Add thanks for patches from vskytta
[clinton/abcde.git] / FAQ
1 0. INTRODUCTION
2 ============
3
4 Q. Who created abcde? Who develops it nowadays?
5 A. It was originally created by Robert Woodcook. He decided to give up
6 maintaining it at some point in 2002 and Jesus Climent took over. In 2012,
7 Colin Tuckley and Steve McIntyre joined in to help. Contact
8 jesus.climent@hispalinux.es, colint@debian.org or 93sam@debian.org if you
9 have a problem or a suggestion.
10
11
12 1. INSTALLATION
13 ============
14
15 Q. How can I install abcde on my system?
16 A. To get abcde you can use a pre-packaged version, available for Debian,
17 FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD and others.
18 In case you want to install your own release, you need to download the
19 source and install the complementary programs (abcde is just a frontend
20 and its functionality is provided by other programs).
21
22 abcde needs cd-discid. Grab it from:
23 http://www.hispalinux.es/~data/files/cd-discid/
24
25 Read the README files for a complete list of requirements.
26
27 Q. I have a problem, and I reported some time ago. Have you solved it already?
28 A. Maybe. Try downloading the trunk of the development from
29 http://abcde.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/
30
31 Q. When are you going to release a new version?
32 A. When it is ready. I keep on having new ideas and adding them to the trunk
33 (stored in the URL above), so I dont release until all the ideas are
34 finished.
35
36
37 2. EXECUTION
38 =========
39
40 Q. I want to force abcde 2.x to behave more like 1.x. How do I do it?
41 A. Put these options in your abcde.conf:
42
43 INTERACTIVE=n
44 OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
45 ID3TAGV=1
46
47 Q. Low on disk space?
48 A. abcde has different algorithms to schedule ripping and encoding - to
49 optimize for disk conservation, use -l. You can also define
50 WAVOUTPUTDIR=/some/other/path to your /etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf to
51 store the WAV files on another NFS shared fisk, for example.
52 Also, UNIX pipes have also been implemented, using "-P", so abcde reads and
53 encodes the tracks from the CD at once. However, it has the drawback that
54 only one format can be encoded at a time.
55
56 Q. How can i make abcde encode faster? My CD reader is way faster than the pace
57 it can encode my tracks.
58 A. abcde can take advantage of SMP systems, just like make. Try 'abcde -j 2' -
59 it'll run two encoder jobs while it rips the next track.
60 You can also make use of systems which are networked, with the help of
61 distmp3. For example, MachineA has a better CPU power and MachineB has a CD
62 drive. Run distmp3host (included in distmp3) on Machine A, and then run
63 abcde -r MachineA from MachineB (where "MachineA" is a dns name or IP
64 address). Use this in combination with '-j 0' to shift all encoding off the
65 local machine.
66
67 Q. I am having problems with *my CD reading program* reading the drive as a
68 user.
69 A. You might have to add yourself (or the users who want to use abcde) to the
70 cdrom group and change the permissions of the cdrom device to 660. If you
71 have a SCSI cdrom drive, check the permissions of /dev/sg* as well.
72
73 Q. I would like to give the trackname and the artist_name directly to the
74 encoder (in my case oggenc), but found no documentation.
75 A. That is not possible, since abcde gets the information from CDDB database.
76 You can create a template and fill it with the option "-n". Also, you can
77 get the CDDB entry and edit it yourself. abcde has also an option to drop
78 back to a template if you like none of the CDDB entries, selecting 0 from
79 the CDDB options.
80
81 Q. (Thanks to Amaya) Where are those options and settings defined? Why dont
82 you include a proper abcde.conf as an example?
83 A. I do. It should be installed under /etc/abcde.conf and contains more or
84 less all the defaults abcde uses. You can use $(HOME)/.abcde.conf to
85 override those defaults. More information can be obtained from the man page
86 which can be consulted using "man abcde".
87
88 Q. I keep on getting files with ".ogg.ogg" extension. What am I doing wrong?
89 A. The code for multiple-output adds automatically the extension of the
90 different outputs you select with the "-o" extension (or with OUTPUTTYPE
91 variable). Erase the ".${OUTPUTTYPE}" part from the OUTPUTFORMAT variable
92 in /etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf
93
94 Q. I have modified some of the options, and now CDDB has stopped working.
95 A. Check that you have modified everything in the right way. For instance, if
96 you modify the HTTPGET program you might want to set some options of your
97 own. If you use the predefined ones (wget, curl and fetch) abcde will try
98 to use some defaults. Keep in mind that the output should go to the output
99 as standard output, to be saved in a file for later use.
100
101 If abcde seems to be ignoring your configuration options or not running
102 commands such as the encoder, you may have misquoted something. Config
103 options such as the following do not work:
104
105 LAMEOPTS=-h -k
106
107 Try this instead:
108
109 LAMEOPTS='-h -k'
110
111 Q. How can I separate the different output files I get using multiple-output
112 support?
113 A. Use the OUTPUT variable in PLAYLISTFORMAT and OUTPUTFORMAT. It holds the
114 different output file types you passed to abcde (i.e., ogg, mp3, flac)
115 during playlist creation and file/directory creation.
116
117 Q. I have a CD with a data track, and abcde complaints it cannot read/encode
118 it.
119 A. From version 2.2 onwards, abcde includes some checkings with cdparanoia, to
120 try to get this right.
121 (It is not easy to find a data track on a CD. Right now, I can only think
122 of getting the track info from CDDB and ask the user for continuing should
123 a "data" track name is found. But the solution is far from been optimal.
124 For now, if you find a "data" track and you know the number, restart abcde
125 specifying the tracks to be encoded, leaving out the data one).
126
127 Q. I am requested to have "eject" when setting the speed although I do not use
128 it for anything.
129 A. If you do not use cdparanoia, eject is used for setting the speed of the
130 cdrom drive. You can substitute it for "setcd" with "-x" as the argument,
131 but you have to install it manually (setcd is, at least, available in
132 Debian).
133 Another way to get the same results is using the pre_read function, defined
134 in your /etc/abcde.conf file.
135
136 Q. I have a CD set with 1+ discs, and want to have them in the same directory,
137 sorted properly. What can abcde do for me?
138 A. Set abcde to rip the first CD and give it the option "-t 101". Use a generic
139 name for the CD, and reuse it with the rest of the CDs, editing the CDDB
140 entries. Use "-t 201" for the second CD and so on. Use "-w <comment>" to
141 add a comment about the CD you are ripping (-w "disc #"). Alternatively you
142 can use only the "-t ###" option and then move all the files to the same
143 directory, but the tag/comment information on the files will differ. If you
144 want the tagged track number to be set to the modified number you should use
145 "-T ###".
146 Even better! If you use "-W <cd_number>", abcde will put a comment to every
147 CD set ("CD <number>") and modify the number of the tracks both in the file
148 name and the tag/comment information.
149
150 Q. I have a live concert. I want to encode it in a single file. How do i do it?
151 A. Use "-1" and it will be encoded in a single file. Use "cue" as an action to
152 make a CUE sheet file where the information about the tracks is stored.
153
154 Q. Can I use abcde to take a backup of my CD collection?
155 A. Yes. Use "abcde -1 -o flac -a default,cue" and it will create a single-track
156 FLAC file with an embedded cuesheet. Later on, you can use the command
157 "abcde -o vorbis -d flac-file.flac" to extract the individual tracks in
158 Ogg/Vorbis format. Of course you can select whatever format you want.
159
160
161 3. CDDB and Musicbrainz
162 ====================
163
164 Q. I need to go through an HTTP proxy for CDDB access.
165 A. No problem, just export your http_proxy variable first so wget/fetch/curl
166 can see it.
167
168 Q. I already store CDDB entries in my hard disc. Can I make use of them?
169 A. Piece of cake. Just edit CDDBLOCALDIR to point to the repository and give
170 abcde the "-L" flag to make use of it.
171
172 Q. Fine, now it uses local CDDB, but I have no network connection. How can I
173 disable CDDB checks?
174 A. Use the "-L -n" combination. It will try to use local CDDB entries, and if
175 nothing can be found, it will use a template. You will be also given the
176 choice to edit such template.
177
178 Q. How can I use some other CDDB information provider?
179 A. abcde now uses FreeDB by default. To use a different FreeDB mirror or
180 another CDDB service, change the CDDBURL option in your abcde.conf.
181
182 Q. After requesting CDDB data, I received several answers which seem to be
183 quite alike. Can I find out the difference between some of them?
184 A. Yes. When asked which one you want to select, use "X,Y" where X and Y are
185 the numbers of the selections you want to find the difference between.
186
187 Q. I don't like CDDB/FreeDB. How can I use Musicbrainz instead?
188 A. Set CDDBMETHOD=musicbrainz and try it!
189
190 3. FORMATS
191 =======
192
193 Q. What formats can I encode my music to?
194 A. As for version 2.2, abcde includes support for MP3, Ogg/Vorbis,
195 Ogg/Speex, Flac and MPP/MP+(Musepack). Support for AAC will be added once
196 an FLOSS encoder/decoder is working.
197
198 Q. I want the new *put the newest and coolest codec there* format to be
199 supported by abcde. Abcde is so cool but i want to encode also to this
200 new format...
201 A. Patches are welcome! ;)
202 No, seriously, if the format is usable, available for Linux and open
203 source/free software, it should be fairly easy to integrate. Support for
204 AAC (m4p) should be the next one to be introduced.
205
206 Q. I use Debian/RedHat/(put your Unix flavour here) and MP3 encoding is not
207 working. What am I doing wrong?
208 A. Since MP3 is considered non-free (you get it for free, but hardware players
209 and net broadcasters have to pay license fees), some release engineering
210 groups and release management teams have decided not to provide MP3 encoding
211 tools.
212 These distributions or operative systems have decided to use Ogg/Vorbis as
213 the default encoding format, since it contains no (known) patent claims
214 and they are (supposed to be) completely Free (released under a BSD-like
215 license).
216 However, there is no strong (at the moment) hardware support, although
217 some groups and companies are strongly working on getting it, real soon
218 now. For that reason some people prefer to encode to MP3.
219
220 UPDATE *** UPDATE
221 There are known brands already selling Ogg/Vorbis portable players: Rio,
222 iRiver, Neuros, iAudio,...
223 Go buy one and you have no more reasons to use MP3.
224
225 If you are among those individuals, you might need to add support for MP3
226 encoding to your system:
227 Debian : check http://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat to install lame in your
228 system. Others prefer bladeenc. Check www.apt-get.org or google.
229 RedHat : search on rpmfind.net
230 FreeBSD: By default includes LAME support.
231 OpenBSD: Available by specifying you want to install the port with LAME
232 support, or by just installing it later from the ports tree.
233 NetBSD : Available in pkgsrc.
234
235 Others : Please, help me here.
236
237 Q. Huh! Why is MPPENCODER (with MPP) and .mpc the extension?
238 A. Dunno. You must ask the guys who created and defined the format. The
239 standard is MPEGplus (MPP/MP+) but the files use .mpc extension.
240
241
242 4. MISC PROBLEMS
243 ==== ========
244
245 Q. What happened with normalize?
246 A. Normalize has changed its name under Debian, which is the GNU/Linux
247 distribution for developing abcde (well, is The GNU/Linux Distribution
248 i only use, at the moment). Now it is called normalize-audio.
249 If you are using some other flavour of OS, you need to change the name
250 of the executable in your abcde.conf file.
251
252 Q. I am using MacOSX and I am having problems to use abcde.
253 A. Well, I have a Mac, but I use linux on it. I have not been able to find
254 a way to make it work there, since I do not have the development tools
255 installed. I have placed a basic support, but some user reports are just
256 complaining about abcde not encoding the ripped tracks, as if
257 icedax/cdda2wav/cdparanoia/cddafs would never end reading them. If you have
258 such a system and experience problems, please, report them, and I will
259 try to work them out with your help.
260
261 Q. My hardware player (put it here) does not recognize the playlists created
262 with abcde. What I am doing wrong?
263 A. Try using "-m" when creating the playlists, or setting DOSPLAYLIST as an
264 option in the config file.
265
266 OBSOLETE
267 --------
268 Q. I set KEEPWAVS to "y" but abcde insists on erasing my directory, along
269 with the wav tracks. What I am doing wrong?
270 A. The default action set includes clean, which cleans the temp directory,
271 if nothing goes wrong. Take the "clean" out from the action list and you
272 are done.
273 UPDATE: KEEPWAVS unselects now the clean action.
274
275 --
276 Jesus Climent <jesus.climent@hispalinux.es>