It is a dynamic file, so out
[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, Ogg/Speex and/or
6 MPP/MP+(Musepack) format, and tags them, all in one go.
8 Your finished Ogg/MP3/FLAC/Speex/MPP's are, by default, stored in a subdirectory
9 of 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 track.
29 abcde now uses FreeDB by default. To use a different FreeDB mirror or
30 another CDDB service, change the CDDBURL option in your abcde.conf.
32 Frustrated that you can't use the CPU power on Machine A sitting right
33 next to Machine B with the fast cdrom drive? Now you don't have to be -
34 Run distmp3host (included in distmp3) on Machine A, and then run
35 abcde -r MachineA from Machine B (where "MachineA" is a dns name or IP
36 address). Use this in combination with '-j 0' to shift all encoding off the
37 local machine.
39 You do not have internet connection, or just feel with free time to write
40 down all the song names and artists instead of using CDDB? Use -n and edit
41 the template.
43 To make abcde 2.x work more like 1.x, put these options in your abcde.conf:
47 ID3TAGV=1
49 NOTICE: abcde needs cd-discid. Grab it from:
53 =============
54 Changes in 2.2-pre2:
56 * Support for MPP/MP+(Musepack) format. It can be downloaded from
57 It is supposed to be Free (not only free), and released
58 under the GPL...
59 * New "-s <number>" option for starting the numbering of the output files at
60 a given starting number. Ideal for albums with more than one CD.
61 * Support for keeping an existing playlist (and not add new entries to it),
62 erase the existing one (overwrite) or append new entries to the existing
63 one.
64 * Under ./examples you will find a very basic way to make abcde run in the
65 background and start a non-interactive rip of a CD, if it can find an
66 audio CD in the tray.
67 The abcded script depends on eject and cdparanoia being installed in your
68 system.
69 * New mungegenre function to switch off (or modify) the default behaviour of
70 transforming uppercase characters to lowercase.
72 Changes in 2.2-pre1:
74 * cdparanoia permits performing a query to the CD drive and obtain a list of
75 valid audio tracks. So, now we perform such query and process the results.
76 * Support for "None of the above" has been added with the "0" selection. A
77 template is created, and the selection to edit it is defaulted to "y".
79 New options in 2.1.19:
81 * ONETRACK mode has been introduced. Setting the flag "-1" will create a
82 single file with all the tracks from the CD.
84 Changes in 2.1.18:
86 * CDSPEED option defaults to eject. However, since cdparanoia has a built-in
87 option to set the speed, we use it. There is not way (right now) to force
88 the use of eject, but it will be introduced in a future release. Also one
89 can use the pre_read function to set the speed with other program.
91 New options in 2.1.16:
93 * -S, CDSPEED and CDSPEEDOPTS for setting the speed of the CDROM. One can
94 set the options in abcde.conf and pass the value on the command line.
95 This option can be used with "eject -x <speed>", "setcd -x <speed>" or the
96 built-in cdparanoia option "-S <speed>", if the CD reader supports it.
97 * Added a pre-read function. Modify it at your pleasure in abcde.conf
98 One can use it to close the CD drive.
99 * -m option, to modify the playlist to include CRLF in every line. Some
100 players insist on having those to work properly with playlists.
102 New options in 2.1.15:
104 * -V can be used to obtain some more information about the CDDB queries.
105 * -v shows the version, basic help, and exits.
107 New options from 2.1.10 to 2.1.13:
109 * CDROMID has been introduced for cdda2wav use with SCSI devices.
110 * Use -L to retrieve the CDDB entries from a local repository (also one can
111 set CDDBUSELOCAL in the config file).
112 * If CDDBCOPYLOCAL is set to "y" we store copies of the CDDB entries, under
113 CDDBLOCALDIR (defaults to "~/.cddb).
115 Modifications from 2.1.9 to 2.1.10:
117 * Initial (still incomplete) MacOSX support is on the works.
118 * A new tool (curl) has been added for MacOSX compatibility, as HTTPGET
119 option.
121 Options modified from 2.1.8 to 2.1.9:
123 * KEEPWAVS option now sets the clean to "no".
125 Options added/modified from 2.1.3 to 2.1.5:
127 * Ogg/Speex added. Use "-o spx" to rip your audiobooks, for instance.
129 Options added/modified from 2.1.1 to 2.1.3:
131 * WGET has been substituted by HTTPGET. Now we support fetch as retrieval
132 program.
133 * KEEPWAVS has been introduced. Set it to "y" and the wav tracks will be
134 kept.
135 * CDDBPROTO is used to specify the protocol level in the CDDB retrieval.
136 * DAGRAB has been introduced as a cd ripper.
138 Options added/modified from 2.0.3 to 2.1.x:
140 * -b use batch processing. It uses normalize to adjust the volume of the
141 songs, and a -g gapless option from lame to remove gaps. Only available
142 for mp3+lame combination.
143 * a new "normalize" option has been added to -a, to normalize the volume.
144 * -o works now with a combination of the different outputs: ogg, mp3, flac.
145 Combine them separated by ",". Example: "-o ogg,flac".
146 * OUTPUTTYPE is no longer used for the output file type. From version 2.1
147 abcde implements multiple-output and the file type is always appended at
148 the end of the file. The OUTPUT variable can be used in the
149 PLAYLISTFORMAT and OUTPUTFORMAT to create different directory structures
150 and playlist names for each of the output formats selected.
151 * DYEAR can be used as DiskYear value in CDDB data. If the data is not
152 supplied by the CDDB server, it can be added.
154 Other options that changed from 1.x to 2.x:
156 * -e doesn't exist anymore, abcde now presents you with all of the cddb data
157 and asks you if you want to edit it. If you don't want to be asked,
158 use -N or INTERACTIVE=n
159 * The output type defaults to Ogg/Vorbis. Specify -o mp3 or OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
160 if you still want to output mp3's.
161 * -l 2 is now just -l, LOWDISK=2 should now be LOWDISK=y
162 * -V and -v are gone, abcde will now prompt you if you'd like to use Various
163 Artists handling, after showing you the cddb data.
164 * -P is now '-a playlist,clean', PLAYLISTONLY=y is now
165 ACTIONS=playlist,clean
166 * -p is now '-a playlist,move,clean', PLAYLIST=y is now
167 ACTIONS=playlist,move,clean
168 * cddb-tool has been cleaned up a little bit. 'get' is now 'query' and
169 'read', and the tempfile handling has been removed.
170 * ID3COMMENT is now COMMENT.
171 * FreeDB is now the default CDDB database.
175 ============
177 abcde requires the following backend tools to work:
179 * An Ogg/Vorbis encoder (oggenc, the default, or vorbize) or:
180 * An MP3 encoder (lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, etc). Any MP3 encoder that
181 takes two filenames on the command line, one for input, one for output,
182 will work.
183 You can get lame at:
184 You can get gogo at:
185 You can get BladeEnc at:
186 You can get a trial version of mp3enc at:
187 or:
188 * FLAC encoder (flac) or:
189 * Ogg/Speex encoder (speexenc) or:
190 * MPP/MP+(Musepack) encoder (mppenc)
191 * normalize for volume normalization.
192 * CD Paranoia, an audio CD reading utility,
193 * Or cdda2wav, the audio CD reading utility cdparanoia was born from,
194 * Or dagrab, another audio CD reading utility.
195 * cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program. Formerly bundled with abcde.
196 It's available in Debian or
197 * An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (MacOSX)
198 * id3, an id3 tagging program. Available at:
199 * id3v2, an id3 version 2.0 tagger.
200 * (optional) distmp3, a client/server for distributed mp3 encoding.
201 You can get distmp3 at
203 Potential problems:
205 Having trouble getting cdparanoia to read from your drive as a user?
206 Add yourself to the cdrom group, change the permissions on your cdrom device
207 to 660, and if you have a SCSI cdrom drive, check the permissions on
208 /dev/sg* as well.
210 Running out of disk space for .wav files but don't want to use -l? Put them
211 in a different location by adding WAVOUTPUTDIR=/some/other/path to your
212 /etc/abcde.conf or ~/.abcde.conf.
214 If abcde seems to be ignoring your configuration options or not running
215 commands such as the encoder, you may have misquoted something. Config
216 options such as the following do not work:
218 LAMEOPTS=-h -k
220 Try this instead:
222 LAMEOPTS='-h -k'
224 Abcde's new mailing list is So far has not
225 been actively used.
226 The posts from non-subscribers are moderated to prevent spam.
228 Archives of the old list are publically available at:
231 Abcde's current page is at
232 Abcde's new homepage will be at
233 Abcde's old homepage is at
234 --
235 Robert Woodcock <>
236 Jesus Climent <>