Changelog modified
[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. Contact
7 jesus.climent@hispalinux.es if you have a problem or a suggestion.
8
9
10 1. INSTALLATION
11 ============
12
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).
19
20 abcde needs cd-discid. Grab it from:
21 http://www.hispalinux.es/~data/files/cd-discid/
22
23 Read the README files for a complete list of requirements.
24
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
27 http://svn.hispalinux.es/svn/abcde/trunk
28
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.
33
34
35 2. EXECUTION
36 =========
37
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:
40
41 INTERACTIVE=n
42 OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
43 ID3TAGV=1
44
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.
53
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.
64
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.
70
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.
78
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 $(HOME)/.abcde.conf to
83 override those defaults. More information can be obtained from the man page
84 which can be consulted using "man abcde".
85
86 Q. I keep on getting files with ".ogg.ogg" extension. What am I doing wrong?
87 A. The code for multiple-output adds automatically the extension of the
88 different outputs you select with the "-o" extension (or with OUTPUTTYPE
89 variable). Erase the ".${OUTPUTTYPE}" part from the OUTPUTFORMAT variable
90 in /etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf
91
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.
98
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:
102
103 LAMEOPTS=-h -k
104
105 Try this instead:
106
107 LAMEOPTS='-h -k'
108
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.
114
115 Q. I have a CD with a data track, and abcde complaints it cannot read/encode
116 it.
117 A. From version 2.2 onwards, abcde includes some checkings with cdparanoia, to
118 try to get this right.
119 (It is not easy to find a data track on a CD. Right now, I can only think
120 of getting the track info from CDDB and ask the user for continuing should
121 a "data" track name is found. But the solution is far from been optimal.
122 For now, if you find a "data" track and you know the number, restart abcde
123 specifying the tracks to be encoded, leaving out the data one).
124
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.
133
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.
147
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 "cue" as an action to
150 make a CUE sheet file where the information about the tracks is stored.
151
152 Q. Can I use abcde to take a backup of my CD collection?
153 A. Yes. Use "abcde -1 -o flac -a default,cue" and it will create a single-track
154 FLAC file with an embedded cuesheet. Later on, you can use the command
155 "abcde -o vorbis -d flac-file.flac" to extract the individual tracks in
156 Ogg/Vorbis format. Of course you can select whatever format you want.
157
158
159 3. CDDB
160 ====
161
162 Q. I need to go through an HTTP proxy for CDDB access.
163 A. No problem, just export your http_proxy variable first so wget/fetch/curl
164 can see it.
165
166 Q. I already store CDDB entries in my hard disc. Can I make use of them?
167 A. Piece of cake. Just edit CDDBLOCALDIR to point to the repository and give
168 abcde the "-L" flag to make use of it.
169
170 Q. Fine, now it uses local CDDB, but I have no network connection. How can I
171 disable CDDB checks?
172 A. Use the "-L -n" combination. It will try to use local CDDB entries, and if
173 nothing can be found, it will use a template. You will be also given the
174 choice to edit such template.
175
176 Q. How can I use some other CDDB information provider?
177 A. abcde now uses FreeDB by default. To use a different FreeDB mirror or
178 another CDDB service, change the CDDBURL option in your abcde.conf.
179
180 Q. After requesting CDDB data, I received several answers which seem to be
181 quite alike. Can I find out the difference between some of them?
182 A. Yes. When asked which one you want to select, use "X,Y" where X and Y are
183 the numbers of the selections you want to find the difference between.
184
185
186 3. FORMATS
187 =======
188
189 Q. What formats can I encode my music to?
190 A. As for version 2.2, abcde includes support for MP3, Ogg/Vorbis,
191 Ogg/Speex, Flac and MPP/MP+(Musepack). Support for AAC will be added once
192 an FLOSS encoder/decoder is working.
193
194 Q. I want the new *put the newest and coolest codec there* format to be
195 supported by abcde. Abcde is so cool but i want to encode also to this
196 new format...
197 A. Patches are welcome! ;)
198 No, seriously, if the format is usable, available for Linux and open
199 source/free software, it should be fairly easy to integrate. Support for
200 AAC (m4p) should be the next one to be introduced.
201
202 Q. I use Debian/RedHat/(put your Unix flavour here) and MP3 encoding is not
203 working. What am I doing wrong?
204 A. Since MP3 is considered non-free (you get it for free, but hardware players
205 and net broadcasters have to pay license fees), some release engineering
206 groups and release management teams have decided not to provide MP3 encoding
207 tools.
208 These distributions or operative systems have decided to use Ogg/Vorbis as
209 the default encoding format, since it contains no (known) patent claims
210 and they are (supposed to be) completely Free (released under a BSD-like
211 license).
212 However, there is no strong (at the moment) hardware support, although
213 some groups and companies are strongly working on getting it, real soon
214 now. For that reason some people prefer to encode to MP3.
215
216 UPDATE *** UPDATE
217 There are known brands already selling Ogg/Vorbis portable players: Rio,
218 iRiver, Neuros, iAudio,...
219 Go buy one and you have no more reasons to use MP3.
220
221 If you are among those individuals, you might need to add support for MP3
222 encoding to your system:
223 Debian : check http://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat to install lame in your
224 system. Others prefer bladeenc. Check www.apt-get.org or google.
225 RedHat : search on rpmfind.net
226 FreeBSD: By default includes LAME support.
227 OpenBSD: Available by specifying you want to install the port with LAME
228 support, or by just installing it later from the ports tree.
229 NetBSD : Available in pkgsrc.
230
231 Others : Please, help me here.
232
233 Q. Huh! Why is MPPENCODER (with MPP) and .mpc the extension?
234 A. Dunno. You must ask the guys who created and defined the format. The
235 standard is MPEGplus (MPP/MP+) but the files use .mpc extension.
236
237
238 4. MISC PROBLEMS
239 ==== ========
240
241 Q. What happened with normalize?
242 A. Normalize has changed its name under Debian, which is the GNU/Linux
243 distribution for developing abcde (well, is The GNU/Linux Distribution
244 i only use, at the moment). Now it is called normalize-audio.
245 If you are using some other flavour of OS, you need to change the name
246 of the executable in your abcde.conf file.
247
248 Q. I am using MacOSX and I am having problems to use abcde.
249 A. Well, I have a Mac, but I use linux on it. I have not been able to find
250 a way to make it work there, since I do not have the development tools
251 installed. I have placed a basic support, but some user reports are just
252 complaining about abcde not encoding the ripped tracks, as if
253 cdda2wav/cdparanoia/cddafs would never end reading them. If you have such
254 a system and experience problems, please, report them, and I will try to
255 work them out with your help.
256
257 Q. My hardware player (put it here) does not recognize the playlists created
258 with abcde. What I am doing wrong?
259 A. Try using "-m" when creating the playlists, or setting DOSPLAYLIST as an
260 option in the config file.
261
262 OBSOLETE
263 --------
264 Q. I set KEEPWAVS to "y" but abcde insists on erasing my directory, along
265 with the wav tracks. What I am doing wrong?
266 A. The default action set includes clean, which cleans the temp directory,
267 if nothing goes wrong. Take the "clean" out from the action list and you
268 are done.
269 UPDATE: KEEPWAVS unselects now the clean action.
270
271 --
272 Jesus Climent <jesus.climent@hispalinux.es>