Wheel To The Storm

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Need a little help with audio files from WheelToTheStorm. Well hopefully this page will answer all your questions. Below you will find the process, seperated into the various steps you go through, for downloading music, uncompressing the downloaded files, and then burning them to cd, or listening on your computer or mobile device. Under each step is a short explaination, and the links to get the software you may need. For those of you that have received material in the mail, please skip down to Listen.
If you know where your hung up, just click on the following coresponding link.

Step 1: Download

These days, there are a number of routes to download music. For each route, there are different kinds of software to use. Just pay attention to what kind of site you are using, then use the right kind of software for that type of download.
Wheel To The Storm has two types of download sites:

Download via HTTP:
Files are available from the web server  (archive.wheeltothestorm.com).
  • Use your favorite browser in your favorite OS. From any of the Archives, click on the date of the show. On the show page (the one with the setlist), located in the bottom right, click download. This will present in a separate tab/window, a directory with all the tracks associated with this show. Right click on the files and select "Save As". Choose which directory you want to save it to and your download will begin.  This is the slowest and most user-unfriendly way to do it, please refer to Download Managers and FTP below for better methods.  
  • Download managers. These can help queue up a bunch of links to make http:// much more convenient. Caution, some managers greedily open many connections at once to speed the download, and -WheelDB- will ban you for that. Set the manager up appropriately. IE users can google "Download Manager" to get free software to speed things up. Firefox  users search for the add-on "Download Them All".
  • For the best solution to file transfers, quickest and most reliable, see FTP below.

Download via FTP:
Files are available from the ftp server -WheelFTP- (ftp://ftp.wheeltothestorm.com/).
FTP is the traditional download method and the preferred method here at Wheel To The Storm. Since this server is allowed to que up more than is allowed in the public trading area, and is more personalized to a specific user, you will need a user name and password in order to logon to the server. These can be obtained by contacting Wheel To The Storm.

Most operating systems come with a command-line FTP client, but this can be a big pain to use. For example, in IE click in the address bar and replace what's there with      ftp://ftp.wheeltothestorm.com/     then click Go.  Sign In and you can then use your IExplorer as a Windows Explorer and just click and drag the entire folder.  This however does not speed things up, it just offers the ability to select multiple files to download at once. To speed things up you need to have a ftp client, or software. Some popular programs are linked to below.

  • Windows FTP Clients
    • [Filezilla] - freeware, open-source (GPL-ed), companion server is similar.
    • [SmartFTP] - freeware
    • [LeechFTP] - freeware
    • [LeapFTP] - shareware
    • [CuteFTP] - commercial, trial available
    • [FlashFXP] - commercial, trial available
    • [BulletProof FTP] - commercial, trial available
    • Internet Explorer's built-in FTP client. Type ftp://example.com/ into the "Address" window. If the FTP site is on a non-standard port, follow the address with a colon and the portnumber, e.g., ftp://example.com:1337/. Then, hit Enter or the Go button. (First make sure that "Enable folder view for FTP sites" is checked under the Advanced tab under Tools > Internet Options.) The FTP site will look and behave pretty much like a local folder on your hard drive as far as copying and pasting goes. You can also bookmark the FTP window just like a regular Web site. IE will also remember FTP passwords and logins. Note that some FTP sites may not work with IE. Other browsers such as Mozilla Firefox also support FTP but with a different, hypertext-like interface.
  • UNIX FTP Clients
    • [lftp] - extremely powerful command-line client
    • [NcFTP] - another very powerful command-line client
  • Mac OS X FTP Clients Since Mac OS X is UNIX under the hood, the UNIX Clients mentioned above should all work. There are also some native OS X clients as well
  • Classic Mac OS FTP Clients

Download via Peer to Peer:
Interconnected networks of people downloading, uploading, sharing items all at the same time. There are many different types. Some P2P networks and apps are commonly used within our community and it's easy to find TradeFriendly material through them. Others are wastelands. Most are to be avoided. Each requires its own software. Wheel To The Storm does not participate in any P2P networks. You may want to try it out so here are some examples, but Wheel To The Storm does not condone this method of file transfer.
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Step 2: Listen

Once you've got your music, you need to be able to listen to it, right? Well, you can burn it onto a CD of course (see step 3 & 5), but you can also listen to it on your PC before you burn it. Flac is like a .wav file. However unlike .wav not all players recognize flac. All you need is a plug-in for your favorite media player, and you're set. The files remain in compressed form, so if your goal is to burn them on CD, then see step 3 & 5 below, and skip this one.

The files that you receive from Wheel To The Storm are in flac form. I suggest Winamp for Windows and MacAmp for OS X. The latest download for WinAmp includes the flac decoder. If you have an older version of WinAmp you can get the decoder here. More options for lossless plugin's and players are listed below, all will work well with anything gotten from Wheel To The Storm.

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Step 3: Uncompress

Before you can burn a CD, you need to turn your flac and or shn files into wav files by uncompressing them. Most of these utilities can also be used in the other direction to create flac or shn files from wav files. For files received from Wheel To The Storm, and if your using Windows, the best program is the FLAC Windows Installer.  For those of you using OS X the best choice is MacFLAC. Once you have downloaded one of these programs, follow the installation instructions included, and your on your way. Other compression tools that work fine are listed below. Sorry no mp3 links.
  • [FLAC Installer] (which redirects to [Mike Wren's page]) - Contains the FLAC Frontend which for creating FLAC files or uncompressing them.
  • [MacFLAC] - free FLAC GUI for MacOS X
  • [FLACer] - shareware FLAC GUI for Mac OS X
  • [xACT] - free GUI for Mac OS X for unix shorten 3.5.1, shntool 1.2.3, flac 1.1.0, monkey's audio 3.97. Everything you need for encoding/decoding shn, flac, ape and calling shntool functions (len, info, split, join, cmp, fix).
  • [Speek's Multi-Frontend] - Free GUI for Windows that handles Flac, Shorten, Monkey's Audio, etc files.
    (Requires appropriate EXE file to work with the files you wish to compress/decompress/modify).
  • [dBpowerAMP Music Converter] - Convert your SHN to FLAC, vice versa, or from SHN/FLAC to WAV.
    • [FLAC Codec] - Codec required by dBpowerAMP to handle FLAC files.
    • [SHN Codec] - Codec required by dBpowerAMP to handle SHN files.
  • [mkwACT] - Windows MD5-checking and audio (de)compression utility. Just drag and drop a folder onto it and it does the rest. But be sure to set the defaults properly, and read the discussion about XP, at
    [the etree mkwACT faq].
  • [Softsound's Shorten] is another option for Windows users.
  • [Howto integrate] the command line versions of the [latest versions of shorten] with Windows Explorer Windows XP (very easy and cool) [etree shn faq]. These command line versions are another alternative for those users who cannot get mkwACT to work properly.
  • [md5summer] - Windows MD5-checking and creating tool, with a graphical interface. Handy for those who can't use mkw, or when you forget to create the md5s with mkw.
  • [unshn] - Shell script for uncompressing SHN files on *NIX systems (works under Cygwin as well). Part of the "etree-scripts" package.
  • [Shorten for Macintosh] - versions for MacOS 7-9 and a Carbonized version for MacOS X
  • [shntool and Shorten v3.4 for Mac OS X] - The Mark Domyancich setup walkthrough and usage guide for shntool and Shorten v3.4 on OSX.
  • [SHNTool for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X] - For fixing sector boundary errors in SHN, WAV, & FLAC files on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X

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Step 4: Edit Files

Here are some programs for editing and recording WAV files. This step is not necessary for anything you may download from Wheel To The Storm. However it is handy for other sites, and if you wish to upload to Wheel To The Storm. Once again if your just wanting to burn a CD, and your files are uncompressed and in .wav form from step 3, just skip this step and go to step 5 - Burn
  • [CD Wave] - WAV recording/editing program that allows for perfect sector boundary splits. Shareware.
  • [wavbreaker] - Takes wave files and breaks it up into multiple wave files. It makes a clean break at the correct position, sector boudaries, to burn the files to an audio cd without any dead air between the tracks. It includes a command line tool that will merge wave files back together. Linux - GNU GPL - Open Source
  • [SoundStudio] - Digital Audio editing for Mac OS X. $50, trial available.
  • [Wave Merge (ftp)] (mirror) Wave Merge - Combines tracks, useful for retracking shows. I wasn't exactly sure if that'd work, so I put another copy up [here] (right-click, "save as").

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Step 5: Burn

Here are some programs for burning audio and data CDs.  When burning audio CDs remember to always use "Disk At Once" or "No Space Between Tracks", as live shows do not have gaps between the songs, and in many cases songs flow from one to the other and you do not want a gap of silence in between them. This goes for all files from Wheel To The Storm. You will have had to uncompress the audio files first in step 3 before proceeding to this step. Please go to step 3 above if you have not already done so. Most everybody already has burning software on their computer. Please feel free to use whatever Burning program you wish, below is just a list for those of you that don't already have a burning program. 
  • [cdrecord] - Command line CD burning app for *NIX and Cygwin.
  • [GUI front-end for cdrecord] - A graphical user interface for the Windows version of cdrecord. You can download either just the front-end or the front-end plus the cdrecord tools for Windows.
  • [cdrdao] - Another command line CD burner for *NIX systems.
  • [CDRWin] - Excellent commercial CD burning and copying suite for Windows. Also available as command line tools for DOS users.
  • [Nero Burning ROM] - Windows shareware application that can burn just about any type of CD (data, audio, VCD, etc.) - [SHN and Flac Plugins]
  • [Feurio!] - Excellent Windows shareware audio CD burning application. Unregistered version does not burn data CDs.
  • [Toast Titanium] has finally fixed the DAO bug that existed until version 5.0 and now burns audio seamlessly on Macs.
  • [Dragon Burn] is an affordable alternative to Toast for Mac OS X
  • [Gnome Toaster] - Linux GUI to burn data/audio/mixed-mode CDs, TAO or DAO, using cdrdao and cdrecord. Uses filters to handle ANY file format (once setup), can extract and burn from SHN/FLAC/.ogg/mp3/etc automatically. Can also encode!
  • [K3b] - Another Linux GUI CD recording program for KDE, but also may work on Gnome.

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Step 6: Extract Audio

Occasionally it is necessary to extract the digital audio from a burned CD. This might be necessary if you are seeding a show but don't have the source that your CDs came from. Or perhaps you want to copy a CD for someone and you didn't archive the flac files you used to burn it.
  • [Exact Audio Copy (EAC)] - the best DAE program for Windows users. Only Windows program that will make 100% accurate rips [more].
  • [cdparanoia] - The best DAE application for *NIX systems. Every bit as good as EAC, though lacking its fine-grained offset calibration. This has now been [ported] to OS X as well. Note that not everyone may have success with the limited port to OS X as it has been reported to fail on some non-Powerbook based machines due to drive differences. YMMV
  • [Grip] - GUI ripper/encoder front end for *NIX systems; uses cdparanoia as its ripping engine.
  • [CDex] - open source ripper with cdparanoia support for Windows.
  • [Aqua CD Burn] - An extremely easy-to-use GUI for cdrtools on OS X, and contains the cdparanoia libraries. Still in alpha stage so it may not support all burners.
  • [X-CD-Roast] - Give this program a try if you can't get Aqua CD Burn to work with your burner. You will need to install X11 to use this program.
  • [Track Thief] Until cdparanoia works on Classic Mac OS, the best DAE program for Mac users. You'll also need [SoundApp] to convert the resulting AIFFs to WAVs for shortening.

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