After a Googling for a few hours, I finally got Sound Juicer, an audio extraction application for linux, setup correctly. Although I am very happy with Ubuntu, problems like this are why I think the rest of the world still isn’t ready for linux. There are still just too many simple problems that require experts knowledge (I am not an expert, Google is my expert).
Problem #1: Lame
Ubuntu doesn’t include any Lame or MP3 plugins. This was a fairly easy fix that I found a few months ago here. All that needs to be done is install all the GStreamer plugins.
Problem #2: VBR
When I had Windows, I used Exact Audio Copy (EAC), to rip my CD’s. EAC provides variable bit rate encoding which helps increase quality without changing filesize. I really wanted this feature in Sound Juicer, but after a lot of wasted time, I found this bug report. To make a long story short, VBR in GStreamer 0.10 doesn’t work very well, so it was back to the drawing board.
Problem #3: Help Documents
Finally, I gave up trying to create the perfect audio files and settled with a constant bitrate of 192kbs. To get the correct GStreamer pipeline, I looked in the Sound Juicer help documents and found this:
audio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc vbr=0 bitrate=196 ! id3v2mux
After changing my preferences, I tried to rip a CD and it froze. At first I didn’t realize the problem, but then it quickly dawned on me. 196 isn’t a valid mp3 bitrate, 192 is. Good job help docs.
Linux is awesome, if you have days to waste on configuration. And finally, the GStreamer plugins for mp3’s are awful.