How to Extract Individual Audio Tracks from CDs with Flacon

While streaming services are increasingly popular, digital audio files often still offer a superior quality. With certain genres of music, the old-fashioned way of thinking in “albums”‘ still comes natural, and while compact disks might be the past, APE/CUE CD images still are a great way to store whole albums in one place. Nevertheless, one often needs a single audio file or wants to break down large files to smaller, manageable pieces or wants to just convert it to a different format a portable player could handle. Flacon offers a way to achieve this with a click of a button.

Flacon has the ability to extract single audio tracks with all relevant information from CD images and convert them into various file formats. Besides APE/CUE images, it supports other input formats such as WAV, FLAC, WavPack and True Audio (TTA). It can convert audio into all of these, plus MP3, AAC and OGG, making it a versatile and very useful music extractor/converter. Flacon does not really do the conversion itself but rather acts as a common front end for different external applications. (You can see the list of applications in “Help -> About External Applications” and also change them in the settings.)

In Ubuntu, there is of course a PPA available.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:flacon
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install flacon

The flacon github page also provides instructions for different Linux distros for easy installation. It is written in Qt, so if you do not have the necessary libraries, the package will most likely pull in a lot of dependencies.

Flacon is very easy to use; the UI is simple and straightforward.


You can add a single APE/CUE file (1), use the recursive album search to add a directory (2), remove an album from the project (3), get album data from CDDB (4), and start (5) or stop (6) the conversion process.


You might want to set up Flacon before use. In “Settings -> Preferences” you will be able to change a few basic attributes


and set up each output method separately.


For the output files, you can specify (n the main screen) a directory (1), the filename pattern (2), and the file format (3). The latter can be set up from here as well. (The icon beside the field will access preferences.)


The file format patterns are relatively easy:

  • %n – track number
  • %a – artist
  • %t – track title
  • %g – genre
  • %y – year
  • %N – total number of tracks
  • %A – album title

Using a forward slash (/) will mean output path, and any formatting marks enclosed in curly brackets {} will be left empty if the information is not present.

The default token reads

%a/{%y - }%A/%n - %t

making it,

artist/year - /album_title/track_number - track_title.file_format

which in practice resulted in something like the following:

/Daniel Barenboim/1982 - Chopin Nocturnes/09 - Chopin- Nocturnes Op.32 No.1, N. in B major- Andante soste.flac

Quite fortunately, you will not need to remember all of this to quickly change the settings. Clicking the drop-down arrow will present you with an easy way to build filename patterns or even chose from a few preformatted options


Another thing you might need to do is get album data from CDDB. For some reason the button in the toolbar remained greyed out, but the function was accessible from the little drop-down arrow next to the filename. (Of course, you will only need to use this if the CD image does not contain sufficient data.)


Once you are ready to convert, you only need to click the button. It should only take a few seconds.


When ready, selecting individual tracks will allow you to edit their information tags. Interestingly, this time the toolbar button for accessing CDDB data is enabled.


Flacon is a simple front end for many different audio extractor programs, unifying the experience and making it very easy (after some optional setting up) to extract information from audio images with a click of a button.

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