5

I have a collection of several hundreds audio CDs (strange as it might sound: yes, I really bought those ;) While in the past it was "convenient" to have them served using a CD juggler, that piece of hardware is too big to fit in today's rack. And finally, thanks to DLNA and Android tablets, there are much better ways to select the title/album one wishes to play. Which requires to rip the music off those silver plates, and store the titles in my library.

Which brings me here. Years ago, I've used Grip to rip some of my CDs for use on my MP3 player. That worked fine, but meanwhile there might be something "better" out there. So here are my...

Requirements:

  • Must run on Linux
  • Must (of course) be able to rip audio CDs
  • Must support MP3 encoding (can rely on e.g. LAME for this), other formats like OGG Vorbis are optional nice-to-haves but not strictly required
  • Must allow the user (me) to specify quality (bitrate etc.)
  • Should match CDs/titles against some online database (like CDDB, Freedb, MusicBrainz) with a high recognition rate – better support multiple of them, a bonus would be some kind of "auto-fallback" when a title/CD was not found in one of them; if no match was found at all, it should allow me to manually "fill the form" before starting the conversion (so ID3-tags etc. are cared for)
  • Should allow for a user-defined "file mask" for placing the files (so I can decide whether I want them stored as interpret/album/track_title.mp3, genre/album/track_interpret_title.mp3, or whatever structure. Bonus: possibility to define multiple file-masks to chose from via e.g. a drop-down1
  • Must integrate essential details with ID3 tags (optional: support multiple versions of the ID3 format)
  • Should have a nice, easy-to-use GUI
  • Should be free and open-source (ideally; if there's a "Wow!" product not matching this, I'd at least like to know :)

Optional, but nice to have:

  • fetch (and integrate) album art (user must be able to switch this on/off, especially for album art integrated with ID3 tags)
  • create playlists (bonus: multiple formats, custom file-naming and -location, use of relative paths with user-defined "base")

Not needed:

  • automatic disk burning

Not wanted:

  • the need to install a complete audio-management-suite just to have a ripper available
  • auto-upload to some cloud (e.g. Google-Play-Music)
  • auto-post to Twitter/Facebook "I've just ripped..." #D

Related:


1: Idea behind this is to use a different structure for e.g. samplers, audio-books, etc.

3

My second candidate was XCFA. Though not a "perfect" match, this one meets most of my requirements (to be more precise: all of the must-haves, half of the optionals, none of the "not needed", and about nothing of the "not wanted"). So this is what I've settled with for now:

XCFA
XCFA (source: UbuntuWiki; click image for larger variant)

  • Runs on Linux, even comes in the Repos of Ubuntu
  • Detects my drive fine, rips, and encodes – even with support for CDParanoia
  • Supports MP3 (via LAME), OGG, and more
  • Allows me to specify the bitrate
  • Supports Freedb and CDDB (pre-configured)
  • file masks can be adjusted, same for directory names
  • GUI easy to use
  • free and open source (GPLv3)
  • creates playlists (supports M3U and XSPF)
  • allows to replace characters in file names by prefixing the path with e.g. %u('= ) (replaces single-quotes by spaces)
  • no much extra fuzz (except for a cover editor)

Again coming pretty close to my requirements, but:

  • it draws in additional packages though not using those (or me not needing them; luckily only a few small ones, so I can live with that)
  • again, playlist files are stored inside the album directory. This time using absolute paths – so one can do a regex replace if needed. XCFA always creates both .m3u and .xspf playlists; up to now I've found no way to have it creating only one (minor annoyance).
  • .m3u playlists lack the EXTINFO details.
  • no album art here either; but hey, that was a "nice-to-have" criterium ;)
  • Though it first looks as if year and genre can be defined per-title (see screenshot), they are applied per-album unfortunately
  • Same with the comments: Once you've put one, that even becomes the default for future albums (until you remove it for each title separately)

So still no "full match" – but as close I could get to it. Due to the two last "buts", I'm still not really satisfied – and look forward to more suggestions. Meanwhile, I've taken a look at asunder – looks like that fits my needs a little better.


Further resources for the interested (unfortunately, most are in French):

2

Hi @Izzy :) first I have not personally used this software but after more reserach I found out that it may suite your requirement and this should be what you are looking for ,I can recommend fre:ac,This software offers the following features that I have mentioned below.

  • It currently converts between MP3, MP4/M4A, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, WAV and Bonk formats. formats
  • Integrated CD ripper with CDDB/freedb title database support
  • Portable application, install on a USB stick and take it with you
  • Multi-core optimized encoders to speed up conversions on modern PCs
  • Full Unicode support for tags and file names CDText and ID3v2 tagging and is available in several languages.
  • Completely free and open source without a catch

Hope My answer was helpful ! good-luck ;)

Supports

Windows,Mac OS X,Linux,FreeBSD / PC-BSD

Source where the software information was extracted Official web-site of Fre;AC

enter image description here

  • 1
    That indeed sounds promising - bonus points for being portable, x-platform, and full unicode support, and the dev even being from my country! Will have a look at it ASAP (As-Soon-As-packhome ;) – Izzy Dec 1 '14 at 10:41
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    According to the question's title, could it be Linux? :) More specific: On the machine used, it's Ubuntu 12.04 (and no, I won't update ot 14.04 or any other *buntu; if it wouldn't be that time consuming, I'd rather re-install Debian or Mint ;) LXDE as desktop – but that shouldn't cause the error. As you see by my own answers, other rippers work fine: Rhytmbox, Grip, RipperX, XCFE, K3B have no such issues. From the look of it, my first thought was it's using Wine... – Izzy Dec 2 '14 at 6:19
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    Indeed, I've meanwhile settled with XCFA. But I'm still curious why fre:ac failed accessing the tracks; might give it another try if there are any ideas. – Izzy Dec 2 '14 at 9:06
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    @Izzy I'll drop an email to the developer and check if there is any feedback regarding that issue :) – Heisenberg Dec 2 '14 at 9:13
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    Though it's no longer relevant for me (I've just finished ripping my 300+ CDs), please remember to keep us updated if you get an answer. Might be relevant for future visitors :) – Izzy Dec 11 '14 at 11:54
2

I've found RipperX looking quite promising after reading some reviews:

  • Runs on Linux, even comes in the Repos of Ubuntu
  • Detects my drive fine, rips, and encodes – even with support for CDParanoia
  • Supports MP3 (via LAME), OGG, and more
  • Allows me to specify the bitrate
  • Supports Freedb (pre-configured) and obviously also similar sources (URL etc. can be edited)
  • file masks can be adjusted, same for directory names
  • GUI might not be that nice, but it's easy to use
  • free (not sure about open source)
  • creates playlists (supports different formats)
  • no extra fuzz

RipperX RipperX
RipperX screenshots (source: Sourceforge; click images for larger variants)

While RipperX is coming pretty close to what I'm after, it still has some caveats for me (which might not affect others):

  • as the first screenshot above shows, genre can just be selected per album, not per title – which makes it necessary to edit ID3 tags again after ripping
  • No album art, only basic tags (what you can see in the first screenshot)
  • playlists are always placed inside the album directory, so one has to edit them afterwards if they should reside in a different place (no directory name included)

So while this is a good solution, I'm still missing several details – and thus look forward to more recommendations :)


Further resources for the interested:

2

Due to some "inconveniences" with XCFA, I've taken a closer look at asunder, and found it quite handy. Except for the additional playlist format XCFA offers (which I don't need anyway), it seems to offer the same features just in a different way – with an easier/clearer looking GUI:

Asunder supported formats
Asunder with main window while ripping / supported formats (click images for larger variants)

  • Runs on Linux, even comes in the Repos of Ubuntu (and Mint ;)
  • Detects my drive fine, rips, and encodes – even with support for CDParanoia
  • Supports MP3 (via LAME), OGG, and more (defaults to OGG). Like XCFA, you can select multiple formats at the same time – one rip, multiple encodes.
  • Allows me to specify the bitrate
  • Supports Freedb (pre-configured) and other sites using the CDDB protocol
  • file masks can be adjusted, same for directory names (unfortunately, no character replacement filter as with XCFA)
  • creates M3U playlists incl. EXTINFO (you can switch them off)
  • no extra fuzz at all
  • Genres are handled fine, you can even manually define your own (without having it replaced by "SynthPop", as XCFA does in such cases). Hint: Titles can be edited when double-clicking them (took me a little to figure – then face-palmed as that should be obvious ;)
  • Works great with samplers, as you can define the Interpret by album (no sampler) or per title (sampler) – see the checkbox next to "Interpret" in the first screenshot above. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Genre / Year.

Minor drawbacks:

  • no album art retrieval
  • no comments (can live with that, as I got used to run Easytag on the finished albums anyway)

Still checking...

2

Rhythmbox does a lot of that and is the default player/ripper in Gnome and Ubuntu, just set the quality in the settings and insert the disc.

Usage instructions.

As to the requirements:

  • Doesn't show any source like CDDB/Freedb/MusicBrainz to retrieve titles from (though it definitely seems to use one; figured it's using MusicBrainz as that showed up when no information was found, prompting you to "add the disc" there)
  • You can set the bitrate by editing the format/quality on the configurations, before inserting the disc.
  • no control whatsoever over this or the titles to edit before ripping (and it simply started ripping without any interaction, not even told me where the files were going to).

So sorry, seems to fail several of my requirements.

  • "All that" means it meets all the requirements – including the "not-wanted" of a complete "audio management suite"? I always thought it was primarily a software to maintain and use your library. Would be nice if you could add a few more details to your answer. The linked page did not say anything about ripping (and I don't want to read the entire documentation to figure out ;) – Izzy Nov 30 '14 at 23:00
  • I added a link to a blog with usage instructions, also take a look at sound juicer on the same link, but I never used it. – user9075 Nov 30 '14 at 23:25
  • Thanks, William – will take a look (especially as RB is already installed by default). SoundJuicer I've also found already, don't remember why I sorted that out (didn't meet some of my requirements). Still, please also check the link in my comment: At SR, answers should be much more detailed ;) – Izzy Nov 30 '14 at 23:33
  • Just checked: Doesn't show any source like CDDB/Freedb/MusicBrainz to retrieve titles from (though it definitely seems to use one), I didn't see where to adjust the bitrate – no control whatsoever over this or the titles to edit before ripping (and it simply started ripping without any interaction, not even told me where the files were going to). So sorry, seems to fail several of my requirements. – Izzy Nov 30 '14 at 23:47
  • You can set the bitrate by editing the format/quality on the configurations, before inserting the disc. I'm going from memory, so I might be wrong, I don't have it installed since I use only terminal applications. – user9075 Dec 1 '14 at 0:14

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