abcde - A Better CD Encoder
Grab an entire CD and compress it to Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, AAC, Ogg/Speex and/or MPP/MP+(Musepack) format.
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), M4A (AAC) or Opus format(s). With one command, it will:
- Do a CDDB or Musicbrainz query over the Internet to look up your CD or use a locally stored CDDB entry, or read CD-TEXT from your CD as a fallback for track information
- 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), M4A and/or Opus 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.
Older releases of abcde were hosted using Google Code, but Google removed the ability to push new tarball downloads there a while ago so we decided to move away. We still have some old bugs in the Issue Tracker there (for now!), but the canonical download location is now https://abcde.einval.com/download/ (here!).
abcde version 2.7.2 is the most recent download and was released on April 6th 2016.
We've switched to using git for our code repository; see https://git.einval.com/cgi-bin/gitweb.cgi?p=abcde.git;a=summary for code access.
The best place for discussion is the abcde-users mailing list.
The right place to report bugs in abcde is now in our own bugzilla: https://abcde.einval.com/bugzilla/ . We used to use Google Code's issue tracker, but we have now moved away from it. Old bugs filed there will not be transcribed to the new bugzilla by the abcde developers - if you have an issue there that you'd like to see continued focus on, feel free to file a new bug about it.
Meet on IRC
If you prefer a more 'interactive' experience another place for abcde discussion is in the new Freenode channel #abcde where you can speak directly to the abcde developers or just chat about audio encoding in general with other abcde users.
The abcde tarball contains comprehensive documentation including a detailed FAQ and a sample abcde.conf file. There is also some quality documentation to be found elsewhere, all written by Andrew at the moment:
abcde: Command Line Music CD Ripping for Linux: A nice overview of abcde with many sample config files.
abcde: Downloading Album Art...: Comprehensive documentation for the new album art function of abcde 2.7
Using qaac under Linux... A guide to using qaac and refalac for high quality AAC and ALAC encoding with abcde 2.7.1
Using fhgaacenc under Linux... A guide to using fhgaacenc for AAC encoding with wine and abcde 2.7.1
How can I use abcde to rip to mp3 and embed album art under Trusty and Xenial? A guide to using mp3 encoding with album art embedding under Ubuntu Trusty Tahr and Xenial Xerus.
Use abcde to produce high quality flac and mp3 output with album art under Xenial? A guide to using mp3 and flac encoding with album art under Ubuntu Xenial Xerus.
More documentation will hopefully appear soon in this wiki! If you'd like an account to help with that, please mail abcde-wiki AT einval.com to ask.
Over the years, abcde has seen contributions from Robert Woodcock <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Jesus Climent <email@example.com>, Colin Tuckley <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Steve McIntyre <email@example.com>, Andrew Strong <firstname.lastname@example.org> and many others. Steve and Andrew are the current maintainers.
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