The other day my son asked me to put some music on his iPod. The music he wanted was on a CD. “No problem at all” I said to my son and I used his computer to set about the task in hand.
My son’s laptop runs Windows 7 and the tool I use to grab music from a CD in Windows is called Audiograbber. This piece of software is well over 10 years old but I have never found anything that does the job better on the Windows platform and what is more is that it is free.
With the files converted to MP3 format I thought all I need to do now is copy the MP3s to the iPod. The iPod doesn’t allow you to use it as an MTP device meaning any possibility of drag and drop using Windows explorer is out of the window. Needless to say it took ages to work out how to actually get iTunes to cooperate.
I can’t imagine that there is a piece of software as unintuitive as iTunes. It is a massive pile of cow dung and that is being a little bit harsh on cow dung. I remember my son having a problem with the iPod in the past whereby he forgot the security code and it was an absolute nightmare to recover the iPod to it’s former state. I made the conscious decision to tell him not to put the code on anymore. (I advised not to turn security on because it is the worst scenario, can you believe that?).
Never again will an Apple product enter the walls of my home and if it does I will refuse to support it.
So what is a good solution? Well assuming that you use your iPod to listen to music as opposed to play games and watch videos then the Sony Walkman is a great player. There is a sound quality in the Walkman that makes Sony’s leading music player one of the best there is.
Now in this article I am going to show how to rip a CD to MP3 and copy the files to a Walkman and I can assure you that the time to copy the files to a Walkman is much shorter than messing around with iTunes.
The album that I am going to import is “Use your illusion II” by “Guns N’ Roses” and the device I am copying the MP3 files to is the Sony Walkman NWZ-S765. (We are talking about an MP3 player here and not one of those big tape machines from the 80s).
The applications required for this are “Sound Juicer” for extracting the audio and “Rhythmbox”.
“Sound Juicer” isn’t installed by default so you have to open the Ubuntu Software Centre first and install it.
To do this press the super key on your keyboard or press the Ubuntu symbol on the launcher and search for “Ubuntu Software Center”.
Click the icon to open the Software Center and then search for “Sound Juicer”. Install the application and then run it by pressing the super key and then search for “Sound Juicer”.
“Sound Juicer” is a really simple application for extracting audio from CDs into a number of different formats.
The first thing you need to do is insert the CD. The tracks on the CD will automatically be detected and you will be shown the possible albums that the CD relates to.
Now there are only 2 buttons within “Sound Juicer” which make it really easy to operate. The “Play” button plays the songs and the “Extract” button begins the extraction process.
By default the files will be extracted into the OGG format which won’t work on the Walkman so you need to change the output format. To do this go to the top panel, choose the “Edit” menu and select “Preferences”.
On the preferences screen you can choose where the files are stored and various other things but what you want to do is change the output format to MP3. (MPEG Layer 3 Audio)
After you have done that click the “Close” button and then you can click the “Extract” button to extract the files.
The process took about 6 minutes for “Use your illusion II” so I think you can assume for most albums that is how long it will take as this is a fairly CD in terms of length.
I am assuming that you have already used Rhythmbox but if not the first thing you need to do is add music to your libraries. The best way of doing this is to copy all of your music into the “Music” folder. Then within Rhythmbox select “Music” and then choose “Import”. Now choose your “Music” folder and click “Add Tracks”. The import process can take a while if you have a lot of tracks to import.
If you ripped the tracks to the “Music” folder to begin with then they will automatically get imported into your library. Basically you want to rip your music into the same folder structure as all your other music.
Now attach the Sony Walkman and it will be recognised as a device and if you click on the words “Sony Walkman” all the files on the device will be listed.
To copy the files you ripped across over you can either click “Sync with library” or you can go to the music folder and select the files you wish to transfer to the Walkman and drag them across.
Be very careful with “Sync with library”.
This assumes that you have all your music in your music library to start with. If you have songs on your Walkman that don’t exist within your library then you should copy these files across. To do this go to the “music” option and click “Import” and then choose the Walkman as the device.
If the Walkman is already showing then you will get an error when selecting to import from it as the MTP device will already be in use. Simply right click on it within Rhythmbox and click “Eject”. You will now be able to import from the Walkman to your library.
That is it. It really is a no nonsense method for getting files from A to B.