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Old 16th June 2013, 06:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Australia
Default EAC non-compliant CUE sheets: which players work?

Good Afternoon, All.

I have been racking my brain for the past fortnight trying to work this out. My current task is to "computerise" my CD collection (so that I can remove my CD/DVD/VCR cabinet from my lounge room and so that I can find the CD's I want to play.)

My fundamental requirements are:
  • playback with the gaps the same as the originals,
  • bit-perfect reproduction of the sound files;
and a lesser requirement is:
  • to be able to burn a copy of my .wav or .flac back to a CD ... well, why not?
My problem is that much of the internet information relates to older versions of Exact Audio Copy and Foobar2000 or it relates to burning copies of the original CD's with correct gaps rather than playing the files back directly off an HD, or else it is not clear, or else my brain is getting too old to cope with this stuff.)

Also, there are few of us old fogies writing on these sites who insist on listening to albums from beginning to end or those albums which have contiguous track . (My local shop couldn't even work out what I was talking about. I had to pretend I was listening to live concerts from Lady Gaga before they understood whatt I meant. If I ever let the "Beethoven bomb" slip into my conversations, their faces glazed over.)

I like the idea of EAC (v1.0 Beta 3 from August 2011) and have ripped about three CD's but am confused with the CUE files. I have followed the blowfish recommendations for creating my FLACs:
  • Append gaps to previous track
  • Cue sheet - Multiple WAV files with gaps - noncompliant
But Foobar 2000 v1.2.6 does not recognize thes non-compliant cue files. (This appears to be a newish problem.) I tried also WinAmp with the Cueplayer Plug-in, but that appeared not to work either.

Is there a solution to this?
Are there any players actually work to play EAC's non-compliant CUE files?

I can get Sgt Pepper and Wish You Were Here to play back correctly if I rip as a complete image. The CUE file created in this case plays correctly in Foobar2000.
  • What is everyone else doing to keep the gaps in their playback of their CD's correct?
  • Are there other problems or practical difficulties in the long term if I burn my .flacs as images of the whole disk rather than track by track?

I have written to this, my favourite audio forum, because of the accumulated and considered wisdom which appears lacking elsewhere on the WWW.

Anyway, if anyone can help me out, I would appreciate this.


P.S. You can see a small portion of my CD cabinet at the right of the pic on my webpage. GB

Last edited by GeorgeBoles; 16th June 2013 at 06:21 AM. Reason: extra clarity
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Old 16th June 2013, 12:13 PM   #2
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Melb

I am in the same situation as you are and also looking for feedback from those who are more familiar about cue sheet, etc.

There are a no. of exceptions in my case.

Firstly, I don't trust storing my files in the Hard drive, I will be storing them on BLU Ray discs(*). Also I wouldn't be converting all my existing CD discs

Secondly the size of Wav and Flac is not that much different I would rather store them(audio tracks)in WAV format and in future if there is a more efficient way to store them I will then convert all my WAV files. Henceforth I will convert as many of my audio disc tracks and store them in WAV format, which is as an advantage of being bit perfect. I don't think Flac is bit perfect.

* You can store about (40-45 CDs) in WAV format in 1*25G Bluray Disc assuming 555-600Mb in one CD.
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Old 16th June 2013, 04:59 PM   #3
Wombat is offline Wombat  Germany
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Originally Posted by ttan98 View Post
I don't think Flac is bit perfect.
flac is a lossless format that simply works, no need to worry.
If time permits - stuff some parsley in your ears and listen how it grows!
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Old 19th June 2013, 01:46 PM   #4
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Bluray discs as with all discs are also not always guaranteed to last, store on a hard drive and have backups.
Still got to to read the data of the bluray disc
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Old 20th June 2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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Default Main question still unanswered ;)

Thanks for that chaps,

But my main question is:

Which media players will plan non-compliant CUE files from Exact Audio Copy? For example, Foobar doesn't and Winamp is supposed to but I can't get it to work.

I need to keep the gaps in my music as they are on the CD.

Regards again,
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Old 5th July 2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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What I've been doing for 10 years and I listen to 'whole' albums:
Using Exact Audio Copy,

  • Append gaps to previous track (default).
  • Rip and compress to separate files using lame, flac, qaac etc.
  • Properly tagged files.
  • \Musik\%albumartist%\%album%\%tracknumber2%. %artist% - %title%
  • Play back in foobar2000.

Pink Floyd's album "Wish You Were" plays back properly.
No need for a CUE file.

Last edited by cogsncogs; 5th July 2013 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 5th July 2013, 05:59 PM   #7
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You need to use encoders that support (writes gapless info in the header) gapless playback.
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Old 5th July 2013, 06:43 PM   #8
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cogsncogs, do you mean decoders that support gapless playback?
From my own experience, I think the "standard" CD track gap is 2 seconds. I'm not sure where I learned that; it's been a while.
I know Winamp use to have a gapless playback plug-in available, but I understand that functionality is built into the player now.
What I have done to my tracks is make them with little to no gap in the stored file itself. If the track does need that bit of silence, I can use an editor to save it to the beginning or end.
I have also created a two-second silent track. This track can then be inserted into my playlist between songs, if I want that CD/LP -style of playback.
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from enquiry. - Thomas Paine
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Old 5th July 2013, 10:13 PM   #9
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The so called standard 2 sec gap can vary wildly in commercial music. Its length is determined by the (re)mastering engineer. I never remove it as it would destroy my album listening experience. The only time I would ever edit the silence between tracks would be if I were making a 'mix' CD and the gaps were too short/long. It's an art form! I can think of quit a few instances where the re-mastering engineer screwed it up, which I corrected, of course. The 2 second standard is a standard of some burning programs.

Almost all modern encoders/decoders can write/read the gapless info in the header. Now players that can properly handle that is a different story.
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Old 5th July 2013, 10:34 PM   #10
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If the silence is part of the audio file itself, then gapless playback would seem impossible.
From my description above, it's easy to determine that I certainly haven't destroyed the album experience.
If the silence is a part of the experience, it's not a problem to configure the ripped playback to match it, virtually exactly. If it's not a part, I don't need it.
Songs like hidden tracks at the end of a disc, with say 4 minutes of silence added on... that unnecessary stuff just gets jetted (discarded).
I know nothing about gapless info in the header.
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from enquiry. - Thomas Paine
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