Life Skills, Technology, Tutorial, Ubuntu

Brainless CD Ripping With Ubuntu

IMPORTANT: This post has been replaced by this post:

This post now remains just a flicker in the memories of those who read it, a historical treasure of things that were, if you will.   If you like doing things the harder way, please feel free!


Easy audio CD Ripping in Ubuntu? How about: 1) Open CD Tray 2) Type ‘abcde’ in terminal 3) Wait for CD to eject 4) Repeat steps 1-4.  Yes, it’s that easy… once you set it up (which isn’t ultra easy).

I look at this kind of thing like this: Invest 20 minutes in set up and save countless HOURS of monitoring it later.  Sharpen the axe for 20 minutes, cut the tree faster.  If you agree, read on.  If you aren’t willing to take a small risk of time and technological button clicking, read off.

This tutorial here was nearly perfect for me and did everything it talked about except for a few small changes.  Here is my simplified version of the tutorial so you can just ‘do’ instead of reading the comments.

—Please also read ‘FINAL COMMENTS’ at the bottom, as well before starting.

This is all done in the Ubuntu terminal which you can open through the HUD or by pressing control/alt/T.

1. Install the software

*note: I had to add one extra “eyeD3′ to make it work…

sudo apt-get install abcde cd-discid lame cdparanoia id3 id3v2 eyeD3

2. Backup config file?

*Note: I did just cuz…

cp /etc/abcde.conf /home/myusername (change ‘myusername’ to your computer name)

3. Open the Config file for the main software ABCDE to edit it

*note, I used ‘gedit’ editor because it’s way easier..

sudo gedit /etc/abcde.conf

4. Select all the text in this file and delete it.

5. Go to the config code and paste it into this file.

*note: I’m adding the ‘interactive’ part into the code for you so you can just copy and paste


# -----------------$HOME/.abcde.conf----------------- #
# A sample configuration file to convert music cds to 
#       MP3 format using abcde version
# -------------------------------------------------- #

# Specify the encoder to use for MP3. In this case
# the alternatives are gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, xingmp3enc, mp3enc.

# Specify the path to the selected encoder. In most cases the encoder
# should be in your $PATH as I illustrate below, otherwise you will 
# need to specify the full path. For example: /usr/bin/lame

# Specify your required encoding options here. Multiple options can
# be selected as '--preset standard --another-option' etc.
LAMEOPTS='--preset extreme' 

# Output type for MP3.

# The cd ripping program to use. There are a few choices here: cdda2wav,
# dagrab, cddafs (Mac OS X only) and flac.

# Give the location of the ripping program and pass any extra options:

# Give the location of the CD identification program:       

# Give the base location here for the encoded music files.

# Decide here how you want the tracks labelled for a standard 'single-artist',
# multi-track encode and also for a multi-track, 'various-artist' encode:

# Decide here how you want the tracks labelled for a standard 'single-artist',
# single-track encode and also for a single-track 'various-artist' encode.
# (Create a single-track encode with 'abcde -1' from the commandline.)

# Put spaces in the filenames instead of the more correct underscores:
mungefilename ()
  echo "$@" | sed s,:,-,g | tr / _ | tr -d \'\"\?\[:cntrl:\]

# What extra options?
MAXPROCS=2                              # Run a few encoders simultaneously
PADTRACKS=y                             # Makes tracks 01 02 not 1 2
EXTRAVERBOSE=y                          # Useful for debugging
EJECTCD=y                               # Please eject cd when finished :-)

6. Save the file you just changed in gedit



Now all you have to do are the following brainless steps it spits out MP3s into your home directory into a folder called ‘music’ .

1) Open CD Tray

2) Type ‘abcde’ in terminal

3) Wait for CD to eject

4) Repeat steps 1-4.



I would LOVE to know why it does *not* create FLAC files at the same time.  The original tutorial said that it would create *both* MP3s and FLAC files but I only found the MP3 files in.  Also, for some reason it is not creating the tagged data for the trags (meta data?) which I think is pretty important.

It would be awesome if someone who knew what they were doing could adjust the config file and add it in the comments here so that this tutorial would a) add the meta data and b) create FLAC files for people who don’t want to support MP3 (like me).

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