If you’ve ever needed to split a compressed audio CD image into tracks, there are a couple ways to do this in Linux. I’ve previously talked about the Terminal way to do it, where you type in commands like this:
cuebreakpoints *.cue | shnsplit *.flac
cuebreakpoints *.cue | shnsplit -o flac *.flac
cuetag *.cue split-track*.flac
And really, if you have everything set up correctly, and have the right tools installed, the above three commands are all you need to do to split and tag a compressed audio CD image in FLAC format (although other formats such as APE and WAV can be split and tagged as well), but the Terminal can be a scary place, and sometimes it’s nice to use a GUI (graphical user interface), where you can point and click and accomplish the same thing. For people who prefer that sort of utility, gCue2tracks is a perfect example.
Using gCue2tracks couldn’t be simpler. Once you have your compressed CD image and accompanying .cue file, simply open up gCue2tracks and point it at the .cue file. Doing so should automatically fill in the correct bin file (the FLAC or WAV or APE file, which is written into the .cue file), as well as tagging information. If you want to change something (let’s say you don’t like how the album title or performer or track names are formatted), you can easily do so.
As well, you can change where the output is saved, and which codec and quality level is used for the output. For codec options, you can choose from Ogg, MP3, FLAC, WAV, APE and WV, although this does depend on what other libraries you have installed.
Once you have everything set up the way you want, just click the Convert button. You can watch as gCue2tracks splits and encodes the file, and when you’re done, just navigate to where you had it save the newly split and encoded files, and you’re done! Delete the original compressed image and .cue and start listening to the new files. It’s that simple.
In reality there isn’t a lot of difference between the Terminal commands I listed above and the GUI way of doing things with gCue2tracks. They both use the same tools to accomplish the same job. When all is said and done, the files you end up with at the conclusion of the splitting and tagging will be identical; the only difference is in how you get there. Some people will prefer the quick-and-dirty Terminal way while others want the comfort of a GUI. Try both and see which you prefer; both are good tools, serving different people, and both get the job done.