Doc bits.
[clinton/abcde.git] / README
2 =====
4 abcde is a frontend command-line utility (actually, a shell script) that
5 grabs tracks off a CD or a singletrack flac file with an embeded cuesheet,
6 encodes them to Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, Ogg/Speex and/or MPP/MP+(Musepack)
7 format, and tags them, all in one go.
9 Your finished Ogg/MP3/FLAC/Speex/MPP's are, by default, stored in a subdirectory
10 of the current directory (named after the artist) with a filename based on the
11 track title. Spaces are replaced by underscores, and apostrophes and control
12 codes are filtered out. Colons are replaced with an underscore and a hyphen. The
13 end result usually looks like: Our_Lady_Peace/01.Supermans_Dead.ogg This
14 filename munging is customizable - edit the mungefilename function in your
15 abcde.conf to change it.
17 Many of the questions related of problems executing abcde have been moved to the
18 FAQ, which should be distributed along with this package. Reffer to that file
19 for more help.
22 =============
23 Changes in 2.4:
24 * Read TOC entries from the CD. The default uses cdrdao. The program mkcue is
25 also optional.
26 * Possibility to use CDDBCHOICE1,CDDBCHOICE2 (i.e., 1,3) to get a diff of two
27 parsed CDDB entries.
28 * Added SHOWCDDBFIELDS to define wether to show the YEAR and GENRE fields from
29 the CDDB output.
30 * Added the possibility of embeding a cuesheet on a singletrack flac file. A
31 single BACKUP flag is most likely needed to use all the needed flags:
32 "abcde -1 -M -o flac"
33 * Added the possibility of using a singletrack flac file with an embeded
34 cuesheet as a source to extract tracks from (use -X to specify an external
35 CUE2DISCID implementation; check under examples in the distributed source
36 code or package).
37 * Added replaygain for Ogg/Vorbis and Ogg/FLAC.
38 * Added M4A encoding.
39 * Uses the default found $CDROMREADER instead of forcing cdparanoia when
40 cdda2wav is installed.
41 * BATCH mode has been splitted into two options: BATCHNORM and NOGAP.
42 * Added -U option for non-UNICODE (UTF-8) tag encoding.
43 * Added -z for debug.
44 * Added -f to force the removal of left files.
46 Changes in 2.3:
47 * Support for mkcue, to create a CUE sheet of the CD structure. It can be used
48 with "-1" to create a backup, so that later the original CD can be recreated.
49 * New -o <output(1)>:<options(1)>,... way of passing specific options to an
50 output. Now we can pass specific options without having to modify a config
51 file. This feature was already present in the last versions of the 2.2 cycle.
52 * Unix PIPEs, as a second way to encode files with a low disc space.
53 * Option to erase the "encoded" entries from the status file. Allows one to
54 encode the wav files (in case they were not erased) into another format. This
55 is needed until status information is stored for each format.
56 * The "ogg" output mode will be substituted for "vorbis" in the near future.
57 This release adds a compatibility layer so that both entries work.
58 * The FLAC encoder forces the files to be overwritten, in case they previously
59 exists. This avoids a half-through abcde run to continue without errors in
60 case it was cancelled during the FLAC encoding.
61 * Added a post_read() function so that we can do things with the CD before we
62 eject it.
64 Changes in 2.2:
66 * Support for MPP/MP+(Musepack) format. It can be downloaded from
67 It is supposed to be Free (not only free), and released under
68 the GPL...
69 * New "-t <number>" option for starting the numbering of the output files at a
70 given starting number. Ideal for albums with more than one CD.
71 * New "-T <number>" option, similar to "-t" but also modifies the tag entries
72 on the files themselves.
73 * New "-w <COMMENT>" to add a comment to the tracks of a given CD rip. Use
75 * New "-W <number>" option to combine both a comment with "CD #number" and a
76 starting number for both the tracks and the tags with "#01" (that is, 101 for
77 the 1st CD, 201 for the second...)
78 * Support for keeping an existing playlist (and not add new entries to it),
79 erase the existing one (overwrite) or append new entries to the existing
80 one.
81 * Under ./examples you will find a very basic way to make abcde run in the
82 background and start a non-interactive rip of a CD, if it can find an
83 audio CD in the tray.
84 The abcded script depends on eject and cdparanoia being installed in your
85 system.
86 * New mungegenre function to switch off (or modify) the default behaviour of
87 transforming uppercase characters to lowercase.
88 * cdparanoia permits performing a query to the CD drive and obtain a list of
89 valid audio tracks. So, now we perform such query and process the results.
90 * Support for "None of the above" has been added with the "0" selection. A
91 template is created, and the selection to edit it is defaulted to "y".
93 New options in 2.1.19:
95 * ONETRACK mode has been introduced. Setting the flag "-1" will create a
96 single file with all the tracks from the CD.
98 Changes in 2.1.18:
100 * CDSPEED option defaults to eject. However, since cdparanoia has a built-in
101 option to set the speed, we use it. There is not way (right now) to force the
102 use of eject, but it will be introduced in a future release. Also one can use
103 the pre_read function to set the speed with other program.
105 New options in 2.1.16:
107 * -S, CDSPEED and CDSPEEDOPTS for setting the speed of the CDROM. One can set
108 the options in abcde.conf and pass the value on the command line. This option
109 can be used with "eject -x <speed>", "setcd -x <speed>" or the built-in
110 cdparanoia option "-S <speed>", if the CD reader supports it.
111 * Added a pre-read function. Modify it at your pleasure in abcde.conf
112 One can use it to close the CD drive.
113 * -m option, to modify the playlist to include CRLF in every line. Some players
114 insist on having those to work properly with playlists.
116 New options in 2.1.15:
118 * -V can be used to obtain some more information about the CDDB queries.
119 * -v shows the version, basic help, and exits.
121 New options from 2.1.10 to 2.1.13:
123 * CDROMID has been introduced for cdda2wav use with SCSI devices.
124 * Use -L to retrieve the CDDB entries from a local repository (also one can
125 set CDDBUSELOCAL in the config file).
126 * If CDDBCOPYLOCAL is set to "y" we store copies of the CDDB entries, under
127 CDDBLOCALDIR (defaults to "~/.cddb).
129 Modifications from 2.1.9 to 2.1.10:
131 * Initial (still incomplete) MacOSX support is on the works.
132 * A new tool (curl) has been added for MacOSX compatibility, as HTTPGET
133 option.
135 Options modified from 2.1.8 to 2.1.9:
137 * KEEPWAVS option now sets the clean to "no".
139 Options added/modified from 2.1.3 to 2.1.5:
141 * Ogg/Speex added. Use "-o spx" to rip your audiobooks, for instance.
143 Options added/modified from 2.1.1 to 2.1.3:
145 * WGET has been substituted by HTTPGET. Now we support fetch as retrieval
146 program.
147 * KEEPWAVS has been introduced. Set it to "y" and the wav tracks will be
148 kept.
149 * CDDBPROTO is used to specify the protocol level in the CDDB retrieval.
150 * DAGRAB has been introduced as a cd ripper.
152 Options added/modified from 2.0.3 to 2.1.x:
154 * -b use batch processing. It uses normalize-audio to adjust the volume of
155 the songs, and a -g gapless option from lame to remove gaps. Only available
156 for mp3+lame combination.
157 * a new "normalize" option has been added to -a, to normalize the volume.
158 * -o works now with a combination of the different outputs: ogg, mp3, flac.
159 Combine them separated by ",". Example: "-o ogg,flac".
160 * OUTPUTTYPE is no longer used for the output file type. From version 2.1 abcde
161 implements multiple-output and the file type is always appended at the end of
162 the file. The OUTPUT variable can be used in the PLAYLISTFORMAT and
163 OUTPUTFORMAT to create different directory structures and playlist names for
164 each of the output formats selected.
166 * DYEAR can be used as DiskYear value in CDDB data. If the data is not supplied
167 by the CDDB server, it can be added.
169 Other options that changed from 1.x to 2.x:
171 * -e doesn't exist anymore, abcde now presents you with all of the cddb data
172 and asks you if you want to edit it. If you don't want to be asked,
173 use -N or INTERACTIVE=n
174 * The output type defaults to Ogg/Vorbis. Specify -o mp3 or OUTPUTTYPE=mp3
175 if you still want to output mp3's.
176 * -l 2 is now just -l, LOWDISK=2 should now be LOWDISK=y
177 * -V and -v are gone, abcde will now prompt you if you'd like to use Various
178 Artists handling, after showing you the cddb data.
179 * -P is now '-a playlist,clean', PLAYLISTONLY=y is now
180 ACTIONS=playlist,clean
181 * -p is now '-a playlist,move,clean', PLAYLIST=y is now
182 ACTIONS=playlist,move,clean
183 * cddb-tool has been cleaned up a little bit. 'get' is now 'query' and
184 'read', and the tempfile handling has been removed.
185 * ID3COMMENT is now COMMENT.
186 * FreeDB is now the default CDDB database.
190 ============
192 abcde requires the following backend tools to work:
194 * An Ogg/Vorbis encoder (oggenc, the default, or vorbize) or:
195 * An MP3 encoder (lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, etc). Any MP3 encoder that
196 takes two filenames on the command line, one for input, one for output,
197 will work.
198 You can get lame at:
199 You can get gogo at:
200 You can get BladeEnc at:
201 You can get a trial version of mp3enc at:
202 or:
203 * FLAC encoder (flac) or:
204 * Ogg/Speex encoder (speexenc) or:
205 * MPP/MP+(Musepack) encoder (mppenc) or:
206 * AAC encoder (faac)
207 * normalize-audio for volume normalization.
208 * CD Paranoia, an audio CD reading utility or:
209 * cdda2wav, the audio CD reading utility cdparanoia was born from or:
210 * dagrab, another audio CD reading utility.
211 * cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program. Formerly bundled with abcde.
212 It's available in Debian or
213 * An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (MacOSX)
214 * id3, an id3 tagging program. Available at:
215 * id3v2, an id3 version 2.0 tagger.
216 * (optional) distmp3, a client/server for distributed mp3 encoding.
217 You can get distmp3 at
219 Abcde's new mailing list is So far has not
220 been actively used.
221 The posts from non-subscribers are moderated to prevent spam.
223 Archives of the old list are publically available at:
226 Abcde's current page is at
227 Abcde's old homepage is at
228 --
229 Jesus Climent <>
231 abcde was originally created by Robert Woodcock <>