Small correction for the ()'s under MacOSX
[clinton/abcde.git] / README
2 =====
4 abcde is a frontend command-line utility (actually, a shell script) that
5 grabs tracks off a CD, encodes them to Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, Ogg/Speex and/or
6 MPP/MP+(Musepack) format, and tags them, all in one go.
8 Your finished Ogg/MP3/FLAC/Speex/MPP's are, by default, stored in a subdirectory
9 of the current directory (named after the artist) with a filename based on the
10 track title. Spaces are replaced by underscores, and apostrophes and
11 control codes are filtered out. Colons are replaced with an underscore and a
12 hyphen. The end result usually looks like: Our_Lady_Peace/01.Supermans_Dead.ogg
13 This filename munging is customizable - edit the mungefilename function in
14 your abcde.conf to change it.
16 Need to go through an HTTP proxy for CDDB access? No problem, just export
17 your http_proxy variable first so wget/fetch/curl can see it.
19 You already store CDDB entries for your CD collection on your hard disk? Piece
20 of cake. Just edit CDDBLOCALDIR to point to the repository and give abcde the
21 "-L" flag to make use of it.
23 Low on disk space? abcde has different algorithms to schedule ripping and
24 encoding - to optimize for disk conservation, use -l.
26 abcde 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 track.
29 abcde now uses FreeDB by default. To use a different FreeDB mirror or
30 another CDDB service, change the CDDBURL option in your abcde.conf.
32 Frustrated that you can't use the CPU power on Machine A sitting right
33 next to Machine B with the fast cdrom drive? Now you don't have to be -
34 Run distmp3host (included in distmp3) on Machine A, and then run
35 abcde -r MachineA from Machine B (where "MachineA" is a dns name or IP
36 address). Use this in combination with '-j 0' to shift all encoding off the
37 local machine.
39 You do not have internet connection, or just feel with free time to write
40 down all the song names and artists instead of using CDDB? Use -n and edit
41 the template.
43 To make abcde 2.x work more like 1.x, put these options in your abcde.conf:
47 ID3TAGV=1
49 NOTICE: abcde needs cd-discid. Grab it from:
53 =============
54 Changes 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.
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.
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.
71 * No network but you have been using abcde with local CDDB storage before?
72 Use -f and it will try the local CDDB and fallback to an empty template.
74 Changes in 2.2-pre1:
76 * cdparanoia permits performing a query to the CD drive and obtain a list of
77 valid audio tracks. So, now we perform such query and process the results.
78 * Support for "None of the above" has been added with the "0" selection. A
79 template is created, and the selection to edit it is defaulted to "y".
81 New options in 2.1.19:
83 * ONETRACK mode has been introduced. Setting the flag "-1" will create a
84 single file with all the tracks from the CD.
86 Changes in 2.1.18:
88 * CDSPEED option defaults to eject. However, since cdparanoia has a built-in
89 option to set the speed, we use it. There is not way (right now) to force
90 the use of eject, but it will be introduced in a future release. Also one
91 can use the pre_read function to set the speed with other program.
93 New options in 2.1.16:
95 * -S, CDSPEED and CDSPEEDOPTS for setting the speed of the CDROM. One can
96 set the options in abcde.conf and pass the value on the command line.
97 This option can be used with "eject -x <speed>", "setcd -x <speed>" or the
98 built-in cdparanoia option "-S <speed>", if the CD reader supports it.
99 * Added a pre-read function. Modify it at your pleasure in abcde.conf
100 One can use it to close the CD drive.
101 * -m option, to modify the playlist to include CRLF in every line. Some
102 players insist on having those to work properly with playlists.
104 New options in 2.1.15:
106 * -V can be used to obtain some more information about the CDDB queries.
107 * -v shows the version, basic help, and exits.
109 New options from 2.1.10 to 2.1.13:
111 * CDROMID has been introduced for cdda2wav use with SCSI devices.
112 * Use -L to retrieve the CDDB entries from a local repository (also one can
113 set CDDBUSELOCAL in the config file).
114 * If CDDBCOPYLOCAL is set to "y" we store copies of the CDDB entries, under
115 CDDBLOCALDIR (defaults to "~/.cddb).
117 Modifications from 2.1.9 to 2.1.10:
119 * Initial (still incomplete) MacOSX support is on the works.
120 * A new tool (curl) has been added for MacOSX compatibility, as HTTPGET
121 option.
123 Options modified from 2.1.8 to 2.1.9:
125 * KEEPWAVS option now sets the clean to "no".
127 Options added/modified from 2.1.3 to 2.1.5:
129 * Ogg/Speex added. Use "-o spx" to rip your audiobooks, for instance.
131 Options added/modified from 2.1.1 to 2.1.3:
133 * WGET has been substituted by HTTPGET. Now we support fetch as retrieval
134 program.
135 * KEEPWAVS has been introduced. Set it to "y" and the wav tracks will be
136 kept.
137 * CDDBPROTO is used to specify the protocol level in the CDDB retrieval.
138 * DAGRAB has been introduced as a cd ripper.
140 Options added/modified from 2.0.3 to 2.1.x:
142 * -b use batch processing. It uses normalize-audio to adjust the volume of
143 the songs, and a -g gapless option from lame to remove gaps. Only available
144 for mp3+lame combination.
145 * a new "normalize" option has been added to -a, to normalize the volume.
146 * -o works now with a combination of the different outputs: ogg, mp3, flac.
147 Combine them separated by ",". Example: "-o ogg,flac".
148 * OUTPUTTYPE is no longer used for the output file type. From version 2.1
149 abcde implements multiple-output and the file type is always appended at
150 the end of the file. The OUTPUT variable can be used in the
151 PLAYLISTFORMAT and OUTPUTFORMAT to create different directory structures
152 and playlist names for each of the output formats selected.
153 * DYEAR can be used as DiskYear value in CDDB data. If the data is not
154 supplied by the CDDB server, it can be added.
156 Other options that changed from 1.x to 2.x:
158 * -e doesn't exist anymore, abcde now presents you with all of the cddb data
159 and asks you if you want to edit it. If you don't want to be asked,
160 use -N or INTERACTIVE=n
161 * The output type defaults to Ogg/Vorbis. Specify -o mp3 or OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
162 if you still want to output mp3's.
163 * -l 2 is now just -l, LOWDISK=2 should now be LOWDISK=y
164 * -V and -v are gone, abcde will now prompt you if you'd like to use Various
165 Artists handling, after showing you the cddb data.
166 * -P is now '-a playlist,clean', PLAYLISTONLY=y is now
167 ACTIONS=playlist,clean
168 * -p is now '-a playlist,move,clean', PLAYLIST=y is now
169 ACTIONS=playlist,move,clean
170 * cddb-tool has been cleaned up a little bit. 'get' is now 'query' and
171 'read', and the tempfile handling has been removed.
172 * ID3COMMENT is now COMMENT.
173 * FreeDB is now the default CDDB database.
177 ============
179 abcde requires the following backend tools to work:
181 * An Ogg/Vorbis encoder (oggenc, the default, or vorbize) or:
182 * An MP3 encoder (lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, etc). Any MP3 encoder that
183 takes two filenames on the command line, one for input, one for output,
184 will work.
185 You can get lame at:
186 You can get gogo at:
187 You can get BladeEnc at:
188 You can get a trial version of mp3enc at:
189 or:
190 * FLAC encoder (flac) or:
191 * Ogg/Speex encoder (speexenc) or:
192 * MPP/MP+(Musepack) encoder (mppenc)
193 * normalize-audio for volume normalization.
194 * CD Paranoia, an audio CD reading utility,
195 * Or cdda2wav, the audio CD reading utility cdparanoia was born from,
196 * Or dagrab, another audio CD reading utility.
197 * cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program. Formerly bundled with abcde.
198 It's available in Debian or
199 * An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (MacOSX)
200 * id3, an id3 tagging program. Available at:
201 * id3v2, an id3 version 2.0 tagger.
202 * (optional) distmp3, a client/server for distributed mp3 encoding.
203 You can get distmp3 at
205 Potential problems:
207 Having trouble getting cdparanoia to read from your drive as a user?
208 Add yourself to the cdrom group, change the permissions on your cdrom device
209 to 660, and if you have a SCSI cdrom drive, check the permissions on
210 /dev/sg* as well.
212 Running out of disk space for .wav files but don't want to use -l? Put them
213 in a different location by adding WAVOUTPUTDIR=/some/other/path to your
214 /etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf.
216 If abcde seems to be ignoring your configuration options or not running
217 commands such as the encoder, you may have misquoted something. Config
218 options such as the following do not work:
220 LAMEOPTS=-h -k
222 Try this instead:
224 LAMEOPTS='-h -k'
226 Abcde's new mailing list is So far has not
227 been actively used.
228 The posts from non-subscribers are moderated to prevent spam.
230 Archives of the old list are publically available at:
233 Abcde's current page is at
234 Abcde's new homepage will be at
235 Abcde's old homepage is at
236 --
237 Robert Woodcock <>
238 Jesus Climent <>