Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Audio Rippers and Encoders in Ubuntu Linux

The application you use to rip audio files from CD and encode them into space-saving MP3 or Ogg Vorbis formats is commonly referred to as a ripper. For some time now, the most commonly used non–command-line ripper was Grip, which still has its dedicated following. Other simpler-to-use rippers, however, have surfaced more recently, such as RipperX, Goobox, and the one that comes bundled with Ubuntu: Sound Juicer.

Sound Juicer
Sound Juicer is a relatively new program that is pretty straightforward to use and quite capable in terms of what it does. It isn’t perfect, though, and it still can be a bit quirky. In addition, unlike many of its ripping cousins, Sound Juicer does not automatically create a playlist for the songs you rip and encode, and it lacks a simple means by which to adjust the encoding bitrate.

Despite these limitations, there are still many people who prefer Sound Juicer to the competition, so you might as well give it a try to see how you like it. To get started, just place the CD you want to rip in your drive; Sound Juicer will start up automatically and display the title of your CD, the artist’s name, and titles of all the tracks in the application window.

You can go about things another way by going to Applications -> Sound & Video -> Sound Juicer CD Extractor and then placing your CD in the drive. In this case, however, you might have to go to the Sound Juicer Disc menu and select Re-read Disc before your album and track information will appear.

If you are not connected to the Internet, these bits of album information will not appear because album and track data are not embedded in the CD itself. What happens instead is that the audio ripper or player on your machine sends the digital ID of the CD you’re playing to an online database, such as freeDB.org or CD DataBase (CDDB), which is now officially known as Gracenote. In turn, the online database sends the album information for that CD back to the player or ripper.

Setting the Default Folder for Ripped Files in Sound Juicer
By default, Sound Juicer is set up to rip your CDs and encode audio tracks in Ogg Vorbis format, and the default location in which Sound Juicer saves these files is your home folder. Because Sound Juicer, like all other rippers, will create an artist folder for each CD you rip, you will end up with a lot of folders in your home folder if you rip albums from a large number of artists. It is best to create a Music folder within your home folder, as you did for your graphika account, and then make that folder your default location for ripped music.

To set the default from within Sound Juicer, go to the Edit menu and select Preferences. This will open the Preferences window where you can change the output path by clicking the menu button next to the word Folder (the button itself should say Home at this point) and then selecting Other in the menu that appears. After that, browse to your Music folder, click it once in the list to select it, and then click the Open button.

Ripping and Encoding Sound Files in Sound Juicer
To start ripping the audio tracks from the CD you have in your drive, youb first need to select the format in which you wish to encode the tracks. To do this, go to Edit -> Preferences, and then in the Output Format menu select the encoding format of your liking. The most of common of these is MP3 (MP3 audio) or, in the Linux world, CD Quality, Lossy (Ogg multimedia). Once you’ve made your choice, click Close.

After that, all you need to do is click the Extract button at the bottom of the Sound Juicer window to rip and encode all of the tracks on the CD. If there are certain tracks you do not care to rip and encode, just uncheck the checkboxes next to the names of those songs before you click Extract. If you only want to rip and encode a few of the songs in the list, it might be better to first go to the Edit menu, select Deselect All, and then check the checkboxes next to the songs you do want to rip before clicking Extract.

While the songs are being ripped and encoded, Sound Juicer will show you its progress in the lower-left corner of the window, and when it’s all done, it will tell you so in a small window. Once you get that message, click Close. You can eject the CD by going to the File menu and selecting Eject. If you want to rip and encode another CD, pop it into the drive; just as with the first CD, the album, artist, and song titles will all appear in the program window, and you can rip away yet again.

Once you’re done with your ripping chores, you could check out the results of your efforts using one of the players discussed in the following sections, of course. But the quickest and perhaps the most interesting way to play back your newly ripped files is to open a Nautilus window, and then navigate to the new tracks within your Music folder. Once you’re there, place your cursor over any one of tracks and a little eighth note in one of those comic bubbles will appear, and the track, without so much as a single mouse click, will mysteriously start playing.

Source of Information : Ubuntu for Non-Geeks

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