In the past, I’ve written about two different ways to split large CD images. Usually these images are FLAC or WAV, and are an easy way to distribute music CD rips without too much worry that a song will go missing. This is because the entire album is stored as one large track. This file is almost always accompanied by a .cue file. The .cue file describes the album, including the composer, artist, album title, song title and length, and sometimes other information.
Using the .cue file, it is possible to split the large file into individual tracks, or burn the entire thing to CD, using a disc burning program. Once burned, the CD will appear as it once was, with the correct number of tracks; it will be identical to the original. However, for using the music on a computer or portable device, it’s generally better to split the file into individual tracks first. Using a program called Flacon, it’s easy to split and tag the files, all in one easy step.
Flacon is written in Python and PyQT, so there aren’t too many dependencies required. And because libraries from specific desktop environments, such as KDE or GNOME, aren’t used, it will appear “at home” regardless of whether you’re using one or the other. If you’ve installed Flacon, launch it from your application menus, or if you are running from source, launch it from the folder it’s in.
Once launched, point it toward the .cue file that points to your music. It will scan through the .cue file, assigning correct names and lengths to all the tracks within. Sometimes these may not be exactly the way you want them (for instance, sometimes a .cue file might name a track using all capital letters, while you might want title case or all lower case), but you can edit them before doing any splitting. As mentioned, bin/cue sets come in many formats. Sometimes they are FLAC or WAV, while APE and WV are also common. Regardless of format, Flacon is able to split them. It can also convert them, to WAV or FLAC or MP3 or a couple other formats. You have complete control over bitrate (if splitting to MP3, for instance), or compression (if using FLAC).
Once all your settings are ready to go, simply start the process. Flacon will split the file, then convert each track to your preferred format. You can save the album wherever you want, using a folder system you set up. So when you’re finished, you can have a folder for the artist, one for the album, then individual tracks named according to your own pattern (for instance: 12 – title.mp3).
I’ve used many different programs for splitting bin/cue sets. It can be done from the Terminal with only a couple commands. But after splitting a few albums with Flacon, I have to say it’s among the easiest methods I’ve used. I don’t have a need for a program like this every day, but when I do, I’ll be sure to give Flacon another look.