Cue sheet

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Cue sheets are used to provide index information for a large audio file. Cue sheets have the file extension ".cue", and are simple plain text files.

Cue sheets are especially useful for DJ mixes where the resulting audio file is one long mp3. With a tracklist a cue sheet can be created that will allow you to access the tracks very easily. Remember though: cue sheets only work with compatible software.

Contents

Playing Cue sheets

Cue sheets are only useful if you can play them! Here is a list of compatible software players:

Winamp Plugins

  • Cue Player Plugin for Winamp (Windows)
  • mp3cue Plugin for Winamp (Windows)
  • mp3cue Plugin for Winamp with XMMS (Linux)

For the plugins all you have to do is have the cue and the mp3 file in the same folder and ideally with the same filename:

  • for most players just drag the cue sheet inside the main or playlist window, and it works just fine
  • for the mp3cue plugin it's different - here you drag the mp3 file inside the Winamp window and the cue will open in a separate window.

All plugins will show up the track name, and at the end of each track it will keep on playing without any gaps at the end of song, coz it will keep on going smoothly throughout the whole mix, coz you gotta remember its playing one mp3.

MediaMonkey Scripts

The cue file has to be in the same directory and have the same filename. If you are getting a warning message whenever you load a file, take a look at your Internet Explorer Security settings for Local Area Network. This didn't seem to change much for me, and found this from MediaMonkey forums:

  • Run regedit.exe
  • Goto HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\0
  • Modify key 1201 = 0

This enables the above option in your My Computer zone, apparently.

Splitting Cue Sheets

You can split a long audio file into smaller audio files by using a cue splitter

Creating Cue sheets

To understand the make-up of a cue sheet please see the Hydrogenaudio.org Cue Sheet wiki.

Cue sheets are just text files with the file extension set as .cue. Thus, one of the easiest ways to create a cue sheet is to use a text editor like Notepad and create a template:

REM GENRE Dubstep/IDM/Electronica
REM DATE 2008
REM COMMENT Excellent
TITLE "Electronic Explorations - 001 - Milanese"
FILE "ElectronicExplorations_001_Milanese.mp3" WAVE
  TRACK 01 AUDIO
    TITLE "Intro"
    PERFORMER "Electronic Explorations"
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
  TRACK 02 AUDIO
    TITLE "Sneak Up"
    PERFORMER "215 T.F.K."
    INDEX 01 00:33:36
  TRACK 03 AUDIO
    TITLE "Three Drops (Original Mix)"
    PERFORMER "October"
    INDEX 01 04:02:39
  TRACK 04 AUDIO
    TITLE "Sissy Spacek (Ruff)"
    PERFORMER "Bong-Ra"
    INDEX 01 06:28:56
  TRACK 05 AUDIO
    TITLE "Miserere"
    PERFORMER "Quark Ruckspin and Planas"
    INDEX 01 10:40:37

All you have to do is then amend the FILE and TITLE at the top of the cue sheet as appropriate. Also, amend the individual TRACK TITLE and PERFORMER and INDEX values.

Guide To Making A Cue Sheet Work

The following is a step-by-step guide to help the uninitiated make use of a cue sheet (on Windows):

  1. On your Windows PC go to My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View > untick Hide extensions for known file types.
    • This will allow you to view the entire filename (e.g. my-mix.cue) and will make things easier in the following steps.
  2. If someone has detailed the contents of a cue sheet and you want to make a cue sheet from that then simply copy all the text and paste into a text file:
    • Open up Notepad, paste the text into it and save as filename.cue (remember to ensure the filename extension is .cue).
    • If you didn't do the above correctly, don't worry. Simply navigate to where you saved the cue sheet and edit the filename in Windows Exploring. Just replace the .txt with .cue.
    • Try to always name the cue sheet the same as the mp3 (with the exception of the extension). For example: my-mix.mp3 and my-mix.cue. This is because a lot of audio software players that support cue sheets also require the same filename for the audio file and cue sheet.
  3. It's very likely that cue sheets will not be associated with any program, especially not an audio software player.
    1. Foobar2000 allows you to associate many audio file types within it's program:
      • File > Preferences > File Types
    2. Another way to associate cue sheets with an audio software player that supports cue sheets is as follows:
      • right-click the cue sheet > Properties > Change... button > select the program you wish to use. Now whenever you double click the cue sheet it will load into the audio player.

Cue Sheet Creation Tools

You can always use tools such as CueMaster, to edit & create cue sheets, here are the links for that:

Most cue sites with cue sheet generators also allow the upload of cues in this way building cue-sheet collections.

Finding Cue sheets

Here are some good websites to help ya search for cue sheets (roughly in the order of popularity and stored content):

The site contains 15200+ cues mainly for DJ sets before 2007.

Actively maintained with more than 3000+ cues for newest DJ sets (mainly Trance & Progressive).

A quite new cue-database (mainly Trance & Progressive).

Burning Cue sheets to an audio CD

Looking for tracklistings (as a precondition for preparing cues)

Sometimes you will find a few cues as well...

Misc

CUE_Tools

Also check the Wikipedia entry for more info on the cue-sheet syntax and for some info about using cue-sheets with CD images [1]!

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