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Rip mp3 files on Red Hat WS 5.1 using Sound Juicer

  • Friday, January 04 2008 @ 12:54 PM UTC
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General News I really do hate the fact that to be able to either listen or encode mp3s you have to do plenty of extra work to get it done almost on every Linux distribution. Although my home machine running Ubuntu rips mp3s just fine after I spent hours to find out how, my ThinkPad running Red Hat WS 5.1 I use at work still didn't.

Best solution would be not to use mp3 for anything. We already have ogg and other free formats. The problem is, that although these free formats are supported on Linux distributions out of the box, on most portable digital audio players they are not. All my E70 knows about ogg is that it can not eat it, so it wont.

Quick and dirty way to get Sound Juicer to rip mp3 files on Red Hat Workstation 5.1 (Tikanga)...

In general you should not compile any stuff for your Linux distribution unless you know what you are doing. I hate to add bunch of miscalleanous repositories without not knowing what they possibly will break. I also couldn't find any official packages which are needed for ripping mp3 using Sound Juicer for RHWS 5.1.

To be able to encode mp3s on Soud Juicer you need package gstreamer-plugins-ugly. I already had gstreamer-plugins-good. I did not have gstreaming-plugins-bad, but I had need for the ugly.

After trying to find binary package for 15 minutes I raised my hands up and downloaded the source package from GStreamer site:


By error and trial method I found out that 0.10.4 is the version I need. So I donwloaded, extract, configured, compiled and installed it:

$ wget http://gstreamer.freedesktop.org/src/gst-plugins-ugly/gst-plugins-ugly-0.10.4.tar.bz2
$ tar xvj gst-plugins-ugly-0.10.4.tar.bz2
$ cd gst-plugins-ugly-0.10.4
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr
$ make
$ sudo make install

That's it. Then I need to configure Sound Juicer. I chose Edit --> Preferences --> Edit Profiles... --> New. I named my new profile "CD Quality, Lossy". For other attributes see picture below:

Most important option is "GStreamer Pipeline". I configured this to be:

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

This will generate 192 bitrate mp3 audio files from CDs. To get new setting to work, I needed to restart Sound Juicer and check that I'm using my new settings for ripping. I also checked folder hierarchy settings to reflect where Amarok looks for audio files. To do the actual ripping, all I needed to do was to put CD in the tray and press extract.

My first CD to rip was of course Radiohead - In Rainbows (bonus disc). After ripping it and listening with Amarok that ripping went fine, I transfered all tracks to my E70 (see my previous article), which was able to play the newly added tracks perfectly.

Compiling and installing packages from sources is usually bad. Especially the way I did it by mixing binary packages from official repositories with just one plugin. When my gstreamer packages will be updated using standard software management tools, Sound Juicer is probably not able to produce mp3 files anymore. If I want to uninstall gstreamer-plugins-ugly, I need to have source files so I can give "make uninstall" command on the source directory as root. I know this, so I can live with it.