CUE Splitting

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This article describes how to split audio files using CUE metadata.


To split audio files you need shntool. To split CD images in ISO or raw format you need bchunk.

The WAV format is supported natively for both input and output. To decode or encode files in other format you need an appropriate decoder. For example: flac, mac, or wavpack.

To tag audio files you need extra tools, such as cuetools, mp3info, or vorbis-tools.


To split a disc audio file accompanied by a cue sheet use the shnsplit command:

 shnsplit -f file.cue file.ape

To split bin files with cue sheets use:

 bchunk -v -w file.bin file.cue out

All these commands produce .wav files. You probably want to compress the audio files with formats like flac or mp3.

shnsplits gives the possibility to convert on the fly to most lossless formats, like flac. It can be used like so:

 shnsplit -f file.cue -o flac file.ape

If you need more control over the conversion you may change the converter parameters inline:

 shnsplit -f file.cue -o "flac flac -s -8 -o %f -" file.ape

Even better, automatically name split files with track number and title:

 shnsplit -f file.cue -t "%n %t" -o "flac flac -s -8 -o %f -" file.ape

The formats shnsplit supports can be view using the command

 shntool -a

It does not really matter, though, if shnsplit does not support a format you want to use. Just specify any format you want, then override the correct file extension and command it would normally use with your own. For example, at the time this was written, shnsplit does not support vorbis, but this command works just fine:

 shnsplit -f file.cue -t "%n %t" -o "flac ext=ogg oggenc -b 192 -o %f -" file.ape


You will need cuetools to use

To copy the metadata from a cue sheet to the splitted files you can use: file.cue *.mp3

or if you need to select only certain files: file.cue track01.mp3 track02.mp3 track03.mp3 track04.mp3 supports id3 tags for .mp3 files and vorbis tags for .ogg and .flac files.


  • This is a script that splits and converts files to tagged FLAC:
  • You can also try the split2flacAUR or split2flac-gitAUR script from the AUR.
  • You may also use flaconAUR or flacon-gitAUR, a graphical Qt program that splits, converts and tags album audio files into song audio files. It also features automatic character set detection for CUE files.
  • To avoid quality loss from transcoding mp3 files, mp3splt-gtk or mp3splt may be used to directly split mp3 files either manually or automatically with a provided cuesheet. Batch mode processing is also available.