[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 sources and install the complementary programs (abcde is just a frontend
18 and its functionality is provided by other programs).
19 Read
21 abcde needs cd-discid. Grab it from:
24 Read the README files for a complete list of requirements.
28 =========
30 Q. Low on disk space?
31 A. abcde has different algorithms to schedule ripping and encoding - to
32 optimize for disk conservation, use -l. You can also define
33 WAVOUTPUTDIR=/some/other/path to your /etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf to
34 store the WAV files on another NFS shared fisk, for example.
36 Q. How can i make abcde encode faster? My CD reader is way faster than the pace
37 it can encode my tracks.
38 A. abcde can take advantage of SMP systems, just like make. Try 'abcde -j 2' -
39 it'll run two encoder jobs while it rips the next track.
40 You can also make use of systems which are networked, with the help of
41 distmp3. For example, MachineA has a better CPU power and MachineB has a CD
42 drive. Run distmp3host (included in distmp3) on Machine A, and then run
43 abcde -r MachineA from MachineB (where "MachineA" is a dns name or IP
44 address). Use this in combination with '-j 0' to shift all encoding off the
45 local machine.
47 Having trouble getting cdparanoia to read from your drive as a user? Add
48 yourself to the cdrom group, change the permissions on your cdrom device to 660,
49 and if you have a SCSI cdrom drive, check the permissions on
50 /dev/sg* as well.
52 Q. I would like to give the trackname and the artist_name directly to the
53 encoder (in my case oggenc), but found no documentation.
54 A. That is not possible, since abcde gets the information from CDDB database.
55 You can create a template and fill it with the option "-n". Also, you can
56 get the CDDB entry and edit it yourself. abcde has also an option to drop
57 back to a template if you like none of the CDDB entries, selecting 0 from
58 the CDDB options.
60 Q. (Thanks to Amaya) Where are those options and settings defined? Why dont
61 you include a proper abcde.conf as an example?
62 A. I do. It should be installed under /etc/abcde.conf and contains more or
63 less all the defaults abcde uses. You can use $(HOME)/.abcde.conf to
64 override those defaults. More information can be obtained from the man page
65 which can be consulted using "man abcde".
67 Q. I keep on getting files with ".ogg.ogg" extension. What am I doing wrong?
68 A. The code for multiple-output adds automatically the extension of the
69 different outputs you select with the "-o" extension (or with OUTPUTTYPE
70 variable). Erase the ".${OUTPUTTYPE}" part from the OUTPUTFORMAT variable
71 in /etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf
73 Q. I have modified some of the options, and now CDDB has stopped working.
74 A. Check that you have modified everything in the right way. For instance, if
75 you modify the HTTPGET program you might want to set some options of your
76 own. If you use the predefined ones (wget, curl and fetch) abcde will try
77 to use some defaults. Keep in mind that the output should go to the output
78 as standard output, to be saved in a file for later use.
80 If abcde seems to be ignoring your configuration options or not running
81 commands such as the encoder, you may have misquoted something. Config
82 options such as the following do not work:
84 LAMEOPTS=-h -k
86 Try this instead:
88 LAMEOPTS='-h -k'
90 Q. How can I separate the different output files I get using multiple-output
91 support?
92 A. Use the OUTPUT variable in PLAYLISTFORMAT and OUTPUTFORMAT. It holds the
93 different output file types you passed to abcde (i.e., ogg, mp3, flac)
94 during playlist creation and file/directory creation.
96 Q. I have a CD with a data track, and abcde complaints it cannot read/encode
97 it.
98 A. It is not easy to find a data track on a CD. Right now, I can only think
99 of getting the track info from CDDB and ask the user for continuing should
100 a "data" track name is found. But the solution is far from been optimal.
101 For now, if you find a "data" track and you know the number, restart abcde
102 specifying the tracks to be encoded, leaving out the data one.
103 Version 2.2 includes some checkings with cdparanoia, to try to get this
104 right.
106 Q. I am requested to have "eject" when setting the speed although I do not use
107 it for anything.
108 A. If you do not use cdparanoia, eject is used for setting the speed of the
109 cdrom drive. You can substitute it for "setcd" with "-x" as the argument,
110 but you have to install it manually (setcd is, at least, available in
111 Debian).
112 Another way to get the same results is using the pre_read function, defined
113 in your /etc/abcde.conf file.
115 Q. I have a CD set with 1+ discs, and want to have them in the same directory,
116 sorted properly. What can abcde do for me?
117 A. Set abcde to rip the first CD and give it the option "-t 101". Use a generic
118 name for the CD, and reuse it with the rest of the CDs, editing the CDDB
119 entries. Use "-t 201" for the second CD and so on. Use "-w <comment>" to
120 add a comment about the CD you are ripping (-w "disc #"). Alternatively you
121 can use only the "-t ###" option and then move all the files to the same
122 directory. If you want the tagged track number to be set to the modified
123 number you should use "-T ###".
125 Q. I have a live concert. I want to encode it in a single file. How do i do it?
126 A. Use "-1" and it will be encoded in a single file.
128 3. CDDB
129 ====
131 Q. I need to go through an HTTP proxy for CDDB access.
132 A. No problem, just export your http_proxy variable first so wget/fetch/curl
133 can see it.
135 Q. I already store CDDB entries in my hard disc. Can I make use of them?
136 A. Piece of cake. Just edit CDDBLOCALDIR to point to the repository and give
137 abcde the "-L" flag to make use of it.
139 Q. Fine, now it uses local CDDB, but I have no network connection. How can I
140 disable CDDB checks?
141 A. Use the "-L -n" combination. It will try to use local CDDB entries, and if
142 nothing can be found, it will use a template. You will be also given the
143 choice to edit such template.
145 Q. How can I use some other CDDB information provider?
146 A. abcde now uses FreeDB by default. To use a different FreeDB mirror or
147 another CDDB service, change the CDDBURL option in your abcde.conf.
150 3. FORMATS
151 =======
153 Q. What formats can I encode my music to?
154 A. As for version 2.2, abcde includes support for MP3, Ogg/Vorbis,
155 Ogg/Speex, Flac and MPP/MP+(Musepack). Support for AAC will be added once
156 an FLOSS encoder/decoder is working.
158 Q. I want the new *put the newest and coolest codec there* format to be
159 supported by abcde. Abcde is so cool but i want to encode also to this
160 new format...
161 A. Patches are welcome! ;)
162 No, seriously, if the format is usable, available for Linux and open
163 source/free software, it should be fairly easy to integrate. Support for
164 AAC (m4p) should be the next one to be introduced.
166 Q. I use Debian/RedHat/(put your Unix flavour here) and MP3 encoding is not
167 working. What am I doing wrong?
168 A. Since MP3 is considered non-free (you get it for free, but hardware players
169 and net broadcasters have to pay license fees), some release engineering
170 groups and release management teams have decided not to provide MP3 encoding
171 tools.
172 These distributions or operative systems have decided to use Ogg/Vorbis as
173 the default encoding format, since it contains no (known) patent claims
174 and they are (supposed to be) completely Free (released under a BSD-like
175 license).
176 However, there is no strong (at the moment) hardware support, although
177 some groups and companies are strongly working on getting it, real soon
178 now. For that reason some people prefer to encode to MP3.
181 There are at least 3 known brands already selling Ogg/Vorbis portable
182 players: Rio, iRiver and Neuros.
183 Go buy one and you have no more reasons to use MP3.
185 If you are among those individuals, you might need to add support for MP3
186 encoding to your system:
187 Debian : check to install lame in your system.
188 others prefer bladeenc. Check or google.
189 RedHat : search on
190 FreeBSD: By default includes LAME support.
191 OpenBSD: Available by specifying you want to install the port with LAME
192 support, or by just installing it later from the ports tree.
193 NetBSD : Available in pkgsrc.
195 Others : Please, help me here.
197 Q. Huh! Why is MPPENCODER (with MPP) and .mpc the extension?
198 A. Dunno. You must ask the guys who created and defined the format. The
199 standard is MPEGplus (MPP/MP+) but the files use .mpc extension.
203 ==== ========
205 Q. What happened with normalize?
206 A. Normalize has changed its name under Debian, which is the GNU/Linux
207 distribution for developing abcde (well, is The GNU/Linux Distribution
208 i only use, at the moment). Now it is called normalize-audio.
209 If you are using some other flavour of OS, you need to change the name
210 of the executable in your abcde.conf file.
212 Q. I am using MacOSX and I am having problems to use abcde.
213 A. Well, I have a Mac, but I use linux on it. I have not been able to find
214 a way to make it work there, since I do not have the development tools
215 installed. I have placed a basic support, but some user reports are just
216 complaining about abcde not encoding the ripped tracks, as if
217 cdda2wav/cdparanoia/cddafs would never end reading them. If you have such
218 a system and experience problems, please, report them, and I will try to
219 work them out with your help.
221 Q. My hardware player (put it here) does not recognize the playlists created
222 with abcde. What I am doing wrong?
223 A. Try using "-m" when creating the playlists, or setting DOSPLAYLIST as an
224 option in the config file.
227 --------
228 Q. I set KEEPWAVS to "y" but abcde insists on erasing my directory, along
229 with the wav tracks. What I am doing wrong?
230 A. The default action set includes clean, which cleans the temp directory,
231 if nothing goes wrong. Take the "clean" out from the action list and you
232 are done.
233 UPDATE: KEEPWAVS unselects now the clean action.
235 --
236 Jesus Climent <>