The file extension CUE is related to Description Files for CD images. Description Files are Cue sheet descriptions which define how the tracks of a compact disc should be organized. CUE files are written in text format and are supported by a wide variety of CD playback applications and editing programs.
CUE files contain data that pertains to titles and performers, track names, audio file names, and other information relevant to the disc layout. Files that contain the CUE extension are similar to disk image binary files that provide a complete copy of the source for precise duplication of the structure and content of the disc.
CUE sheet descriptions are helpful when burning CDs or listening to CD sets where the tracks are recorded in a single file. Additionally, some media players are capable of using CUE files as a playlist and can playback audio tracks from the lists.
How to Open CUE Files
Since CUE files are in plain text ASCII file format, you can open and view the contents using any text editing program, such as Notepad or WordPad for Windows, Apple TextEdit for Mac, or gEdit for the Linux operating system. CUE sheet description files can also be opened using a variety of different programs and applications.
If you use Windows, you can open CUE files with CDRwin, which is a CD/DVD and Blu-ray writing program available as a free trial from the relevant website. Other programs that will open CUE files in Windows include Alcohol 120%, ISOBuster, Daemon Tools, Nero Multimedia Suite, CloneCD, and Roxio Creator 2012. Additionally, if you simply want to play CUE files, you can use VUPlayer or KMPlayer, which can read CUE files as a playlist and playback the tracks in the list.
For Mac OS X, you can open CUE files using NTI Dragon Burn 4, which is a CD/DVD writing program designed for Mac PCs and is available as a free download on the NTI website. Other programs that will open CUE files on a Mac PC include Roxio Toast 11, Cog, and Burn.
If you use the Linux operating system, you can open CUE files using VideoLAN VLC Media Player, which is open source and also works with Windows and Mac OS X.
It is also important to mention that if you want to create audio tracks from a single long mix, you can use a program known as Cue Splitter. It is a freeware tool that can split a single large audio track into the relevant individual tracks using the information in the corresponding CUE file.