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       abcde  -  Grab  an  entire CD and compress it to Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC,
       Ogg/Speex and/or MPP/MP+(Musepack) format.


       abcde [options] [tracks]


       Ordinarily, the process of grabbing the data off a CD and encoding  it,
       then  tagging or commenting it, is very involved.  abcde is designed to
       automate this. It will  take  an  entire  CD  and  convert  it  into  a
       compressed  audio  format  -  Ogg/Vorbis,  MPEG  Audio  Layer III, Free
       Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), Ogg/Speex,  MPP/MP+(Musepack)  and/or  M4A
       (AAC) format(s).  With one command, it will:

       *      Do  a  CDDB  query over the Internet to look up your CD or use a
              locally stored CDDB entry

       *      Grab an audio track (or all the audio CD tracks) from your CD

       *      Normalize the volume of the individual file (or the album  as  a
              single unit)

       *      Compress  to Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, Ogg/Speex, MPP/MP+(Musepack)
              and/or M4A format(s), all in one CD read

       *      Comment or ID3/ID3v2 tag

       *      Give an intelligible filename

       *      Calculate replaygain values for  the  individual  file  (or  the
              album as a single unit)

       *      Delete the intermediate WAV file (or save it for later use)

       *      Repeat until finished

       Alternatively,  abcde can also grab a CD and turn it into a single FLAC
       file with an embedded cuesheet which can be user later on as  a  source
       for other formats, and will be treated as if it was the original CD. In
       a way, abcde can take a compressed backup of your CD collection.


       -1     Encode the whole CD in a single file. The  resulting  file  uses
              the CD title for tagging. If the resulting format is a flac file
              with an embedded cuesheet, the file can be used as a source  for
              creating  other  formats.  Use  "-1  -o flac -a default,cue" for
              obtaining such a file.

       -a [actions]
              Comma-delimited list of actions to perform. Can be one  or  more
              of:  cddb,  cue, read, normalize, encode, tag, move, replaygain,
              playlist, clean. Normalize and encode imply  read.  Tag  implies
              cddb,  read,  encode.  Move  implies  cddb,  read,  encode, tag.
              Replaygain implies cddb, read, encode, tag and  move.   Playlist
              implies  cddb.  The  default  is  to  do all actions except cue,
              normalize, replaygain and playlist.

       -b     Enable batch mode normalization. See the BATCHNORM configuration

       -B     Disable  batch mode replaygain. It processes file by file to add
              the   replaygain   information.   See   the    NOBATCHREPLAYGAIN
              configuration variable.

       -c [filename]
              Specifies   an   additional   configuration   file   to   parse.
              Configuration  options  in   this   file   override   those   in
              /etc/abcde.conf or $HOME/.abcde.conf.

       -C [discid]
              Allows  you  to  resume  a session for discid when you no longer
              have the CD available (abcde will automatically  resume  if  you
              still  have the CD in the drive). You must have already finished
              at least the "read" action during the previous session.

       -d [devicename | filename]
              CD-ROM block device that  contains  audio  tracks  to  be  read.
              Alternatively,  a single-track flac file with embedded cuesheet.

       -D     Capture debugging information (you’ll want to  redirect  this  -
              try ’abcde -D 2>logfile’)

       -e     Erase  information about encoded tracks from the internal status
              file, to enable other encodings if the wav files have been kept.

       -f     Force  the removal of the temporary ABCDETEMPDIR directory, even
              when we have not finished. For example, one can read and  encode
              several formats, including ´.ogg´, and later on execute a ´move´
              action with only one of the given formats. On a normal situation
              it  would erase the rest of those encoded formats. In this case,
              abcde will refuse to execute such command, except if -f is used.

       -g     Enable  lame’s --nogap option.  See the NOGAP variable. WARNING:
              lame’s --nogap disables the Xing mp3 tag.  This tag is  required
              for  mp3 players to correctly display track lengths when playing
              variable-bit-rate mp3 files.

       -h     Get help information.

       -j [number]
              Start  [number]  encoder  processes  at  once.  Useful  for  SMP
              systems.  Overrides  the MAXPROCS configuration variable. Set it
              to "0" when using distmp3 to avoid local encoding processes.

       -k     Keep the wav files after encoding.

       -l     Use the low-diskspace algorithm. See the  LOWDISK  configuration

       -L     Use a local CDDB repository. See CDDBLOCALDIR variable.

       -n     Do  not query CDDB database. Create and use a template. Edit the
              template to provide song names, artist(s), ...

       -N     Non interactive mode. Do not ask anything from the user. Just go

       -m     Create  DOS-style  playlists,  modifying  the  resulting  one by
              adding CRLF line endings. Some hardware players insist on having
              those to work.

       -o [filetype][:filetypeoptions]
              Select  output  type. Can be "vorbis" (or "ogg"), "mp3", "flac",
              "spx", "mpc", "m4a" or "wav".  Specify a comma-delimited list of
              output  types to obtain all specified types.  See the OUTPUTTYPE
              configuration variable. One can pass options to the encoder  for
              a  specific  filetype on the command line separating them with a
              colon. The options must be escaped with double-quotes.

       -p     Pads track numbers with 0´s.

       -P     Use Unix PIPES to read and  encode  in  one  step.  It  disables
              multiple  encodings, since the WAV audio file is never stored in
              the disc.

       -q [quality]
              Use a  pre-defined  quality  level  for  the  encoding  process.
              Defined  as  low,  medium or high. The "medium" value is used to
              reset the default  values  if  other  are  used  in  the  config

       -r [hosts...]
              Remote  encode  on  this  comma-delimited list of machines using
              distmp3. See the REMOTEHOSTS configuration variable.

       -R     When  CDDBLOCALDIR  and   CDDBUSELOCAL   are   defined,   search
              recursively  under the defined directory for matches of the CDDB

       -s [fields...]
              List, separated by commas, the fields to be shown  in  the  CDDB
              parsed entries.  Right now it only uses "year" and "genre".

       -S [speed]
              Set the speed of the CD drive. Needs CDSPEED and CDSPEEDOPTS set
              properly and both  the  program  and  device  must  support  the

       -t [number]
              Start  the  numbering  of  the tracks at a given number. It only
              affects the filenames and the playlist. Internal (tag) numbering
              remains the same.

       -T [number]
              Same  as  -t but changes also the internal (tag) numbering. Keep
              in mind that the default TRACK tag for MP3 is $T/$TRACKS  so  it
              is changed to simply $T.

       -U     Set  CDDBPROTO  to  version  5,  so that we retrieve ISO-8859-15
              encoded CDDB information, and  we  tag  and  add  comments  with
              Latin1 encoding.

       -v     Show the version and exit

       -V     Be  a bit more verbose. On slow networks the CDDB requests might
              give the sensation nothing is happening.

       -x     Eject the CD when all tracks have been  read.  See  the  EJECTCD
              configuration variable.

       -X [cue2discid]
              Use  an alternative "cue2discid" implementation. The name of the
              binary must be exactly that. abcde comes with an  implementation
              in  python  under  the  examples  directory. The special keyword
              "builtin"  forces  the   usage   of   the   internal   (default)
              implementation in shell script.

       -w [comment]
              Add a comment to the tracks ripped from the CD.

       -W [number]
              Concatenate  CD´s.  It  uses  the  number  provided  to define a
              comment "CD #" and  to  modify  the  numbering  of  the  tracks,
              starting  with  "#01".  For  Ogg/Vorbis  and FLAC files, it also
              defines a DISCNUMBER tag.

       -z     DEBUG mode: it will rip, using cdparanoia, the very first second
              of  each  track  and  proceed  with  the  actions requested very
              quickly, also providing some  "hidden"  information  about  what
              happens  on  the background. CAUTION: IT WILL ERASE ANY EXISTING

              A list of tracks you  want  abcde  to  process.  If  this  isn’t
              specified,  abcde  will process the entire CD. Accepts ranges of
              track numbers - "abcde 1-5 7 9" will process tracks 1, 2, 3,  4,
              5, 7, and 9.


       Each  track  is,  by default, placed in a separate file named after the
       track in a subdirectory  named  after  the  artist  under  the  current
       directory.    This   can   be   modified  using  the  OUTPUTFORMAT  and
       VAOUTPUTFORMAT variables in your abcde.conf.  Each  file  is  given  an
       extension  identifying  its  compression  format,  ’vorbis’ for ’.ogg’,
       ’.mp3’, ’.flac’, ’.spx’, ’.mpc’, ’.aac’ or ’.wav’.


       abcde sources two configuration files on startup - /etc/abcde.conf  and
       $HOME/.abcde.conf, in that order.

       The  configuration  options  stated on those files can be overridden by
              the appropriate flags at runtime.

       The configuration variables have to be set as follows:

              Except when "value" needs to be quoted or otherwise interpreted.
              If other variables  within  "value"  are  to  be  expanded  upon
              reading  the  configuration  file,  then double quotes should be
              used. If they are only supposed to be  expanded  upon  use  (for
              example OUTPUTFORMAT) then single quotes must be used.

       All sh escaping/quoting rules apply.

       Here is a list of options abcde recognizes:

              Specifies  the  method  we  want  to  use  to retrieve the track
              information.   Two   values   are   recognized:    "cddb"    and
              "musicbrainz".  The "cddb" value needs the CDDBURL and HELLOINFO
              variables described below. The "musicbrainz" value  uses  Python
              to  establish  a  conversation  with  the server for information

              Specifies a server to use for CDDB lookups.

              Specifies the protocol version used for the  CDDB  retrieval  of
              results. Version 6 retrieves CDDB entries in UTF-8 format.

              Specifies  the Hello information to send to the CDDB server. The
              CDDB protocol requires you to send a valid username and hostname
              each  time you connect. The format of this is username@hostname.

              Specifies a directory where we store a  local  CDDB  repository.
              The  entries  must  be  standard CDDB entries, with the filename
              being the DISCID value. Other CD playing  and  ripping  programs
              (like  Grip) store the entries under ~/.cddb and we can make use
              of those entries.

              Specifies if the CDDBLOCALDIR has  to  be  searched  recursively
              trying  to  find a match for the CDDB entry. If a match is found
              and selected, and CDDBCOPYLOCAL is selected, it will  be  copied
              to the root of the CDDBLOCALDIR if CDDBLOCALPOLICY is "modified"
              or "new".

              Defines when a CDDB  entry  should  be  stored  in  the  defined
              CDDBLOCALDIR.  The possible policies are: "net" for a CDDB entry
              which has been received from the net (overwriting  any  possible
              local  CDDB  entry);  "new"  for a CDDB entry which was received
              from the net, but will request confirmation to overwrite a local
              CDDB  entry  found  in  the  root of the CDDBLOCALDIR directory;
              "modified" for a CDDB entry found in the  local  repository  but
              which  has  been modified by the user; and "always" which forces
              the CDDB entry to be stored back in the root of the CDDBLOCALDIR
              no  matter  where it was found, and no matter it was not edited.
              This last option will always overwrite the one found in the root
              of the local repository (if any). STILL NOT WORKING!!

              Store  local  copies of the CDDB entries under the $CDDBLOCALDIR

              Actually use the stored copies  of  the  CDDB  entries.  Can  be
              overridden  using  the "-L" flag (if is CDDBUSELOCAL in "n"). If
              an entry is found, we always give the  choice  of  retrieving  a
              CDDB entry from the internet.

              Coma-separated  list  of fields we want to parse during the CDDB
              parsing.  Defaults to "year,genre".

              Specifies the  style  of  encoder  to  use  for  the  Ogg/Vorbis
              encoder. Valid options are ´oggenc´ (default for Ogg/Vorbis) and
              ´vorbize´.  This affects the default location of the binary, the
              variable  to  pick  encoder command-line options from, and where
              the options are given.

              Specifies the style of encoder to use for the MP3 encoder. Valid
              options  are  ´lame´  (default  for  MP3),  ´gogo´,  ´bladeenc´,
              ´l3enc´ and ´mp3enc´.  Affects the same way as  explained  above
              for Ogg/Vorbis.

              Specifies  the  style of encoder to use for the FLAC encoder. At
              this point only ´flac´ is available for FLAC encoding.

              Specifies the style of encoder to use for Speex encoder. At this
              point only ´speexenc´ is available for Ogg/Speex encoding.

              Specifies  the  style  of  encoder to use for MPP/MP+ (Musepack)
              encoder. At this point we only  have  ´mppenc´  available,  from

              Specifies  the style of encoder to use for M4A (AAC) encoder. At
              this point we only support ´faac´, so ´default´ points to it.

              Specifies the style of normalizer to  use.   Valid  options  are
              ´default´  and  ´normalize’ (and  both  run  ´normalize-audio´),
              since we only support it, ATM.

              Specifies the style of cdrom reader to use.  Valid  options  are
              ´cdparanoia´,  ´debug´  and  ´flac´. It is used for querying the
              CDROM and obtain a list of valid tracks  and  DATA  tracks.  The
              special  ´flac´  case  is used to "rip" CD tracks from a single-
              track flac file.

              Specifies the syntax of the program we use to read  the  CD  CUE
              sheet.  Right  now  we  only  support ´mkcue´, but in the future
              other readers might be used.

              It defaults to no, so if you want to keep those wavs ripped from
              your  CD,  set  it  to  "y".  You can use the "-k" switch in the
              command line. The default behaviour with KEEPWAVS set is to keep
              the  temporary  directory  and  the  wav  files  even  you  have
              requested the "clean" action.

              If set to "y", it adds 0’s to the file  numbers  to  complete  a
              two-number holder. Useful when encoding tracks 1-9.

              Set  to  "n" if you want to perform automatic rips, without user

              Define the values for priorities (nice values) for the different
              CPU-hungry  processes: encoding (ENCNICE), CDROM read (READNICE)
              and distributed encoder with distmp3 (DISTMP3NICE).

              The following configuration file options specify  the  pathnames
              of  their  respective  utilities: LAME, TOOLAME, GOGO, BLADEENC,
              MPPENC,   AACEND,   ID3,  ID3V2,  EYED3,  METAFLAC,  CDPARANOIA,
              MKCUE, MKTOC, CUE2DISCID (see option "-X"), DIFF and HTTPGET.

              If you wish to  specify  command-line  options  to  any  of  the
              programs  abcde  uses,  set  the  following  configuration  file
              options:   LAMEOPTS,   TOOLAMEOPTS,   GOGOOPTS,    BLADEENCOPTS,

              Set the value of the CDROM speed. The default  is  to  read  the
              disc  as fast as the reading program and the system permits. The
              steps are defined as 150kB/s (1x).

              The default actions to be performed when reading a disc.

       CDROM  If set, it points to the CD-Rom device which has to be used  for
              audio  extraction. Abcde tries to guess the right device, but it
              may fail. The special ´flac´ option is defined to extract tracks
              from a single-track flac file.

              Defined  as "d" when using cdparanoia with an IDE bus and as "g"
              when using cdparanoia with the ide-scsi emulation layer.

              Specifies the directory to place completed tracks/playlists  in.

              Specifies  the temporary directory to store .wav files in. Abcde
              may use  up  to  700MB  of  temporary  space  for  each  session
              (although  it  is  rare to use over 100MB for a machine that can
              encode music as fast as it can read it).

              Specifies the encoding format to output, as well as the  default
              extension  and encoder. Defaults to "vorbis". Valid settings are
              "vorbis" (or "ogg")  (Ogg/Vorbis),  "mp3"  (MPEG-1  Audio  Layer
              III),  "flac"  (Free  Lossless  Audio Codec), "spx" (Ogg/Speex),
              "mpc" (MPP/MP+ (Musepack)),  "m4a"  (for  M4A  (AAC))  or  "wav"
              (Microsoft Waveform). Values like "vorbis,mp3" encode the tracks
              in both Ogg/Vorbis and MP3 formats. For example
              For each value in OUTPUTTYPE, abcde expands a different  process
              for  encoding,  tagging  and  moving,  so you can use the format
              placeholder, OUTPUT, to create different subdirectories to  hold
              the  different  types.  The  variable  OUTPUT  will be ’vorbis’,
              ’mp3’, ’flac’, ’spx’, ’mpc’, ’m4a’ and/or  ’wav’,  depending  on
              the OUTPUTTYPE you define. For example

              Specifies  the  format  for  completed  Ogg/Vorbis,  MP3,  FLAC,
              Ogg/Speex,  MPP/MP+  (Musepack)  or M4A filenames. Variables are
              included using standard  shell  syntax.  Allowed  variables  are
              Default                                                       is
              ´${ARTISTFILE}-${ALBUMFILE}/${TRACKNUM}-${TRACKFILE}´.      Make
              sure to use single quotes  around  this  variable.  TRACKNUM  is
              automatically  zero-padded, when the number of encoded tracks is
              higher than 9. When lower,  you  can  force  with  ’-p’  in  the
              command line.

              Just  like  OUTPUTFORMAT  but  for  Various  Artists  discs. The
              default                                                       is

              Just  like  OUTPUTFORMAT  but  for single-track rips (see option
              "-1"). The default is ’${ARTISTFILE}-${ALBUMFILE}/${ALBUMFILE}’

              Just like ONETRACKOUTPUTFORMAT but for  Various  Artists  discs.
              The default is ’Various-${ALBUMFILE}/${ALBUMFILE}’

              Defines  how  many  encoders to run at once. This makes for huge
              speedups on SMP systems. You should run one encoder per  CPU  at
              once  for  maximum  efficiency,  although more doesn’t hurt very
              much. Set it "0" when using mp3dist to  avoid  getting  encoding
              processes in the local host.

              If set to y, conserves disk space by encoding tracks immediately
              after reading them. This is  substantially  slower  than  normal
              operation but requires several hundred MB less space to complete
              the encoding of an entire CD. Use only if your system is low  on
              space and cannot encode as quickly as it can read.

              Note  that  this  option  may  also  help when reading a CD with
              errors. This is because on a  scratchy  disk  reading  is  quite
              timing  sensitive and this option reduces the background load on
              the  system  which  allows  the  ripping  program  more  precise

              If  set  to y, enables batch mode normalization, which preserves
              relative volume differences between tracks  of  an  album.  Also
              enables nogap encoding when using the ´lame´ encoder.

       NOGAP  Activate  the  lame’s --nogap option, that allows files found in
              CDs with no silence between songs (such as live concerts) to  be
              encoded   without   noticeable  gaps.  WARNING:  lame’s  --nogap
              disables the Xing mp3 tag.  This tag is required for mp3 players
              to  correctly  display  track lengths when playing variable-bit-
              rate mp3 files.

              Specifies the format for  completed  playlist  filenames.  Works
              like   the   OUTPUTFORMAT  configuration  variable.  Default  is
              ´${ARTISTFILE}_-_${ALBUMFILE}.m3u´.  Make  sure  to  use  single
              quotes around this variable.

              Specifies  a  prefix for filenames within a playlist. Useful for
              http playlists, etc.

              If set, the resulting playlist will  have  CR-LF  line  endings,
              needed by some hardware-based players.

              Specifies  a comment to embed in the ID3 or Ogg comment field of
              each finished track. Can be up to 28 characters  long.  Supports
              the  same  syntax  as  OUTPUTFORMAT.  Does not currently support

              Specifies a comma-delimited list of systems to  use  for  remote
              encoding using distmp3. Equivalent to -r.

              mungefilename()   is   an  abcde  shell  function  that  can  be
              overridden via abcde.conf. It takes CDDB data as $1 and  outputs
              the  resulting filename on stdout. It defaults to eating control
              characters, apostrophes and question marks,  translating  spaces
              and forward slashes to underscores, and translating colons to an
              underscore and a hyphen.
              If you modify this function, it is probably a good idea to  keep
              the  forward  slash munging (UNIX cannot store a file with a ’/’
              char in it) as well as the control character munging (NULs can’t
              be  in a filename either, and newlines and such in filenames are
              typically not desirable).

              mungegenre () is a shell function  used  to  modify  the  $GENRE
              variable. As a default action, it takes $GENRE as $1 and outputs
              the  resulting  value  to  stdout   converting   all   UPPERCASE
              characters to lowercase.

              pre_read  ()  is  a  shell function which is executed before the
              CDROM is read for the first time, during abcde execution. It can
              be  used  to close the CDROM tray, to set its speed (via "setcd"
              or via "eject", if available) and other preparation actions. The
              default function is empty.

              post_read  ()  is  a  shell function which is executed after the
              CDROM is read (and, if applies, before the CDROM is ejected). It
              can  be used to read a TOC from the CDROM, or to try to read the
              DATA areas from the CD (if any exist).  The default function  is

              If  set to "y", abcde will call eject(1) to eject the cdrom from
              the drive after all tracks have been read. It has no effect when
              CDROM is set to a flac file.

              If  set  to  "y", some operations which are usually now shown to
              the end user are visible,  such  as  CDDB  queries.  Useful  for
              initial debug and if your network/CDDB server is slow.


       Possible ways one can call abcde

       abcde  Will work in most systems

       abcde -d /dev/cdrom2
              If the CDROM you are reading from is not the standard /dev/cdrom
              (in GNU/Linux systems)

       abcde -o vorbis,flac
              Will create both Ogg/Vorbis and Ogg/FLAC files.

       abcde -o vorbis:"-b 192"
              Will pass "-b 192" to the Ogg/Vorbis encoder, without having  to
              modify the config file

       abcde -W 1
              For  double+  CD  settings: will create the 1st CD starting with
              the track number 101, and will add  a  comment  "CD  1"  to  the
              tracks, the second starting with 201 and so on.

       abcde -d singletrack.flac
              Will  extract  the  files  contained  in  singletrack  using the
              embedded cuesheet.


       abcde requires the following backend tools to work:

       *      An Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, Ogg/Speex,  MPP/MP+(Musepack)  or  M4A
              encoder  (oggenc,  vorbize, lame, gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, mp3enc,
              flac, speexenc, mppenc, faac)

       *      An audio  CD  reading  utility  (cdparanoia,  icedax,  cdda2wav,

       *      cd-discid, a CDDB DiscID reading program.

       *      An HTTP retrieval program: wget, fetch (FreeBSD) or curl (Mac OS
              X, among others). Alternatively,  musicbrainz-get-tracks  (which
              depends  on  Python)  can  be  used to retrieve CDDB information
              about the CD.

       *      (for MP3s) id3 or id3v2, id3 v1 and v2 tagging programs.

       *      (optional)  distmp3,  a  client/server   for   distributed   mp3

       *      (optional) normalize-audio, a WAV file volume normalizer.

       *      (optional)   a  replaygain  file  volume  modifier  (vorbisgain,
              metaflac, mp3gain, replaygain),

       *      (optional) mkcue, a CD cuesheet extractor.


       cdparanoia(1), icedax(1), cdda2wav(1),  dagrab(1),  normalize-audio(1),
       oggenc(1),  vorbize(1),  flac(1),  toolame(1),  speexenc(1), mppenc(1),
       faac(1), id3(1), id3v2(1), wget(1), fetch(1), cd-discid(1), distmp3(1),
       distmp3host(1), curl(1), mkcue(1), vorbisgain(1), mp3gain(1)


       Robert       Woodcock       <>,       Jesus       Climent
       <> and contributions from many others.