Vultaire's Blog

Ultimate paranoid CD ripping/tagging/encoding using abcde

I don’t know how well this program is known, but being a console guy I’ve found it invaluable. A little program named abcde.

I absolutely love cdparanoia. I don’t trust any other program for making bit-perfect copies of my CDs. But cdparanoia is just a ripper. Add in with CDDB and FLAC, and I have excellent and (mostly) convenient conversion from CD to lossless audio files for local listening and uploading to Google Play. Add lame, and I got MP3s for my car. (Assuming an MP3 encoding license, of course.)

Tying these together is a pain in the butt, and there’s a number of programs out there for it. But the best console program I’ve found is abcde. It’s a very well done wrapper with lots of options, support for resuming, parallelization (tagging/encoding the last song while ripping the next song)… And a number of other things I may never use.

Anyway, with the appropriate packages installed, and an appropriate abcde config file, you too can enjoy quality console-based CD ripping.

(This guide assumes Debian Wheezy, but is likely usable on most Debian-based distributions.)


Simple tricks: “cyghere”: open Cygwin shell here

I’m sure there’s other solutions out there, but I’ll share mine. Create a directory on your system and add it to your path. In my case, I use C:\scripts. Create a script, cyghere.bat, as follows (assuming cygwin is installed to C:\cygwin): Now, you can launch a cygwin shell from basically any program that lets you Read more about Simple tricks: “cyghere”: open Cygwin shell here[…]

Starcraft: Brood War and Diablo 1 on Windows 7: HOWTO

Problem: You want to play your classic 256-color Blizzard Windows games and find out that the colors are all messed up. Compatibility mode workarounds provide at best only temporary relief; the moment you alt-tab between Windows, or perhaps during just playing the game, the palette gets reset and everything goes puke ugly. What’s the problem? Read more about Starcraft: Brood War and Diablo 1 on Windows 7: HOWTO[…]

Warcraft 3 on Windows 7: how to fix cinematics and get updates to work

On Windows 7, automatic updates of Warcraft 3 don’t work like normal, and the cinematics don’t show up – rather, you only hear the audio. This is how to fix it. This took a small bit of googling to find; I’ll add my own version of how to do this below. Assuming that Warcraft 3 Read more about Warcraft 3 on Windows 7: how to fix cinematics and get updates to work[…]

Personal hardware review: Toshiba Satellite C655

This entry is targeted mostly towards my family, but if it helps others, great.

I’m writing this entry from my mother’s new laptop, a Toshiba Satellite C655. It was purchased to replace her Asus Eee Pc, which sadly has not lived up to the hype for us. The first Eee we got had critical hardware issues (graphical glitches and the like), and the replacement seemed to work but has had stability problems. I’ve already reinstalled WinXP on it once, but it has periodic blue screens during bootup and when sitting idle. Plus, the battery now holds zero charge whatsoever (as in, the computer sees the battery but says 0% charge, and if I disconnect the AC cord it will immediately lose all power). It’s only been maybe two years since she got it, so I hate to say, it’s been a lemon for us… and I was one of the people who recommended it.

Anyway, onto the topic of the replacement. The Toshiba was purchased from for around $270 or $280. Immediately I thought “not again” because of the last cheap system we got for my mom. However, this system has fared much better.

On to the review…