Tech > abcde


These notes relate to attempting to install and run abcde - (A Better CD Encoder) on macOS 10.12.5 Sierra.

Note: The machine I was using doesn't have a CD Rom drive and ultimately caused various failures. I was hoping to be able to backup my CDs as single flac files and encode oggs etc from those in the future. However, after spending some time on this I've abandoned the approach. I'm publishing these notes, in case some of the content may be of use.

Installing abcde

Install abcde using MacPorts:

$ sudo port install abcde

However, you may get errors that various binaries cannot be found when you execute abcde depending on your chosen actions/options. The following sections describe building and installing some of those binaries.

Building fdkaac

At the time of writing, a MacPort was not available for fdkaac.

Download the latest release of fdk-aac (library) from

$ cd /usr/local/src
$ wget
$ mv v0.1.5.tar.gz fdk-aac-v0.1.5.tar.gz
$ tar -xf fdk-aac-v0.1.5.tar.gz
$ cd fdk-aac-0.1.5
$ ./
$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/local
$ make
$ sudo make install

Download the latest release of fdkaac from, e.g.

$ cd /usr/local/src
$ wget
$ mv v0.6.3.tar.gz fdkaac-v0.6.3.tar.gz
$ tar -xf fdkaac-v0.6.3.tar.gz
$ cd fdkaac-0.6.3
$ autoreconf -i
$ CFLAGS=-I/opt/local/include LDFLAGS="-L /usr/lib -L/opt/local/lib" ./configure --prefix=/opt/local
$ make
$ sudo make install

Building glyr from source

At the time of writing, a MacPort was not available for glyr.

$ cd /usr/local/src
$ wget
$ tar -xf glyr-1.0.10.tar.gz
$ cd glyr-1.0.10
$ cmake . -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local -DCMAKE_EXE_LINKER_FLAGS="-L/opt/local/lib" \
$ make
$ sudo make install


Extracting tracks from single flac file

$ sudo port install cuetools shntool

Extract tracks using an existing cue sheet file as separate wav files:

$ cuebreakpoints flacfile.cue | flacfile.flac


Encode the files in ogg or mp3 format:

$ oggenc -q 6 split-track01.wav
$ lame -V 2 split-track01.wav

To see the tags embedded in the flac file:

$ metaflac --export-tags=tags.txt flacfile.flac
$ cat tags.txt

To extract any album art in the flac file:

$ metaflac --export-picture=cover.jpg flacfile.flac

To import album art into the flac file:

$ metaflac --import-picture-from=cover.jpg flacfile.flac

Use the id3v2 and vorbiscomment command line tools to add or modify tags within mp3 and ogg files respectively.

Use the EasyTag GUI to add tags and rename files to match tags with both mp3 and ogg files. (port install easytag and run under XQuartz). EasyTag also supports tagging from CDDB search results, embedding artwork and many other very useful functions.

Embedding album art in ogg

Use EasyTag, but if you want a command line solution:


Use ogg123 from vorbis-tools package to play oggs.


line 2530: abcde-musicbrainz-tool: command not found

The script is missing from the MacPorts install. Download the full set of scripts from and use the downloaded scripts instead of the MacPort.

Can't locate MusicBrainz/ in @INC (you may need to install the MusicBrainz::DiscID module)

$ sudo port install p5-musicbrainz-discid

Also, modify the abcde-musicbrainz-tool script in the downloaded abcde package and change the first line to execute the appropriate version of pearl. (If using MacPorts, /opt/local/bin/perl).

Can't locate WebService/MusicBrainz/ in @INC

Download from CPAN or use CDDB instead:

$ echo 'CDDBMETHOD=cddb' >>~/.abcde.conf

-- Frank Dean - 29 Jun 2017

Related Topics: CdBurning, MusicEncoding