Check-in after database failure
[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 or Ogg/Speex
6 format, and tags them, all in one go.
8 Your finished Ogg/MP3/FLAC/Speex's are, by default, stored in a subdirectory of
9 the current directory (named after the artist) with a filename based on the
10 track title. Spaces are replaced by underscores, and apostrophes and
11 control codes are filtered out. Colons are replaced with an underscore and a
12 hyphen. The end result usually looks like: Our_Lady_Peace/01.Supermans_Dead.ogg
13 This filename munging is customizable - edit the mungefilename function in
14 your abcde.conf to change it.
16 Need to go through an HTTP proxy for CDDB access? No problem, just export
17 your 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
27 'abcde -j 2' - it'll run two encoder jobs while it rips the next
28 track.
30 abcde now uses FreeDB by default. To use a different FreeDB mirror or
31 another CDDB service, change the CDDBURL option in your abcde.conf.
33 Frustrated that you can't use the CPU power on Machine A sitting right
34 next to Machine B with the fast cdrom drive? Now you don't have to be -
35 Run distmp3host (included in distmp3) on Machine A, and then run
36 abcde -r MachineA from Machine B (where "MachineA" is a dns name or IP
37 address). Use this in combination with '-j 0' to shift all encoding off the
38 local machine.
40 You do not have internet connection, or just feel with free time to write
41 down all the song names and artists instead of using CDDB? Use -n and edit
42 the template.
44 To make abcde 2.x work more like 1.x, put these options in your abcde.conf:
48 ID3TAGV=1
50 NOTICE: abcde needs cd-discid. Grab it from:
54 =============
55 New options in 2.1.19:
57 * ONETRACK mode has been introduced. Setting the flag "-1" will create a
58 single file with all the tracks from the CD.
60 Changes in 2.1.18:
62 * CDSPEED option defaults to eject. However, since cdparanoia has a built-in
63 option to set the speed, we use it. There is not way (right now) to force
64 the use of eject, but it will be introduced in a future release. Also one
65 can use the pre_read function to set the speed with other program.
67 New options in 2.1.16:
69 * -S, CDSPEED and CDSPEEDOPTS for setting the speed of the CDROM. One can
70 set the options in abcde.conf and pass the value on the command line.
71 This option can be used with "eject -x <speed>", "setcd -x <speed>" or the
72 built-in cdparanoia option "-S <speed>", if the CD reader supports it.
73 * Added a pre-read function. Modify it at your pleasure in abcde.conf
74 One can use it to close the CD drive.
75 * -m option, to modify the playlist to include CRLF in every line. Some
76 players insist on having those to work properly with playlists.
78 New options in 2.1.15:
80 * -V can be used to obtain some more information about the CDDB queries.
81 * -v shows the version, basic help, and exits.
83 New options from 2.1.10 to 2.1.13:
85 * CDROMID has been introduced for cdda2wav use with SCSI devices.
86 * Use -L to retrieve the CDDB entries from a local repository (also one can
87 set CDDBUSELOCAL in the config file).
88 * If CDDBCOPYLOCAL is set to "y" we store copies of the CDDB entries, under
89 CDDBLOCALDIR (defaults to "~/.cddb).
91 Modifications from 2.1.9 to 2.1.10:
93 * Initial (still incomplete) MacOSX support is on the works.
94 * A new tool (curl) has been added for MacOSX compatibility, as HTTPGET
95 option.
97 Options modified from 2.1.8 to 2.1.9:
99 * KEEPWAVS option now sets the clean to "no".
101 Options added/modified from 2.1.3 to 2.1.5:
103 * Ogg/Speex added. Use "-o spx" to rip your audiobooks, for instance.
105 Options added/modified from 2.1.1 to 2.1.3:
107 * WGET has been substituted by HTTPGET. Now we support fetch as retrieval
108 program.
109 * KEEPWAVS has been introduced. Set it to "y" and the wav tracks will be
110 kept.
111 * CDDBPROTO is used to specify the protocol level in the CDDB retrieval.
112 * DAGRAB has been introduced as a cd ripper.
114 Options added/modified from 2.0.3 to 2.1.x:
116 * -b use batch processing. It uses normalize to adjust the volume of the
117 songs, and a -g gapless option from lame to remove gaps. Only available
118 for mp3+lame combination.
119 * a new "normalize" option has been added to -a, to normalize the volume.
120 * -o works now with a combination of the different outputs: ogg, mp3, flac.
121 Combine them separated by ",". Example: "-o ogg,flac".
122 * OUTPUTTYPE is no longer used for the output file type. From version 2.1
123 abcde implements multiple-output and the file type is always appended at
124 the end of the file. The OUTPUT variable can be used in the
125 PLAYLISTFORMAT and OUTPUTFORMAT to create different directory structures
126 and playlist names for each of the output formats selected.
127 * DYEAR can be used as DiskYear value in CDDB data. If the data is not
128 supplied by the CDDB server, it can be added.
130 Other options that changed from 1.x to 2.x:
132 * -e doesn't exist anymore, abcde now presents you with all of the cddb data
133 and asks you if you want to edit it. If you don't want to be asked,
134 use -N or INTERACTIVE=n
135 * The output type defaults to Ogg/Vorbis. Specify -o mp3 or OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
136 if you still want to output mp3's.
137 * -l 2 is now just -l, LOWDISK=2 should now be LOWDISK=y
138 * -V and -v are gone, abcde will now prompt you if you'd like to use Various
139 Artists handling, after showing you the cddb data.
140 * -P is now '-a playlist,clean', PLAYLISTONLY=y is now
141 ACTIONS=playlist,clean
142 * -p is now '-a playlist,move,clean', PLAYLIST=y is now
143 ACTIONS=playlist,move,clean
144 * cddb-tool has been cleaned up a little bit. 'get' is now 'query' and
145 'read', and the tempfile handling has been removed.
146 * ID3COMMENT is now COMMENT.
147 * FreeDB is now the default CDDB database.
151 ============
153 abcde requires the following backend tools to work:
155 * An Ogg/Vorbis encoder (oggenc, the default, or vorbize) or:
156 * An MP3 encoder (lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, etc). Any MP3 encoder that
157 takes two filenames on the command line, one for input, one for output,
158 will work.
159 You can get lame at:
160 You can get gogo at:
161 You can get BladeEnc at:
162 You can get a trial version of mp3enc at:
163 or:
164 * FLAC encoder (flac) or:
165 * Ogg/Speex encoder (speexenc)
166 * normalize for volume normalization.
167 * CD Paranoia, an audio CD reading utility,
168 * Or cdda2wav, the audio CD reading utility cdparanoia was born from,
169 * Or dagrab, another audio CD reading utility.
170 * cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program. Formerly bundled with abcde.
171 It's available in Debian or
172 * An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (MacOSX)
173 * id3, an id3 tagging program. Available at:
174 * id3v2, an id3 version 2.0 tagger.
175 * (optional) distmp3, a client/server for distributed mp3 encoding.
176 You can get distmp3 at
178 Potential problems:
180 Having trouble getting cdparanoia to read from your drive as a user?
181 Add yourself to the cdrom group, change the permissions on your cdrom device
182 to 660, and if you have a SCSI cdrom drive, check the permissions on
183 /dev/sg* as well.
185 Running out of disk space for .wav files but don't want to use -l? Put them
186 in a different location by adding WAVOUTPUTDIR=/some/other/path to your
187 /etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf.
189 If abcde seems to be ignoring your configuration options or not running
190 commands such as the encoder, you may have misquoted something. Config
191 options such as the following do not work:
193 LAMEOPTS=-h -k
195 Try this instead:
197 LAMEOPTS='-h -k'
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 new homepage will be at
208 Abcde's old homepage is at
209 --
210 Robert Woodcock <>
211 Jesus Climent <>