Doc rework
[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 Need to go through an HTTP proxy for CDDB access? No problem, just export your
17 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 'abcde -j 2' -
27 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 another
30 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 next to
33 Machine B with the fast cdrom drive? Now you don't have to be - Run distmp3host
34 (included in distmp3) on Machine A, and then run abcde -r MachineA from Machine
35 B (where "MachineA" is a dns name or IP address). Use this in combination with
36 '-j 0' to shift all encoding off the local machine.
38 You do not have internet connection, or just feel with free time to write down
39 all the song names and artists instead of using CDDB? Use -n and edit the
40 template.
42 To make abcde 2.x work more like 1.x, put these options in your abcde.conf:
46 ID3TAGV=1
49 =============
50 Changes in 2.2-pre2:
52 * Support for MPP/MP+(Musepack) format. It can be downloaded from
53 It is supposed to be Free (not only free), and released under
54 the GPL...
55 * New "-w <comment>" option to add a comment for a given CD on the command
56 line.
57 * New "-t <number>" option for starting the numbering of the output files at
58 a given starting number. Ideal for albums with more than one CD.
59 New "-T <number>" option, similar to "-s" but also modifies the tag entries
60 on the files themselves.
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 the
90 use of eject, but it will be introduced in a future release. Also one can use
91 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 set
96 the options in abcde.conf and pass the value on the command line. This option
97 can be used with "eject -x <speed>", "setcd -x <speed>" or the built-in
98 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 players
102 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 abcde
149 implements multiple-output and the file type is always appended at the end of
150 the file. The OUTPUT variable can be used in the PLAYLISTFORMAT and
151 OUTPUTFORMAT to create different directory structures and playlist names for
152 each of the output formats selected.
154 * DYEAR can be used as DiskYear value in CDDB data. If the data is not supplied
155 by the CDDB server, it can be added.
157 Other options that changed from 1.x to 2.x:
159 * -e doesn't exist anymore, abcde now presents you with all of the cddb data
160 and asks you if you want to edit it. If you don't want to be asked,
161 use -N or INTERACTIVE=n
162 * The output type defaults to Ogg/Vorbis. Specify -o mp3 or OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
163 if you still want to output mp3's.
164 * -l 2 is now just -l, LOWDISK=2 should now be LOWDISK=y
165 * -V and -v are gone, abcde will now prompt you if you'd like to use Various
166 Artists handling, after showing you the cddb data.
167 * -P is now '-a playlist,clean', PLAYLISTONLY=y is now
168 ACTIONS=playlist,clean
169 * -p is now '-a playlist,move,clean', PLAYLIST=y is now
170 ACTIONS=playlist,move,clean
171 * cddb-tool has been cleaned up a little bit. 'get' is now 'query' and
172 'read', and the tempfile handling has been removed.
173 * ID3COMMENT is now COMMENT.
174 * FreeDB is now the default CDDB database.
178 ============
180 abcde requires the following backend tools to work:
182 * An Ogg/Vorbis encoder (oggenc, the default, or vorbize) or:
183 * An MP3 encoder (lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, etc). Any MP3 encoder that
184 takes two filenames on the command line, one for input, one for output,
185 will work.
186 You can get lame at:
187 You can get gogo at:
188 You can get BladeEnc at:
189 You can get a trial version of mp3enc at:
190 or:
191 * FLAC encoder (flac) or:
192 * Ogg/Speex encoder (speexenc) or:
193 * MPP/MP+(Musepack) encoder (mppenc)
194 * normalize-audio for volume normalization.
195 * CD Paranoia, an audio CD reading utility,
196 * Or cdda2wav, the audio CD reading utility cdparanoia was born from,
197 * Or dagrab, another audio CD reading utility.
198 * cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program. Formerly bundled with abcde.
199 It's available in Debian or
200 * An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (MacOSX)
201 * id3, an id3 tagging program. Available at:
202 * id3v2, an id3 version 2.0 tagger.
203 * (optional) distmp3, a client/server for distributed mp3 encoding.
204 You can get distmp3 at
206 Potential problems:
208 Having trouble getting cdparanoia to read from your drive as a user? Add
209 yourself to the cdrom group, change the permissions on your cdrom device to 660,
210 and if you have a SCSI cdrom drive, check the permissions on
211 /dev/sg* as well.
213 Abcde's new mailing list is So far has not
214 been actively used.
215 The posts from non-subscribers are moderated to prevent spam.
217 Archives of the old list are publically available at:
220 Abcde's current page is at
221 Abcde's new homepage will be at
222 Abcde's old homepage is at
223 --
224 Jesus Climent <>
226 abcde was originally created by Robert Woodcock <>, but is
227 currently maintained by Jesus Climent <>