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Keeping cue sheets for file-per-track albums?, Is it a good idea? Or troublesome?
fann4ples
post Nov 6 2011, 22:29
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Hey everyone,

So I've just gotten all my old music files into FLAC. All of the songs are in the format where I have one file for each track in the album. In some albums, I kept all the songs; and others, I only picked the songs I like.

I (a newbie at this) have a question about keeping cue sheets:
Should I be keeping the .cue files? Would burning "file-per-track" albums back into a CD without the .cue file create any gapless playback issues? Would it create any other issues that I didn't think of?

One problem is that a lot of the cue sheets are messed up - they either reference for .wav files or the syntax/format is all over the place. Going through each one and correcting them seems like a lot of trouble. I've managed to correct one of them just to see if it was possible - I just referenced the file names for .flac, rearranged some of the rows, and then set all the "INDEX 01"s to 00:00:00(since I'm not using a FLAC image). It seems to work that way and I haven't found any problems playing that cue sheet, not yet anyways.

But like I said before, it's troublesome! If it turns out the cue sheets aren't necessary because all my music has a file for each track, then that would be SUCH a relief! Then I could just delete and not worry about those damn .cue files!

Thank you for you wisdom and help! I'm still a little overwhelmed by all this archiving... kind of makes me feel like a librarian.
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mjb2006
post Nov 7 2011, 03:51
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There's not much use for cue sheets with the incomplete albums. Have you had a look over the cue sheet article in our wiki? Understanding exactly what the cue sheet contains and why it exists should clear things up for you. In a nutshell: there's info on an audio CD besides just the audio data; the cue sheet is a text file which records that extra info, so you can burn a copy of the CD from the audio file(s) plus the cue sheet.

For the complete albums ripped as one file per track, if you're just playing tracks, and you only care about where each track begins, then no, you don't need the cue sheets. The track boundaries are implicit in the separateness of the files, so you can just load the tracks directly into your player, and you can use the player to create an actual playlist file in a proper playlist file format, rather than trying to "play the cuesheet."

If you think you might burn your complete album rips to CD-R someday, and you didn't keep the original cue sheets, then your burned CDs will still be pretty good copies; the audio data and track boundaries will be correct, and if that's all you care about, then great.

If you do keep the cue sheets for your complete albums, then you can burn those albums back to CD in such a way that it preserves extra info, like where the non-01 index points are, so the counter on a real CD player will do that count-up-to-00:00 thing that it does when it's in the "gap" (index 00) portion of a track. But if you are modifying index locations to make your cue sheets work better as playlists (or for any other reason), well, you've made it impossible to burn an accurate copy of the original disc from your files.

This post has been edited by mjb2006: Nov 7 2011, 04:00
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fann4ples
post Nov 7 2011, 04:25
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Thank you mjb2006, that was very helpful!

Yeap, I wasn't so concerned about the little details like the Disc ID, program used to rip, pressing#, etc... Just concerned about deleting the cues; then in the future if I burnt the separated tracks to a CD, that they won't playback like the original CD's track boundaries. I guess that does make sense. it'll just be like gluing wood pieces.

Also not too worried about tagging info being lost with the cue sheet since I can tag the FLACs.
One thing though - If I keep information like artist/album/title/track#/year in the FLAC tag... and I burn to a CD... will that info be lost in the CD? Would it be better to embed that info into the FLACs' file name so that if the CD gets ripped in the future, I can retain the info?
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mjb2006
post Nov 7 2011, 09:12
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Depends on the software you're using to do the burning, but normally, no, whatever's in each file's tags isn't burned. But consider that your original CD probably doesn't have that info in it either! The artist/title/etc. info came from somewhere else, usually (an online database, normally). And anything in a comment (freedb discID, ripping program, etc.) is ignored as well.
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greynol
post Nov 7 2011, 21:10
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If we're talking about ripping with EAC, short of the GUI, CUE sheets are the only thing that will provide an indication as to whether the audio requires deemphasis for proper playback.

This post has been edited by greynol: Nov 7 2011, 21:10


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