Working With Audio Files in Ubuntu

recordable cdsOne of my good friends, who’s work has been featured here several times, does a comedy podcast.  For whatever reason, he don’t have access to a CD burner.  The huge “best of” podcast needed to be split up into tracks as well.

Either way, I was happy to do this favor for them, although I will continue to harass them about their lack of modern equipment that has been on the market for 20+ years.  For my part, I never really burned CDs either, because by the time I could afford a ‘burner, I had a thumbdrive (here’s how to make a sweet key-lanyard thing for one).  Regardless, I’m now using Ubuntu Linux, so the process would probably be different anyway.  After around 5 months of use, I’m really starting to like Ubuntu, and the CD burning process/MP3 cutting turned out to be no problem at all.

Cutting the Tracks:


Red arrow points to time selected

After a bit of research, I decided to use a free program called “Audacity” to cut up the “best of” MP3 that they sent me.  Like many programs on Ubuntu, all I had to do to get this was open the “Ubuntu Software Center” application and search for it.  This is a seriously cool feature of Ubuntu, since you just search and it installs it for you with no other interaction.

As for Audacity, if you want to split up one large MP3 into smaller files, just select what you want, then select file – export selection.  This will export the selection into a smaller MP3 on which you can add meta data like track name and number.  If you know the actual time of each track starts and stops (which I was given), you can just time the numbers in to make the selection as shown by the red arrow.  This worked quite well.

Burning the CDs

Brasero audio cd creation

Select "audio project" to Burn a CD

Jason wanted quite a few of these CDs, but making them wasn’t hard at all.  I just used the free “Brasero” disk burning utility to make an audio CD.  When this was selected, I dragged all the MP3s that I’d made using Audacity into the “Add Files” field.  I then selected the writeable audio CD that I’d inserted and hit “burn”.  It then allowed me to select “burn multiple.”  I then just worked on other stuff in another workspace, and when the CD was done it popped out to be changed.

I didn’t understand why multiple workspaces were so great with Ubuntu before, but for something like this it works incredibly well.  It seems like Microsoft or even Apple would have copied this functionality.  So I’ll file this post under my “Ubuntu Linux Conversion Project.”  Burning CDs and cutting MP3s is yet another thing that Ubuntu does well without a costly program to buy!

As for what these CDs are for, Jason’s going to be doing a “live podcast” where they’ll be giving away “best of” CDs.  Hopefully it will be successful and if you’d like to hear them, here’s the url.  Fair warning, they can be somewhat NSFW (not safe for work) at times so consider yourself warned.

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