Ripping on Solaris

I had a very pleasant day off today. I spent my day figuring out how to rip1 CD's using Solaris 10. There are tons of utilities out there for ripping CD's on Linux, and tons of products for doing it on Windoze, but I couldn't find a single comprehensive (or even graphical) tool for ripping CD's on Solaris.

First off, let me say that Solaris 10 rocks. Now that Sun has (re-)embraced the developer community, life is so much easier. Solaris 10 now includes many of the tools and toolkits that one would otherwise have had to find (and compile) and install oneself. I think that OpenSolaris has had a lot to do with it.

One of the utilities that is included in update 06/06 is cdda2wav along with a Paranoia library. cdda2wav is a nice command-line utility for extracting audio files from a CD. It can extract into WAV, AIFF, AIFT, and AU formats. Paranoia is a library for doing the same thing, only better. The purpose of paranoia is getting perfect audio off bad media and/or bad drives.

The next piece of the puzzle is LAME. LAME is (not2) an MP3 encoder. Given a WAV file, LAME will convert it to MP3 format. Unfortunately, LAME isn't included with Solaris yet. It is, however, available at RareWares. You just download the binary and unzip it, and you're ready to go. (For Solaris, go with 3.96.1.)

Having both pieces to the puzzle still isn't enough to be really useful. To stitch the two tools together in a user-friendly way, I wrote up a quick Perl script. The script uses the CDDB information downloaded by cdda2wav to construct a directory hierarchy and to generate track names. It forks off cdda2wav to rip the CD and then converts all the tracks using LAME.

What impressed me most was how well both cdda2wav and Paranoia work. I have a few CD's that are in less than pristine condition. Using iTunes on the Mac or WMP on Windoze, I can't get past certain tracks. cdda2wav with the Paranoia library has no trouble whatsoever producing perfect rips from those same CD's. I will now be using cdda2wav and Paranoia for all my MP3 production needs.

Footnotes:

  1. rip -- verb; make a perfectly legal copy of music that I own for my personal use
  2. LAME -- LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder
Comments:

... I couldn't find a single comprehensive (or even graphical) tool for ripping CD's on Solaris

You can build X-CD-Roast (http://www.xcdroast.org) from source. Or you can use pkg-get from Blastwave, to install it {with all dependencies} for you.
% pkg-get -a | grep xcdroast
           xcdroast     0.98alpha13

Posted by Giri Mandalika on December 28, 2006 at 04:39 PM PST #

"Now that Sun has (re-)embraced the developer community, life is so much easier." That's excellent to hear!

Posted by Jim Grisanzio on December 28, 2006 at 08:24 PM PST #

[Trackback] DanT wrote: I had a very pleasant day off today. I spent my day figuring out how to rip CD's using Solaris 10. There are tons of utilities out there for ripping CD's on Linux, and tons of products for doing it on Windoze, but I couldn't find a single c...

Posted by UNIX-WORLD NEWS on December 29, 2006 at 02:54 AM PST #

Grip is another frontend utility using which can be used for ripping the audio CD's. It uses same cdda2wav and lame for converting it to decoding and encoding. One of the advantage of grip is that it can fetch the CD info from freedb.org and name the tracks automatically.

%pkg-get -i grip

Posted by Pradhap on December 29, 2006 at 10:30 AM PST #

Great script. I got LAME built last night and can happily re-rip my CD collection using Solaris. I have opted to use VBR and have thus far settled on the following LAME settings.

--vbr-new -V 0 -q 0 --lowpass 19.7

Posted by matthew on April 30, 2007 at 11:47 PM PDT #

Thanks for writing something simple that works. I tried out your script on a Blade 100 system running Solaris 10 (after grip kept failing to initialize my CD-ROM device) and to my pleasant surprise I can rip CDs again.

Posted by Atomdrache on July 29, 2007 at 09:43 PM PDT #

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