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.

Why abcde?

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:

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. The canonical download location is now (here!).

abcde version 2.9.3 is the most recent download and was released on February 5th 2019.

We've switched to using git for our code repository; see;a=summary for code access.

Mailing list

The best place for discussion is the abcde-users mailing list.

Bug tracking

The right place to report bugs in abcde is now in our own 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 Libera.Chat 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:

More documentation will hopefully appear soon in this wiki! If you'd like an account to help with that, please mail abcde-wiki AT to ask.


Over the years, abcde has seen contributions from Robert Woodcock <>, Jesus Climent <>, Colin Tuckley <>, Steve McIntyre <>, Andrew Strong <> and many others. Steve is the current maintainer.

Wiki starting points

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AbcdeWiki: FrontPage (last edited 2021-05-26 06:35:34 by AndrewStrong)