Ripping compact discs with Ubuntu OS

The two main Linux programs I use in Ubuntu to rip CDs are Sound Juicer and XCFA.

Sound Juicer is the easiest to use and setup. However there are limitations. If a CD is not in the MusicBrainz database, the program will error out. Also, the type of encoders you choose cannot be fine tuned (AAC, mp3, FLAC). You can’t choose the level of compression. There’s also no apparent way to add album art.

XCFA has much more fine tuning, however, this increases the complexity. You can chose the level of compression. There are many more encoders like APE, WavP, Ogg, Mpc, etc. Another caveat is that it is more confusing and difficult to setup in Ubuntu. I had to do some workarounds to get it going.

The best way to figure out your CD ripping process is likely to try them both. I tend to use Sound Juicer for the mainstream artists and XCFA for CDs I’m having trouble with (like no entry in the MusicBrainz database).

The easiest way to install Sound Juicer in Ubuntu is to open the Ubuntu Software store, type “sound juicer” in the search and select install. If you want to install it in the terminal, here’s how:

sudo apt-get install sound-juicer

Once you install, you will simply need to update the settings from the “preferences” pull-down.

Installing XCFA is a bit more complicated. First you need to install the program, then the “goodies”, then any missing programs (like the ripper).

sudo apt-get install xfce4
sudo apt-get install xfce4-goodies

Once these two programs are installed, you will need to launch the program and install the missing programs. These include: a52dec, mp3check, faac, and so on. You can see which programs are present and missing under the “Applications externes” tab. I couldn’t figure out how to install some of these programs, including ‘aacplusenc’ and ‘monkeys-audio’ but for now I’m not interested in that functionality. Once you update your system with the missing external programs, restart XCFA and fill out your settings with the “preferences’ tab.

Once you have completed your burning task, you will probably want to verify and update some metadata/tags. A great program for this is ‘Kid3-qt’. To install, do a search for “kid3” in the Ubuntu Software store or:

sudo apt-get install kid3-qt

There are other programs too; if you find a good one, let me know!

Good luck and happy burning.

Social Media-Free 2020

As of today, I’m totally social media free!

I want to head off the new year by being free of pervasive propaganda and toxic manipulation. Today I deleted my Twitter account. I had previously deleted Facebook in 2016 after the election. It was epic toxic – people tearing each other down. Very bad for the soul.

While I believe in free speech, I don’t think wading a cesspool of negativity, lies and manipulation is good for humanity. Do as you wish, but I’m out. People who want to get a hold of me know how.

Vegetable Barley Soup v1

The Broth
Fry a handful of garlic, onions and green peppers in the bottom of a saucepan with a splash of olive oil

Once fried up, add 4 cups of water with 2 bouillon cubes and boil this mixture
The stock

Add 2 cups of veggies (meat optional) in any configuration. Here’s my suggestion for veggie soup:

Could be more or less of any of these things. Frozen or fresh are okay, as long as they are 2 cups or less:

Broccoli
Carrots
Cabbage (Napa preferred)
Celery
Diced potatoes
Cauliflower
Peas
(Whatever you want)

Add 1/8 cup quick barley. If you want more barley, add another cup of broth because it absorbs liquid.

Spice it up as desired. I usually add a few shakes of pepper and maybe one shake of red pepper.

Simmer on low for :30 minutes, almost covered. Serves one as a big meal or two with a side dish.

Enjoy!

Egg Foo Young Recipe (Vegetarian)

The Rice
Make the rice any way you wish but if you have a rice cooker (described for the newbie):
Rinse 1 cup of dried rice in a sink
Add rice to rice cooker
Add 2 cups of water
Press your "cook" button
The Gravy
Pan fry a handful of green peppers, onion and garlic in olive oil

Boil 2 cups of vegetable broth* and the fried veggies in a saucepan

In a shaker bottle (or mixed with a fork in a bowl), mix:

1 cup water and 1/2 cup flourĀ 

Then slowly add the flour/water mixture to the 2 cups broth (avoid lumps)

Determine thickness (your preference) and remove from heat

Put aside

*Broth: If you do not have pre-made vegetable broth on hand, you can mix 1 vegetable bouillon cube with 2 cups of water and boil to get your broth
The Egg Patty
Mix 2 eggs in a bowl

Add 2 cups of mung bean sprouts to the bowl and mix with fork

Fry up a few tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and add mixture

Fry each side

Add a cup of rice to a plate
Place your egg patty on top of the rice and pour gravy over it

*Could be (2) servings if served with a side dish

Unrar multiple files + file name spaces in the terminal

First, when dealing with the spaces in a file name while using the terminal, you can use a back-slash before the space.

Example:

File name with spaces.txt

For the terminal:

File name with spaces.txt

Sometimes we run across a downloaded file online that was created by utilizing the winrar multiple-file feature to make a huge file downloadable. A good example would be an ISO image that is more than 1GB in size. The rar program can break up the file into smaller pieces. Example:

bigiso.part01.rar
bigiso.part02.rar
bigiso.part03.rar
bigiso.part04.rar
and so on

To unrar multiple files into one, first install the unrar program in linux. In this case, I’m assuming you are using Ubuntu or any Debian-based distribution (like Raspbian):

sudo apt install unrar-free
sudo apt install unrar

Then use the unrar command to unrar. Remember to use the before any spaces.

unrar x -e bigiso.part01.rar

This should build the large file back up into its uncompressed state.