Dealing with Bin/Cue Files on a Mac

Once in a while you run across CD images in the format of a .bin file and .cue file. These are CDRWin images which can’t (as far as I know) be easily read on the Mac. A little shortcut I found is to open the .cue file with Toast as if you were going to burn it, which Toast can do , but choose File -> Save As Disc Image instead. Toast will prompt you for the location to save the disc image, then dump the file there. Drop the resulting .toast file into Toast’s Disc Image section and hit Mount, and the data from the disc image (and thus the original .bin/.cue image) will be mounted on your Mac without burning them to a CD or DVD first. It’s a bit of a long way around, but it works, and might save you a CD-R.

Dealing with Bin/Cue Files on a Mac

99 thoughts on “Dealing with Bin/Cue Files on a Mac

  1. boris says:

    hi there

    i dont have the cue file, but is there a way of creating one (like cueator on windows) for my mac?



  2. If the content of the disc is a movie, opening up the cue file in VLC plays the movie with no problems – so no need to burn or mess around with toast.


  3. Globs says:

    There is no need to go through the toast image format. Toast is able to mount directly the .cue/.bin image to let you access it’s files (Toast menu: Tools/Mount a physical image…)


  4. theSoup says:

    hi. Ive been having a problem with a 3 part piece of software and it’s .cue/.bin inhabitants. Ive saved and mounted the .cue file for the first image, and its working fine. However, now when i try to open one of the other two files, Toast titanium says its not a correct .cue/.bin file. I had a look at the files, and it turns out that they are now all 0 Kb! Even the one i mounted before! And they used to all be around 680 mb! Can anyone provide any help?


  5. Dimitry says:

    From my finds, Toast will only mount 1 track if you choose Utlities, Mount Disc Image. So, for example, if you have a cue/bin of an Audio CD, ther resulted mounted disc will be one long file, there will be no tracks. Therefore, you have to first convert the bin/cue combo into a Mac image, and then mount it, to get the proper tracks.


  6. Brock says:

    Just an update, Toast 7 Titanium support bin/cue files now.

    To copy a BIN/CUE file to a CD or DVD:
    1 Click the Copy tab at the top of the Toast window.
    2 Click the Formats tab in the left drawer and choose Image File.
    3 Drag the BIN or CUE file from your hard disk into the Content Area, or click Select to add either file. Regardless of whether you add the BIN or the CUE, Toast adds the other automatically.
    4 Insert a blank recordable CD or DVD.
    5 Click the red Record button and choose a recorder from the list and optional recording settings, such as “Number of Copies.” Click Record to continue.
    Toast displays a progress bar and status information as it copies your disc.

    Hope that helps


  7. noface says:

    How would I go about converting this to something more maleable?
    Wanting to throw the vid on my iPod but not much info on how this can be achieved.


  8. kayla says:

    i’m a bit unfamiliar with all of this so please bear with me…

    i have a .cue and a .bin file (they are 2 files that together make up a movie. i have no idea why part 1 is in one format and part 2 is in another but whatever).

    i downloaded and installed vlc but it won’t let me open it. when i clicked on vlc icon, it gives me “you cannot oppen the application vlc because it is not supported on this architecture.”

    i am running on mac osx 10.4. i read that vlc should work so can anyone help me and tell me why it’s not working??? :(



  9. Kayla,
    You seem to have two issues here. .Bin and .cue files together make up a CD image, or a set of files that is a clone of a CD. The .bin file contains all the raw binary data (hence “.bin”), and the .cue sheet tells your software how to interpret the .bin file. I’m not entirely sure VLC can open a .bin/.cue set, but it might.

    The second issue is that the version of VLC you got sounds like it might be for the wrong Mac. Since the Mac OS at least recognized that what you clicked is indeed a program, I’m inclined to believe that you simply got a Mac version of VLC that goes with Apple’s “other” computers. If you have a new Intel-based machine, you’ll want to look for either an Intel Mac version of VLC or a Universal Binary. Or, if you have a slightly older machine like a PowerBook, you’ll want to get the PowerPC version of VLC. More info on Apple’s architecture switch can be found here:


  10. Jeff Thompson says:

    ok, so how about this:

    I have a .cue file, but no .bin file. The .cue file looks like this:

    FILE Track-01.wav WAVE
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE Track-02.iso BINARY
    TRACK 02 MODE1/2048
    PREGAP 00:03:00
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE Track-03.wav WAVE
    PREGAP 00:02:00
    INDEX 01 00:00:00

    as you can see, its a mix of .mp3 files, and a few .iso files. This will ultimately be a data disc. Any hints on how to burn this, as Toast seems to not like a .cue file without a .bin file. I think CDRWin will handle this, but I recently made the switch so I dont have access to a win box. Thanks in advance!


  11. Jeff, your .cue file is different than those discussed in this post. Your .cue file details how to cut up the files you have into their constituent pieces. For the .wav files listed, any “cue splitter” program will be able to break them up.


  12. GIO Garcia says:

    I got one for you, I tried point#10 – for toast 7, and it gave me a message:

    “CD-ROM XA or audio tracks cannot be written to dvd.”

    I know the file is bin/cue, all I wanted was to convert/burn the file to dvd so I can play it on my standard dvd player. Is there any software for mac that can do that? See, not all SVCDs can play on standard dvds. I tried that using a windows software – plays on one dvd player, doesen’t on the next one. Got any suggestions?


  13. Gio, are you dragging-and-dropping the file onto Toast? Sometimes it tries to be smart about handling dropped items, and gets it wrong. If you are dropping it in, try click the Select or Browse button and navigating to it instead.


  14. John says:

    I have a bin/cue that Toast says ‘cannot set up the tracks correctly’
    I belive this might work with Nero on a pc, but not on a Mac. Is there any way to get it to work with toast on a mac?
    How about bin/wav? Thanks!


  15. I’m not sure why your specific bin/cue files aren’t working in Toast. Perhaps they’re corrupted or broken, or they’re of some non-native .cue sheet format. As for .bin/.wav (do you mean .cue/.wav?), those are different than the binary files for CD images. See my earlier reply to Jeff’s comment about audio files for the answer to this.


  16. arcvile says:

    I also tried point#10 – for toast 7, and it gave me a message:

    “CD-ROM XA or audio tracks cannot be written to dvd.�



  17. arcvile says:

    Ok I got it to work! Just try point #10 but with a CD.
    It will make a DTS CD! My living room dvd player recognise it as a DTS CD and its really DTS!!! Amazing!!!!


  18. dori says:

    you can all just open the bin file with vlc player. dont mind the cue file when you do this. Just open the bin file with vlc and you are there……


  19. Vince says:

    How do I break-up cue files in Mac OSX? I did some searching on the web and found a program “Cue-Splitter”. Sounds exactly what I need to use to break up this long soundtrack into it’s individual songs! Well, when I go to use it, I have problems. Here’s what happens. . . . I open the program and then the opening screen comes up. I am then prompted to “select cue-file” which I have no problem doing from the drop-down menu. Once I do that, I notice that the various tracks of the large cue file and the corresponding track lengths appear. Neat! I also notice that it fills in “destination” automatically. BUT, here’s where the problem occurs. . . . I cannot fill in the “select audio-file” from the drop-down menu. It simply won’t allow me to put anything in that box. Everything I select from the “select audio-file” drop-down menu is grayed out! If I try hitting the “split” button without having anything in the “select audio-file” box, I get an error message. I’m stuck! Help! What am I doing wrong? I have an iMac G5 1.8 GHz with 1.5 GB DDR2 SDRAM and running Mac OSX v.10.4.8. Please help. Thank you!


  20. Jim says:

    If you do as the man suggests and use Toast to mount the disc image from the bin/cue files, you should be able to use your normal ripping software to pull the files into a QuickTime or iTunes format (if anyone hasn’t tried it yet, you’ve got to get Handbrake for film rips).


  21. Mads says:

    I have a .bin file for a game… but no .cue file :(
    I’ve tried Gumby but it says it needs the .cue file… why is there no .cue file? :S

    Any help welcome!!


  22. Daniel says:

    Why is it so complicated to burn a cue+mp3 in mac?

    The only program that does that is Burn but is doesnt support CD Text!


  23. Morgan says:

    i have downloaded some software and there are two folders, one for each cd(cd1, cd2). there is both a bin. and cue. file in each, now im running mac os x 10.4 or watever and im trying to get these files to install without using any cds if possible which program should i use and what steps should i take? i used a program called burn and i tried using the same tip you gave as the one you gave for toast, managed to get a disc image but when i open the disc image the bin file and the cue file pop exactly the same as they were before.
    really apreciate any help,


  24. Morgan says:

    well i fixed this by my self, funnily enough, using toast i saved it as an image then mounted the image, after this i used the disk utility provided by mac os x and repaired the cue files within the image file, then using gumby 50c i created an iso image, thus being able to finnaly use the bin. cue. files that were prooving to be quite impossible to use, thanks for the tip guys,


  25. Roy says:

    Yeah, mounting the disc image is by far the most expedient way of doin it. thanx for the tip man. life saver


  26. Jake says:

    I downloaded a .cue and a .bin file. I can open the .cue in VLC but i want to put the movie on my ipod. Is there a way to convert it. Im running 10.4.9 on a macbook.



  27. Kroobie says:

    Using toast 8, i keep the getting the same

    “CD-ROM XA or audio tracks cannot be written to dvd”

    error message.

    it doesn’t matter whether i drap a drop or navigate through toast, and averythins iv tried has had no effect, any tips?



  28. Wonka1 says:

    I too am having this issue with “cd-rom ca or audio tracks cannot be written to a dvd”

    I know the files are good because I have played them using VLC but I’m looking to burn a copy to play on my dvd player.

    What am I missing?


  29. gcking says:

    i too am getting this error from Toast 7

    “CD-ROM XA or audio tracks cannot be written to dvd�

    any ideas on how to burn bin/cue files to a dvd?


  30. Johnny P. says:

    I was able to mount the disc image and it now appears as a disc on my desktop but what do i do with that disk? it won’t play in quicktime, it doens’t contain an mpeg that i can copy off of the disc, so im very confused. Any help?


  31. scooter says:

    regarding the error message CD ROM XA AUDIO TRACKS CANNOT BE WRITTEN TO DISC: i believe the clue was in the message! i too tried burning a dvd of a .bin file using toast 7, and everything was cool until this message – then i realised that the file extension included the information that it was a VCD-CD ROM image, so yes all you have to do is burn it to a CDR instead! plays fine on set top dvd player, takes only a few minutes as toast doesn’t have to do any additional converting i guess…
    thanks to everyone for their assistance on this ;)


  32. Allison says:

    For the people who get the error “cd-rom ca or audio tracks cannot be written to a dvd”, read carefully it’s exactly what it says. CD tracks cannot be written to a DVD. You must use a CD. Took me forever to figure that out.

    Now my problem is that my bin file is 802 MB, which will not fit on a CD. So I’m screwed I guess. Anyone know how to deal with that??


  33. doug says:

    ok. i downloaded an album. in the RAR file were the mp3 file and the cue file. no bin. the mp3 is just one long track, being the entire album. co how do i go abut using the cue file without a bin?

    i tried creating my own bin file and then using the cue fil i downloaded. however, Toast says that the cue file is not supported. oddly enough, if i close toast and try to re-open that same bin fil that i created, it also says that it is not a supported file.



  34. Codeye Dave says:

    Great tip, was getting annoyed with mounting an audio CD bin in toast and just having one long file fill of white noise!


  35. Big Rich says:

    Sometimes, if you’re burning an image of a cd or dts cd, you will have a .cue and .wav file. Toast will see the cue file as not valid. If you open the cue in text edit, you will see, a couple of lines down from the top, next to the name of the wav file that it points to, a capital WAVE. Change that to BIN. Save and close text edit. Toast will now recognize it as a valid cue file, and burn correctly. No cue splitting necessary.


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