Rip CDs to MP3s with Ubuntu

These steps will allow you to rip your CDs to mp3s.

As it stands now Ubuntu will rip CDs to either .ogg, .flac, or .wav for your music.  The .wav is a lossless codec with no compression.  WAV gives the best possible sound but creates the largest file sizes.  The .flac codec is a losless codec with compression.  FLAC will give you sound quality that rivals .wav files with smaller file sizes.  The .ogg is an open source compression algorothm and is considered by many to be the best sound/compression trade off.  

Remember the fact that iPods, and other equipment will not use either .ogg or .flac formats.  MP3 is the standard you need.  Problem is that this is a restricted format and Ubuntu cannot bundle these with the install.  They are licensed and would require Ubuntu to pay for them.

Refer to my Proprietary CODECs page to install the proper CODECs here.

Once the proper packages are installed the MP3 128 Kbit is added to your Juicer profile.  I prefer the VBR(Variable Bit Rate) MP3 over 128Kbit.  To add VBR MP3 creation capability proceed.

To enable Juicer to rip to MP3 format we need to do the following:

- Open Juicer
- Edit ---> Preferences
- Edit Profiles
- New (give the new profile a name, e.g. MP3) ---> Create
- Highlight the new profile and click Edit
- Close the Edit GNOME Audio Profiles window by right mouse clicking and selecting Close (Juicer bug in Feisty).
- Enter a profile name, and description
- Enter the following below for Gstreamer pipeline (this will do variable bitrate mp3)

audio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc preset=1001 ! xingmux ! id3v2mux

Some MP3 players will not play a variable bitrate (VBR) mp3 so you can use this Gstreamer pipeline for constant bitrate (CBR) MP3

audio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc vbr=0 bitrate=192 ! id3v2mux

Adjust the bitrate=192 parameter to different value if desired.

- Enter mp3 as File Extension

- Check Active box
- Click OK

Close all boxes and go back to Edit ---> Preferences in Juicer and select your new MP3 format as Output Format.

This will allow Juicer to rip your CDs to VBR MP3s!!!!!!  

Note the MP3s created will be variable bitrate (VBR) MP3s.  VBR is considered to be the best method.  VBR gives you best trade off between sound quality and file size.  Windows XP cannot play VBR MP3 file without a plugin, refer to Windows XP documentation to do this.  Ubuntu can play VBR MP3s with the installation of the proper codecs.

Here is a good wiki on CD ripping to mp3.

Once this is done you may want to burn your MP3s to a CD in audio fashion.  I personally recommend using K3b for all your CD/DVD burning tasks.  You will notice that if you try to burn MP3s as an audio CD using K3b you will get an error saying that K3b does not support burning MP3s to CDs to make an audio CD.  No fear, there is help.  K3b has a plugin to do just this.  Since MP3 is a proprietary codec you will have to install it yourself.  To install this plugin and K3b type the following in a terminal:

Ubuntu Gutsy or earlier
sudo apt-get install k3b libk3b2-mp3

Ubuntu Hardy
sudo apt-get install k3b libk3b2-extracodecs

Once you are done you will have K3b and the MP3 plugin installed.  If you have K3b installed already then just install the plugin if not installed.

I hope this helps.