Playing and Extracting Audio CDs

When you insert an audio CD, the Sound Juicer CD player and ripper opens automatically. To play the CD, click the Play button or press Ctrl-P. To play a particular track, double-click on the track or select the track and click Play.

To extract (rip) your audio CD, make sure the tracks that you want to rip are selected, then click the Extract button or press Ctrl-Enter.


If you are connected to the internet, Sound Juicer will retrieve the CD artist, title, and track data from, a community-maintained database which contains data on over 360,000 albums.

To start Sound Juicer manually, choose Applications->Sound & Video->Sound Juicer CD Extractor.

You can use the preferences window to control where the extracted audio files are stored on your computer, the filename of extracted audio files, and the file format and codec used for the files. In the main window, choose Edit->Preferences.

Sound Juicer can extract audio files to the following formats:

  • Ogg Vorbis - Ogg Vorbis is a patent-free lossy audio compression format which typically produces higher quality and greater compression than MP3. See the Vorbis website for more information.

  • FLAC - FLAC is the Free Lossless Audio Codec. It can compress audio files up to 50% without removing any information from the audio stream. For more information on this format, see the FLAC homepage on

  • WAV - Use the WAV format for voice recordings. Sound Juicer uses this format for low quality mono audio files.

You can also extract CD audio files to the proprietary non-free MP3 format. Instructions on how to rip to the MP3 format are in the help for Sound Juicer. Choose Help->Contents and navigate to the Preferences section.

Burning CDs

When you put a blank CD in the drive Ubuntu will ask if you want to burn an audio or data CD. Clicking on Burn Audio CD will launch Serpentine . To add music to your audio CD, either drag music from your File Browser or use the Add button. You will also need to select the size of your CD (21, 74, 80 or 90 minutes). Serpentine will warn you if you exceed the set limit.

To make a photo or data CD, click the burn Burn Data CD. Ubuntu will open a CD/DVD Creator window. The CD Creator is built into the File Browser, and it allows you to add any file or folder you have permission to access. When you are ready to burn the CD, click Write to Disc. Ubuntu will then prompt you to select the drive containing the blank CD, and give you the opportunity to name the CD and select the write speed. Finally, click Write to create the new photo or data CD.

Playing and Organising Music Files

To play and organize your music, Ubuntu comes with Rhythmbox Music Player, which looks similar to iTunes. When you first start Rhythmbox, it will scan your home directory for any supported music files you have and add it to the database. To start Rhythmbox, choose Applications->Sound & Video->Rhythmbox Music Player

Ubuntu does not directly support the MP3 format, because it is restricted by patents and proprietary rights. Instead Ubuntu supports the Ogg Vorbis format out of the box, a completely free, open and non-patented format. Ogg Vorbis files also sound better then MP3 files of the same file size and are supported by many popular music players (a list of players is here).

You can still play your old MP3 files by installing MP3 support (see the section called “Multimedia Codecs”). Instructions for other formats, such as Windows Media Audio (wma/wmv) and other patent encumbered formats can be found on the Ubuntu Wiki.

The Cowbell ID3 tag editor can edit the metadata on your mp3 and other music files. To use Cowbell:

  1. Install the cowbell package from the Universe repository (see Chapter 2, Adding, Removing and Updating Applications);

  2. To run Cowbell, choose Applications->Sound & Video->Cowbell Music Organizer.

Using your Ipod

You can play music directly off your IPOD with Rhythmbox Music Player. Simply plug your IPOD into the computer, and open Rhythmbox.

To transfer music files to and from an IPOD, you can use the program gtkpod:

  1. Install the gtkpod package from the Universe repository (see Chapter 2, Adding, Removing and Updating Applications).

  2. To run gtkpod, choose Applications->Sound & Video->gtkpod.

Editing Audio Files

Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. To use Audacity:

  1. Install the audacity package from the Universe repository (see Chapter 2, Adding, Removing and Updating Applications).

  2. To run Audacity, choose Applications->Sound & Video->Audacity.

  3. For further help about using Audacity, consult the program's help by choosing Help->Contents.