Readme entry
[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 control
11 codes are filtered out. Colons are replaced with an underscore and a hyphen. The
12 end result usually looks like: Our_Lady_Peace/01.Supermans_Dead.ogg This
13 filename munging is customizable - edit the mungefilename function in your
14 abcde.conf to change it.
16 Many of the questions related of problems executing abcde have been moved to the
17 FAQ, which should be distributed along with this package. Reffer to that file
18 for help.
20 To make abcde 2.x work more like 1.x, put these options in your abcde.conf:
24 ID3TAGV=1
27 =============
28 Changes in 2.4:
29 * Read TOC entries from the CD. The default uses cdrdao.
30 * Possibility to use CDDBCHOICE1,CDDBCHOICE2 (i.e., 1,3) to get a diff of two
31 parsed CDDB entries.
32 * Added SHOWCDDBFIELDS to define wether to show the YEAR and GENRE fields from
33 the CDDB output.
35 Changes in 2.3:
36 * Support for mkcue, to create a CUE sheet of the CD structure. It can be used
37 with "-1" to create a backup, so that later on the original CD can be
38 recreated.
39 * New -o <output(1)>:<options(1)>,... way of passing specific options to an
40 output. Now we can pass specific options without having to modify a config
41 file. This feature was already present in the last versions of the 2.2 cycle.
42 * Unix PIPEs, as a second way to encode files with a low disc space.
43 * Option to erase the "encoded" entries from the status file. Allows one to
44 encode the wav files (in case they were not erased) into another format. This
45 is needed until status information is stored for each format.
46 * The "ogg" output mode will be substituted for "vorbis" in the near future.
47 This release adds a compatibility layer so that both entries work.
48 * The FLAC encoder forces the files to be overwritten, in case they previously
49 exists. This avoids a half-through abcde run to continue without errors in
50 case it was cancelled during the FLAC encoding.
51 * Added a post_read() function so that we can do things with the CD before we
52 eject it.
54 Changes in 2.2:
56 * Support for MPP/MP+(Musepack) format. It can be downloaded from
57 It is supposed to be Free (not only free), and released under
58 the GPL...
59 * New "-t <number>" option for starting the numbering of the output files at a
60 given starting number. Ideal for albums with more than one CD.
61 * New "-T <number>" option, similar to "-t" but also modifies the tag entries
62 on the files themselves.
63 * New "-w <COMMENT>" to add a comment to the tracks of a given CD rip. Use
65 * New "-W <number>" option to combine both a comment with "CD #number" and a
66 starting number for both the tracks and the tags with "#01" (that is, 101 for
67 the 1st CD, 201 for the second...)
68 * Support for keeping an existing playlist (and not add new entries to it),
69 erase the existing one (overwrite) or append new entries to the existing
70 one.
71 * Under ./examples you will find a very basic way to make abcde run in the
72 background and start a non-interactive rip of a CD, if it can find an
73 audio CD in the tray.
74 The abcded script depends on eject and cdparanoia being installed in your
75 system.
76 * New mungegenre function to switch off (or modify) the default behaviour of
77 transforming uppercase characters to lowercase.
78 * cdparanoia permits performing a query to the CD drive and obtain a list of
79 valid audio tracks. So, now we perform such query and process the results.
80 * Support for "None of the above" has been added with the "0" selection. A
81 template is created, and the selection to edit it is defaulted to "y".
83 New options in 2.1.19:
85 * ONETRACK mode has been introduced. Setting the flag "-1" will create a
86 single file with all the tracks from the CD.
88 Changes in 2.1.18:
90 * CDSPEED option defaults to eject. However, since cdparanoia has a built-in
91 option to set the speed, we use it. There is not way (right now) to force the
92 use of eject, but it will be introduced in a future release. Also one can use
93 the pre_read function to set the speed with other program.
95 New options in 2.1.16:
97 * -S, CDSPEED and CDSPEEDOPTS for setting the speed of the CDROM. One can set
98 the options in abcde.conf and pass the value on the command line. This option
99 can be used with "eject -x <speed>", "setcd -x <speed>" or the built-in
100 cdparanoia option "-S <speed>", if the CD reader supports it.
101 * Added a pre-read function. Modify it at your pleasure in abcde.conf
102 One can use it to close the CD drive.
103 * -m option, to modify the playlist to include CRLF in every line. Some players
104 insist on having those to work properly with playlists.
106 New options in 2.1.15:
108 * -V can be used to obtain some more information about the CDDB queries.
109 * -v shows the version, basic help, and exits.
111 New options from 2.1.10 to 2.1.13:
113 * CDROMID has been introduced for cdda2wav use with SCSI devices.
114 * Use -L to retrieve the CDDB entries from a local repository (also one can
115 set CDDBUSELOCAL in the config file).
116 * If CDDBCOPYLOCAL is set to "y" we store copies of the CDDB entries, under
117 CDDBLOCALDIR (defaults to "~/.cddb).
119 Modifications from 2.1.9 to 2.1.10:
121 * Initial (still incomplete) MacOSX support is on the works.
122 * A new tool (curl) has been added for MacOSX compatibility, as HTTPGET
123 option.
125 Options modified from 2.1.8 to 2.1.9:
127 * KEEPWAVS option now sets the clean to "no".
129 Options added/modified from 2.1.3 to 2.1.5:
131 * Ogg/Speex added. Use "-o spx" to rip your audiobooks, for instance.
133 Options added/modified from 2.1.1 to 2.1.3:
135 * WGET has been substituted by HTTPGET. Now we support fetch as retrieval
136 program.
137 * KEEPWAVS has been introduced. Set it to "y" and the wav tracks will be
138 kept.
139 * CDDBPROTO is used to specify the protocol level in the CDDB retrieval.
140 * DAGRAB has been introduced as a cd ripper.
142 Options added/modified from 2.0.3 to 2.1.x:
144 * -b use batch processing. It uses normalize-audio to adjust the volume of
145 the songs, and a -g gapless option from lame to remove gaps. Only available
146 for mp3+lame combination.
147 * a new "normalize" option has been added to -a, to normalize the volume.
148 * -o works now with a combination of the different outputs: ogg, mp3, flac.
149 Combine them separated by ",". Example: "-o ogg,flac".
150 * OUTPUTTYPE is no longer used for the output file type. From version 2.1 abcde
151 implements multiple-output and the file type is always appended at the end of
152 the file. The OUTPUT variable can be used in the PLAYLISTFORMAT and
153 OUTPUTFORMAT to create different directory structures and playlist names for
154 each of the output formats selected.
156 * DYEAR can be used as DiskYear value in CDDB data. If the data is not supplied
157 by the CDDB server, it can be added.
159 Other options that changed from 1.x to 2.x:
161 * -e doesn't exist anymore, abcde now presents you with all of the cddb data
162 and asks you if you want to edit it. If you don't want to be asked,
163 use -N or INTERACTIVE=n
164 * The output type defaults to Ogg/Vorbis. Specify -o mp3 or OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
165 if you still want to output mp3's.
166 * -l 2 is now just -l, LOWDISK=2 should now be LOWDISK=y
167 * -V and -v are gone, abcde will now prompt you if you'd like to use Various
168 Artists handling, after showing you the cddb data.
169 * -P is now '-a playlist,clean', PLAYLISTONLY=y is now
170 ACTIONS=playlist,clean
171 * -p is now '-a playlist,move,clean', PLAYLIST=y is now
172 ACTIONS=playlist,move,clean
173 * cddb-tool has been cleaned up a little bit. 'get' is now 'query' and
174 'read', and the tempfile handling has been removed.
175 * ID3COMMENT is now COMMENT.
176 * FreeDB is now the default CDDB database.
180 ============
182 abcde requires the following backend tools to work:
184 * An Ogg/Vorbis encoder (oggenc, the default, or vorbize) or:
185 * An MP3 encoder (lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, etc). Any MP3 encoder that
186 takes two filenames on the command line, one for input, one for output,
187 will work.
188 You can get lame at:
189 You can get gogo at:
190 You can get BladeEnc at:
191 You can get a trial version of mp3enc at:
192 or:
193 * FLAC encoder (flac) or:
194 * Ogg/Speex encoder (speexenc) or:
195 * MPP/MP+(Musepack) encoder (mppenc)
196 * normalize-audio for volume normalization.
197 * CD Paranoia, an audio CD reading utility,
198 * Or cdda2wav, the audio CD reading utility cdparanoia was born from,
199 * Or dagrab, another audio CD reading utility.
200 * cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program. Formerly bundled with abcde.
201 It's available in Debian or
202 * An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (MacOSX)
203 * id3, an id3 tagging program. Available at:
204 * id3v2, an id3 version 2.0 tagger.
205 * (optional) distmp3, a client/server for distributed mp3 encoding.
206 You can get distmp3 at
208 Abcde's new mailing list is So far has not
209 been actively used.
210 The posts from non-subscribers are moderated to prevent spam.
212 Archives of the old list are publically available at:
215 Abcde's current page is at
216 Abcde's old homepage is at
217 --
218 Jesus Climent <>
220 abcde was originally created by Robert Woodcock <>