Jesus Climent <>