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Audio CD Ripping in KDE

Deepak Sarda

The conventional way of ripping Audio CDs to MP3 or Ogg files is to use a standalone program such as iTunes �, Winamp or KDE's own KAudioCreator. But if we stick to conventions, where's the fun?! So in this article, I am going to show you how to feel elite by ripping your CDs in the, umm.. elite way. ;-)


What do we need to be cool? Vanilla KDE, without any extra ingredients, will be able to rip your CDs. But to encode them, you'll need to install the relevant codecs. At the moment, Ogg Vorbis, MP3 and FLAC formats are supported. To enable encoding to these formats, you'll have to install libogg, lame and flac respectively. How exactly you install these depends on your distribution: take a look at their documentation to find out how.

Once you have your favourite codec(s) installed, open KDE Control Center and navigate your way to Sound & Multimedia -> Audio CDs and configure the settings on the various tabs to your liking. You can leave everything in the default state if you so wish, but it's helpful to take a look so you at least know what's on offer. Again, take a look at Sound & Multimedia -> CDDB Retrieval and change anything that's not to your liking. CDDB, in case you didn't know, stands for CD DataBase (or Compact Disc DataBase in its more free flowing form). This functionality enables KDE to retrieve the Artist/Album/Track information about your CDs from the Internet. This metadata is also used to write tags to the MP3 or Ogg files that you'll be encoding your CDs to anytime now.


Without further delay, let's get down to the business of being cool. First, pop in the CD you want to rip (obviously!). Next, fire up a Konqueror window and open the Services tab on the Navigation panel. The Navigation panel sits on the left side of the window, as shown in the screenshot below. If it's not visible, you can produce it out of thin air by pressing the magic F9 key.

Now click on Audio CD Browser and in a few seconds, you'll see a lot of folders which you can start browsing. If it's taking some time to show anything, it's because it's trying to fetch information about the CD from the CDDB database you configured earlier.

In the screenshot below, you can see the contents of the Ogg Vorbis folder. It shows all the songs in the Ogg format; it even shows their file size! But, you and I both know that audio CDs don't contain Ogg tracks. So what exactly is happening here?

All the folders you see under Audio CD Browser are virtual folders. They show contents of the CD through different filters, so to speak. When you open the Ogg Vorbis folder, you are actually seeing the contents of the CD as if it were stored in the Ogg format. You can go through the other folders and you'll find MP3, flac and wav representations of the CD's contents. You can even see the approximate file sizes when encoded in the various formats.

So how do we rip and encode the CD? I think you can guess the answer by now. Just decide which format you wish to rip to, open that folder, and copy and paste those files in your target folder. That's it! KDE will start ripping and encoding the files on the fly! If you copy any of the files in the Full CD folder, you'll be ripping the entire CD as one continuous stream.

Related Information

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire