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