Cue sheets - introduction
The cue sheet, downloadable from the bottom almost all our music recordings pages, is a short text file which indicates titles and timings of tracks, and references the MP3 file which it describes. To download a cue sheet, simply right click the "Q-Sheets" button (right) and select Save file as... or Save target as...
Software such as Foobar2000 for Windows PC reads this text file, searches for the MP3 file named in it, and displays the tracks as if they were separate. It can split them for you, play them back for you, or burn them to CD* for you.
Important: Before starting, please make sure you've not renamed the .mp3 file and that it's saved in exactly the same directory or folder as the .cue file. The actual location is irrelevant as long as the cue sheet can "find" the mp3.
Note that if you've saved the MP3 into a folder called My Music, there's nothing specific about the folder that prevents you from saving non-music files into it, and there's nothing to prevent you saving music files elsewhere. It's merely a name given to a folder which Windows recognises as normally containing your music.
Using Foobar2000 with MP3+Cue
*These require additional software - see below.
1. PLAYBACK OF LONG MP3 FILES
With Foobar2000 select File/Open... and select and open the Cue file. You should now see the recording open with all tracks listed, ready for playback:
2. SPLIT LONG MP3 FILES.
Right click on the overall title and select "Convert" - a sub-menu pops up. Select Convert to... from the sub-menu, which allows you to split the recording into individual tracks on your hard drive. I'd recommend choosing WAV files from the options list you're presented with, as it looks like the program will re-encode MP3s, which potentially downgrades the audio.
If you's rather split the long MP3 into individual short MP3 files, then you'll need CueSplitter, which can be downloaded from http://www.medieval.it - again, open the Cue file (not the MP3), then click on the Split button, indicate where you'd like the individual files, and you're away.
3. MAKE A CD*
Right click on the overall title and select "Convert" - a sub-menu pops up which offers Write to CD...which allows you to create a track-split CD from the MP3.
*Note: You need to install an extra module to enable CD writing from Foobar, which also requires that you have Ahead's Nero Burning ROM software on your PC.
Select CD Burning Support at http://www.foobar2000.org/components/index.html for the extra module. Nero can be found at http://www.nero.com and also supports direct burning to CD using Cue sheets.
For an in-depth look at using Nero with cue sheets click here
4. MAKE A COMPILATION CD FROM MORE THAN ONE MP3 FILE*
*Requires additional software - see above
1. Create a New Playlist (File/New Playlist)
2. Using File/Add Files... open the cue sheets in the order you'd prefer to hear them:
3. Right click on the Playlist tab and follow the context menus through Contents and Convert to Write Audio CD:
4. The program should detect your CD writer - insert a CD and click Burn to make the CD with appropriate track points and both MP3s together.
The only shortcoming with this approach is the inability to set a gap between the two recordings - you need a dummy MP3 that's perhaps ten seconds long to do this, and load it into the playlist between the cue sheet sections. A suitable file can be downloaded here.