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.

Subsonic issues on Ubuntu Server?

HTTP ERROR: 503 Can’t load server

My subsonic installation was not working! I tried everything (or so I thought) including reinstalling subsonic, looking at my router settings (is 4040 configured properly?) etc. Finally I found the solution: cleaning up a corrupt Subsonic Database. If you are being met with a 503 html error, this could be your fix.

Stop Subsonic

sudo service subsonic stop

Backup your /var/subsonic/db/subsonic.script file
This file contains a handful of SQL statements that will be used later to recreate your users, media directory settings, etc.

sudo cp /var/subsonic/db/subsonic.script /root/

Delete the contents of your /var/subsonic/db/ directory

sudo rm /var/subsonic/db/*

Restore your subsonic.script file

sudo cp /root/subsonic.script /var/subsonic/db/

Start Subsonic

sudo service subsonic start

Your Subsonic media library will now be empty, you’ll want to go to “Settings…” “Media Folders…” and click “Scan media folders now”

Update Subsonic on Ubuntu

To update Subsonic from the Ubuntu console, it’s best to log into a terminal window from Windows or Mac using Putty (or the Mac terminal).
Using your web browser from Windows/Mac, visit the download page.
Find the Ubuntu download link and copy the link location.

Log into your server using Putty/terminal. Download the new file.

Now execute the update command:
>sudo dpkg -i subsonic-6.1.5.deb

Updated and back in business!

Update Subsonic on Ubuntu; Mount USB drive at boot

Update Subsonic:

Download the subsonic package and execute this command:
sudo dpkg -i subsonic-6.1.5.deb
Mount a USB drive in Ubuntu Console:
Find the drive (three commands that will do it):
sudo blkid
sudo fdisk -l

(example: /dev/sdb)

Create a mount point:
sudo mkdir /media/usb

Mount the drive:
sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/usb
Mount error: “unknown filesystem type ‘exfat’”

Install exfat filesystem utility for Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils
How to automatically mount usb flash drive at startup

List your drives:
sudo fdisk -l
(example: /dev/sdb1)

Edit /etc/fstab and place this info in the file, replacing the #Device and #fs-type with your own:

sudo nano /etc/fstab
#Device #Mountpoint #fs-type #options #dump #fsck
/dev/sdb1 /media/usb exfat defaults 0 0