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March 30, 2009 /Audition /

Audition 3 Time-Saver: Generating Filenames for CD Extraction

Audition 3.0 included some new functionality in the CD extraction tools, primarily the ability to query a CDDB compatible database and use the results to automatically structure and name your audio files. This is a huge time saver for ripping CD collections or libraries, but since Audition doesn’t rely on any one particular service it can be intimidating to setup. While there are commercial services you can use such as Gracenote, the corporation built upon the original CDDB service, I will show you how to access the open source FreeDB database.

The “Extract Audio from CD” tool can be accessed via the File menu in either Edit View or CD View and opens a dialog with all the parameters needed to accurately rip tracks from your audio CDs. Generally, the default parameters can be used, though you may wish to reduce the CD speed or try different buffer sizes if your audio CD is heavily scratched or damaged and you’re experiencing problems.

Once opened, the dialog will analyze and display each audio track on the CD along side it’s duration. This “fingerprint” can be sent to a CDDB-compatible database, such as FreeDB or Gracenote, which will return a list of matching albums. If there is only one match, Audition will automatically select that and modify the track names and additional metadata fields.

To configure a database server, click the “Configure…” button at the bottom center of the dialog. In the box labeled “HTTP Titles Database” enter “” or the address supplied by your CDDB compatible provider if you are using an alternative service. You may also enter your email address, or whatever address you prefer to use for filling out these fields. Click OK, then click on the “Get Titles” button. Audition will contact the server, download the data, and apply it to your tracks. When you click OK to start the extraction process, the files will automatically be named according to the downloaded data and their basic metadata fields supplied with the appropriate information.

You can take additional control by applying a Filename Template if you prefer your filenames in a particular format. Back in the Configure… dialog you’ll see two fields – “Parse Song Titles” and “Filename Template” along with a list of template variables below. By entering a combination of these variables with any additional characters or text, Audition can maintain a consistent naming convention for your recordings.

The Filename Template defaults to “%s” which simply inserts the “Song Title” as the filename. For example 1931’s “Minnie The Moocher” by Cab Calloway saved as a WAV file would be named “Minnie the Moocher.wav”. By adjusting the variables, for example: “%t – %s by %a (%y) “, the resulting file would be saved as “1 – Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway (1931).wav”. Each variable is replaced by the actual content string supplied by the database.

While it’s not particularly common, sometimes the database results contain more information than expected, such as extraneous artist or track information in the song title. By adjusting the variables in the “Parse Song Title” field, you can declare which elements of the database results you wish to be applied when the “%s” variable is used in the Filename Template. For instance, the person who uploaded the CD information to FreeDB may have included the track number in the song title such as “1. Minnie the Moocher”. Using the variables here, we can tell Audition what parts of that string to use as the “Song Title”. In this case, I want to separate the track number from the title, so I could change the Parse Song Title field to: “%t. %s”. This will tell the tool that any reference to “%s” in the Filename Template should only use the field that matches “%s” in the “Parse Song Title” field. Again, this is a pretty rare occurrence and it’s unlikely you’ll need to use this parameter that often.

The “Track” dialog will update to display the current naming conventions as you make configuration changes. Once satisfied, click the OK button and let the extraction begin!

Durin Gleaves


Join the discussion

  • By Nick Marques - 5:29 PM on April 2, 2009  

    I would still like to see the ability to export a CD List to an ISO image file. This would save a step so I don’t have to burn a master, rip it to an image, then burn to multiple targets with Nero or some other burning program.Ripping a master also introduces some (negligible) distortion due to read errors and jitter with CD reading technology. In other words, burning a master and ripping don’t always produce 1:1 results.

  • By - 6:17 AM on July 3, 2011  

    I am always thought about this, regards for posting.

  • By emergency preparation - 12:48 AM on March 13, 2012  

    Nice read. Thanks.

  • By Mary Roach - 4:11 PM on March 11, 2013  

    If %t is for track number and
    %a for artist and
    %s for song title and
    %y for year and

    what’s the %? for album title? Is there a list somewhere of these, because this article is the most extensive documentation I’ve found on it, but it seems like there really should be one for album title.