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Topic: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection (Read 735 times) previous topic - next topic
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tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

It seems my inquiry is best matched for this category, though I believe not strictly related to CUETools. My best understanding of the package is that it currently has no support for the needed functionality, and also is not compatible with my system, which runs Linux.



When I first began ripping my CDs to music files, over twenty years ago, I chose to format them such as to have for each disc a cue sheet and a whole-album FLAC file. This arrangement preserves as much as possible from the original media.

I have accumulated a large and messy collection of files. Tagging is disorderly, as is directory structure and file names. I even have cue sheets that include the incorrect name of an audio file, due to files being renamed to accommodate differences in file systems.

I would wish for a set of tools that is capable of the following tasks:

  • Scanning cue sheets, and reporting missing audio files.
  • Using track data to retrieve tag data from network services.
  • Choosing directory and file names for files based on tag data, including updating cue sheets to refer to new names of audio files.
  • Rewriting cue sheets for new tag data and copying audio files into a new files tree.

Is anyone in a similar predicament? What solutions are available?


Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #1
I don’t use cue sheets.
If I get a single file with a cue sheet I always convert to multiple tracks.
Obvious my experience with cue-sheets is limited but most of what you are looking for is probably handled by media players like Musicbee.
Ad 1. Media players like MB is they encounter a cue, they display the tracks, not the single file.
Sorting by file size might be a simple way to detect if the cue and file are out of sync.
Likewise, a missing track is marked in Musicbee. It will probably do so if the single file is missing.

Ad 2. Almost all media players do. Don’t know if MB also edits the Cue.
Ad3. Almost all media players do but this cannot be done with a single file as this info is track based.
Ad4. Don’t know if MusicBee or Foobar etc update Cue’s
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #2
Assuming that your cuesheets are so compliant that foobar2000 can read them if they point to the right .flac, then it is easy to find which ones don't. Drag them to a playlist and see that it misses data like bitrate.

CUETools will look for .cue files in folders. I don't know how much it takes for it to locate an image file with a different name.
And then you can consider to embed cuesheets as well. It is often better supported in WavPack than in FLAC, but you should consider what player you intend to use.

Then there's cuecorrector.

Finally, cuesheets can be bulk manipulated as a text file. Using a text processing tool you can open each text file and replace the line that starts with FILE.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #3
The most challenging set of general tasks I need is updating the tags and rearranging the file names and directory structure of a collection, in an automated and consistent fashion, based on metadata pulled from a network service, while maintaining the whole-album format of the audio files.

I believe CUE Tools lacks much of this functionality, but it seems perhaps that CUE Corrector has at least some. Is someone able to clarify this point?

A challenge with CUE Corrector is that it is essentially a Windows application published in the Russian language, whereas I am an English speaker running Linux. I believe I can try circumventing the latter obstacle using Mono or Wine. Is an English version available of the software? It seems that even while being non-commercial, the application is not open source, in which case a contributor could submit a translation.

Management by player applications, whether correctly represented as many tracks in the same album, is to me a separate matter.

I am aware that CUE sheets may be edited manually (or through a home-grown script) which is fine for simple corrections, but too difficult for full management of an entire collection.

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #4
Media players can rename based on tags. But if your problem is that the .cue does not see the .flac, due to the filename not matching, you first have to get that sorted out, and then you can get a media player rename the .flac and the "FILE" line in the cuesheet. Check if that can be done.

And if I were to go for image & cuesheet, I would have seriously considered embedding the cuesheets. Depends on finding a player that supports it well. As mentioned above, you might even be in better luck using WavPack over FLAC.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #5
I understand that resolving the file name matching is an essential first step. At worst, I can handle doing so through a combination of simple scripting and hand editing. I am mostly worried about pulling corrected tag data from network services and applying them to the files.

I have always used FLAC, as it seems to have been historically more popular and better supported, but also requiring separate CUE sheets for track text data  (i.e. performer, title, etc.), due to lack of support for text in embedded CUE sheets. I have just read, however, that WavPack resolves this limitation, which may, as you say make it a better choice.

One possible path might be the following:

1. Resolve file name issues.
2. Transcode from CUE/FLAC pairs to WavPack with embedded cue sheets.
3. Fix text in cue sheets and other tag data from data using network services.
4. Rename files and directories.

I normally work in Linux, but can find a Windows system if needed.

I suppose then I would ask, what tools are available for steps (2)-(4)? Will FooBar support all of these steps? What choices are available under Linux?

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #6
I don't use Linux for that many purposes anymore - I actually migrated to Windows to get dBpoweramp (for ripping) and foobar2000 (for playback), and my shell scripting skills have rusted up over the years. But ...

1. Script to traverse directories and ... well there are bulk renaming utilities as part of various desktop environments?

2. CUETools. (Oh, and keep the original cuesheets for backup.)

3. Multiple issues here.
* You are pushing the cuesheets concept beyond what it was intended for, so you might have compatibility problems if you want to fill with too many tags and [... YMMV, I don't know your player.
* Pulling metadata from the internet? Musicbrainz! But then how, using cuesheets? Googl'd and found http://flactag.sourceforge.net/ . Apparently it requires FLAC with embedded cuesheets.
* Note, both foobar2000 and CUETools can use MusicBrainz. But for an entire collection, you want a more automated solution.

4. fb2k cannot be the only player that does this ...


So if you can do some testrunning with flactag ... ?
At worst this might incur several conversion operations. (You have enough disk space?)
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #7
* You are pushing the cuesheets concept beyond what it was intended for, so you might have compatibility problems if you want to fill with too many tags and [... YMMV, I don't know your player.

Cue sheets were intended for marking song boundaries, and providing metadata such as performer, year, title. I'm not sure what I may have suggested that pushes cue sheets beyond their intended use.

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #8
* You are pushing the cuesheets concept beyond what it was intended for, so you might have compatibility problems if you want to fill with too many tags and [... YMMV, I don't know your player.

Cue sheets were intended for marking song boundaries, and providing metadata such as performer, year, title. I'm not sure what I may have suggested that pushes cue sheets beyond their intended use.

If you want to retrieve tags from network sources, say MusicBrainz, you will get much more than that. Your player may or may not behave. I don't know, but just prepare for surprises. I'd keep the old .cue files as backup anyway.

You can embed cuesheets using metaflac. Assuming you have only one .flac and one .cue per directory, you can for each FLAC find a .cue in the same directory and embed it. BUT: apparently, metaflac will discard all the metadata that, I guess, fails that "intended use": https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=42339.0 (old thread, IDK if metaflac behaviour has changed).
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #9
What I am understanding now and what I thought you were earlier suggesting, is that embedding cue sheets with WavPack incorporates all of the content of a cue sheet, including text, into the audio file.

Text such as date, genre, artist, and title is all the metadata generally important for use with a player application. I'm less familiar with other text information, as I never used it, only the information normally included in a cue sheet.

So it seems that embedded cue sheets with WavPack files is a way to put into a single file the same information as in a FLAC file with an external cue sheet, which I think would be part of an optimal solution.

 

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #10
I am no expert at "how to most efficiently circumvent the limitations", and that is the reason for all the vague talk ...

If I were you, I would have tried one of two routes: first try flactag and see if you get all the metadata you need from that - or if you are not satisfied, try WavPack by way of CUETools.

I have not even tried flactag. For CUETools, test the followng - provided you have disk space for another copy:

1) Sort your collection in "What CUETools can identify and what it cannot". The latter ... fix file names.
2) CUETools. Fix settings like http://cue.tools/wiki/CUETools_Advanced_Settings:_Advanced .
3) See if you can automate it using the command-line, to get the right albums etc. If so, fine - give it your preferred WavPack settings and leave it overnight. If you have to click your way through the albums one by one, consider the fastest WavPack (bad compression) just not to have to wait for encoding to finish; you can re-encode later. (Dirty job with WavPack still I think, but doable with some scripting.)
4) You will now have a WavPack copy of your FLAC collection. Of course you want to check that you have converted it all, before deleting the FLACs. You can use foobar2000 with the foo_bitcompare, but only if you get two playlists aligned in the precisely same order. A different option would be to export a list of all the audio MD5 sums. You will have one list for your WavPacks, and one list for the FLACs. If they are the same, it is reasonably safe to say that everything was converted, and with no issues.

Anyway I would have ran an integrity check on your FLAC files prior to conversion.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #11
Are your image files themselves all working properly though? That will determine the rest.
Also, as you said you use Linux, then I'm not sure I know which program you can use.

Re: tools for maintaining existing cue/audio file collection

Reply #12
I am not understanding the question about "working properly". I would characterize the data that has been taken from the original media as accurate. The audio was extracted through secure reading procedures, along with data for the cue sheets. The audio files decompress and play correctly. The indexing data matches against public databases, except for media of limited distribution, as expected. The features that are messy are the structure of the file tree, including organization and names of files and directories, as well and tagging metadata. Largely, the data from the original media is faithfully copied, but the further data, which may be obtained through queries to metadata services, needs to be updated.

For the record, I have had success running CUETools under Mono in Linux. Some features of the interface, such as display and path conventions, are a bit inconvenient due to cross-platform issues, but so far I have been able to run the different kinds of operations with results as intended by for application features.

Note the success under Mono is limited to the CUETools application specifically, and not the bundled CUERipper.

 
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