MP3s and Cue Files

MP3 downloads

History and background

Pristine has been going a long time, at least in the world of music downloads! When we began, the MP3 was frowned upon and seen as synonymous with music piracy. It was also a pretty new concept for many people.

In those days, an MP3 player which didn’t introduce a short gap between tracks was the exception rather than the rule. This isn’t good for a lot of our music releases, so we chose a system called MP3+CUE to get around it.

A full album was released as a single MP3, with an accompanying CUE file which included timing and track title information. With these two files, software which supports the system can burn gapless CDs, split the long MP3 into individual tracks, or offer continuous replay of the album whilst offering access to the individual tracks on it without needing to break it up into lots of shorter MP3s.



Time has moved on. Most of our downloads are now bought as audiophile-quality FLAC files, and all of our more recent releases have been offered as MP3 files with individual tracks rather than a single long file as before. Most replay systems now offer gapless playback of these MP3s. These MP3s are contained in a ZIP file which may also include artwork, scores and other supporting files. Simply unZIP them to your music folder before playing.


Using MP3+CUE from our older releases

If you’ve bought one of our older recordings as an MP3, and you have its associated CUE file, you can use it as follows

Replay : Make sure the MP3 and its CUE file are in the same folder. Replay software that supports MP3+CUE (such as Kodi) will find both, associate them, and offer you the album tracks as for any other album.

Splitting : If you search for a “Cue Splitter” you’ll find free software online which can split your long MP3 into individual tracks. Again, save the MP3 and its CUE file to the same folder, then use the Cue Splitter to open the CUE file and split the MP3 into individual tracks.

Make an Audio CD : Save the CUE and MP3 files into the same folder and open the CUE file in most commercial CD writing software to create a continuous audio CD from your single MP3, with track markers automatically inserted at all the right places.