mp3cd - Burns normalized audio CDs from lists of MP3s/WAVs/Oggs/FLACs


mp3cd [OPTIONS] [playlist|files...]

 -s, --stage STAGE  Start at a certain stage of processing:
                        clean   Start fresh (default, requires playlist)
                        build   Does not clean (requires playlist)
                        decode  Turns MP3s/Oggs/FLACs into WAVs
                        correct Fix up any WAV formats
                        norm    Normalizes WAV volumes
                        toc     Builds a Table of Contents from WAVs
                        toc_ok  Checks TOC validity
                        cdr_ok  Checks for a CDR
                        burn    Burns from the TOC
 -q                 Quits after one stage of processing
 -t, --tempdir DIR  Set working dir (default "/tmp/mp3cd-$USER")
 -d, --device PATH  Look for CDR at "PATH" (default "/dev/cdrecorder")
 -r, --driver TYPE  Use CDR driver TYPE (default up to cdrdao)
 -n, --simulate     Don't actually burn a disc but do everything else.
 -E, --no-eject     Don't eject drive after the burn.
 -L, --no-log       Don't redirect output to "tool-output.txt"
 -T, --no-cd-text   Don't attempt to write CD-TEXT tags to the audio CD
 -c, --cdrdao ARGS  Pass the option string ARGS to cdrdao.
 -S, --skip STAGES  Skip the comma-separated list of stages in STAGES.
 -V, --version      Report which version of the script this is.
 -v, --verbose      Shows commands as they are executed.
 -h, --usage        Shows brief usage summary.
     --help         Shows detailed help summary.
     --longhelp     Shows complete help.


-s STAGE, --stage STAGE

Starts processing at a given stage. This is used in case you had to stop processing, or a file was missing, or things generally blew up. It is especially useful if a burn fails because then you don't have to start totally over and re-WAV the files. If you just want to perform a single step, use --quit to abort after the stage you request with --stage. Also see --skip.


This is the default starting stage. The temp directory is cleared out. A playlist is required, since we expect to move to the build stage next, which requires it.


This stage examines the playlist from the command line, and tries to create a list of symlinks from the given playlist. So far, mp3cd can understand ".m3u" files, XMLPlaylist files, and lists of files.


All the files are converted into WAVs. So far, mp3cd knows how to decode MP3, Ogg, and FLAC files. (WAVs will be left as they are during this stage.)


The WAV files are corrected to have the correct bitrate and number of channels, as required for an audio CD.


The WAV files' volumes are normalized so any large differences in volume between records will be less noticable.


Generates a Table of Contents for the audio CD.


Validates the TOC, just in case something went really wrong with the WAV files.


Verifies that there is a CDR ready for burning.


Actually performs the burn of all the WAV files to the waiting CDR.

-q, --quit

Aborts after one stage of processing. See --stage.

-t DIR, --tempdir DIR

Use a working directory other than "/tmp/mp3cd-username". This is where all the file processing occurs. You will generally need at least 650M free here (or more depending on the recording length of your destination CD).

-d PATH, --device PATH

Use a device path other than "/dev/cdrecorder".

-r TYPE, --driver TYPE

Use a CDRDAO driver other than what cdrdao automatically detects. Note that some drivers may not support CD-TEXT mode. In this case, try "generic-mmc-raw".

-c ARGS, --cdrdao ARGS

Pass the given option string of ARGS to cdrdao during each command.

-n, --simulate

Do not actually write to the disc but simulate the process instead.

-E, --no-eject

Don't eject drive after the burn.

-L, --no-log

Don't redirect output to "tool-output.txt". All information will instead be redirected to the terminal via standard output (STDOUT). This will cause a lot of low-level detail to be displayed.

-T, --no-cd-text

Don't attempt to write CD-TEXT tags to the audio CD. Some devices and drivers do not support this mode. See --driver for more details.


While processing, skips the stages listed in the comma-separated list of stages given in STAGES. This would only be used if you really know what you're doing. For example, if the audio is already normalized and you didn't want to burn a CD, you could skip the normalizing and burning stages by giving "--skip norm,burn". See --stage and --quit.

-V, --version

Report which version of mp3cd this is.

-v, --verbose

Shows commands as they are executed.

-h, --usage

Show brief usage summary.


Show detailed help summary.


Shows the full command line instructions.


This script implements the suggested methods outlined in the Linux MP3 CD Burning mini-HOWTO:

This will burn a playlist (.m3u, XMLPlaylist or command line list) of MP3s, Oggs, FLACs, and/or WAVs to an audio CD. The ".m3u" format is really nothing more than a list of fully qualified filenames. The script handles making the WAVs sane by resampling if needed, and normalizing the volume across all tracks.

If a failure happens, earlier stages can be skipped with the '-s' flag. The file "tool-output.txt" in the temp directory can be examined to see what went wrong during the stage. Some things are time-consuming (like decoding the audio into WAVs) and if the CD burn fails, it's much nicer not to have to start over from scratch. When doing this, you will not need the m3u file any more, since the files have already been built. See the list of stages using '-h'.


Requires cdrdao, and that /dev/cdrecorder is a valid symlink to the /dev/sg device that cdrdao will use. Use .cdrdao to edit driver options. (See "man cdrdao" for details.)

Requires sox to decode MP3 and check/correct WAV formats.

Requires normalize to process the audio.

Optionally requires oggdec to decode Ogg to WAV files.

Optionally requires flac to decode flac to WAV files.

Optionally requires Config::Simple Perl module if you want to use the .mp3cdrc file.



Default options can be recorded in this file. The option names are the same as their command line long-name. Command line options will override these values. All options are run through perl's eval. For example: tempdir: /scratch/mp3cd/$ENV{'USER'} device: /dev/burner


 Kees Cook <>
 J. Katz (Ogg support)
 Alex Rhomberg (XMLPlaylist support)
 Kevin C. Krinke (filelist inspiration, and countless many patches)
 James Greenhalgh (flac support)


perl(1), cdrdao(1), sox(1), oggdec(1), flac(1), sox(1), normalize(1).


 Copyright (C) 2003-2011 Kees Cook,
 This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
 modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
 as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
 This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
 but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
 GNU General Public License for more details.
 You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
 along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
 Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.