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