Xenial Xerus has a nice modern version of abcde:

andrew@athens:~$ abcde -v | head -n 1
This is abcde v2.7.1.

I would like to use this to produce:

  1. High quality mp3 files for my portable player
  2. Lossless flac files as an archival backup
  3. Suitable album art download for both formats

Using the capabilities of Xenial's abcde to perform all 3 actions at the same time...

Full disclosure: I was formerly one of the maintainers of abcde.

  • As I do not have the privilege to comment yet, just a small addition to andew.46's answer: flac is also a requirement to convert to flac: > sudo apt install flac Jan 7, 2020 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


The version of abcde under Xenial is quite capable but some extra applications are needed as well as abcde itself:

sudo apt-get install abcde lame eyed3 glyrc imagemagick cdparanoia flac

Now to create great quality mp3s and flacs at the same time (with album art also downloaded) the following simple commandline is required:

abcde -o 'flac:-8,mp3:-b 320' -G

abcde will ask you a few questions and then you can sit back while your CD is converted into 2 of the most popular audio formats today :).

Full disclosure: I was formerly one of the maintainers of abcde.

  • ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=535950 gives this apt-get command: sudo apt-get install abcde cd-discid lame cdparanoia id3 id3v2. Is cdparanoia no longer required? I see cdparanoia referred to by the page at andrews-corner.org/abcde.html too.
    – bgoodr
    Jul 5, 2016 at 23:59
  • Answering my own question above: abcde depends upon cdparanoia, so no need to list it.
    – bgoodr
    Jul 6, 2016 at 0:24
  • 1
    @bgoodr Good to see you answered yourself :)
    – andrew.46
    Jul 6, 2016 at 1:15
  • 1
    What does -8 mean in flac:-8?
    – Matthias
    Nov 10, 2023 at 21:36
  • 1
    @Matthias, it seems to be: -0..-8, --compression-level-0..--compression-level-8 Fastest compression..highest compression (default is -5). Check man flac. Mar 16 at 18:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .