Mon Jul 27 09:00:58 PDT 2015

Converting CDs to MP3 Format Using CD-Paranoia

Recently, I have been making use of a third generation, 15 GB, iPod. Accordingly the problem of filling the iPod with .mp3 files emerges - and the standard solution for this is iTunes. Although many people rave about iTunes - I found it a very confusing program - I was never sure what was going to happen when a 'synchronization' occurred. I don't have much local disk space on the machine that could run iTunes and as iTunes keeps a complete copy of what is on your iPod - this seemed to be an inefficient consumer of space (after all, the CDs themselves form an efficient backup of what is stored on your iPod). Additionally iTunes is a little too obsessed with its online big brother(s) at Apple in the form of adverts and update information. So, what do you do if you don't want to use iTunes? Firstly, use cd-paranoia to extract .wav files from your CDs. This is a very simple operation:

cd-paranoia -B

Then convert the .wav files to .mp3 using lame. The command for this is simply:

lame -h input.wav output.mp3

Wrapping the lame command in a simple for loop makes the process painless. The resulting .mp3 files do not possess ID3 tags - but you can rapidly add them with another loop, using the mp3info program, for example:

for FILE in *.mp3
  echo $FILE
  mp3info -t `basename $FILE .mp3` -l AlbumTitle -a "Artist A" $FILE

Once you have converted the CDs to .mp3 format, you can copy them to your iPod, and delete them from your hard drive. You will need to convince the iPod to allow you to play the tunes - without using iTunes - there are several programs that accomplish this by building the necessary description files for the on iPod software, e.g. retune and Floola.

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Posted by ZFS | Permanent link | File under: bash
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