I am trying to rip my music collection from CD into mp3. For this task I am using Rhythmbox but the process is taking a lot of time since Rhythmbox is ripping the CDs very slowly.

Are there ways to increase the ripping speed of Rhythmbox?

Can you suggest alternative software that may proceed faster?

computer specs:

  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • i7 Proc
  • 700GB Disk
  • 8GB RAM



For my part, I have found that abcde ( A Better CD Encoder) is a perfect tool for the task.

sudo apt-get install abcde

It will :

  • rip the CD
  • get the meta informations from the net (titles, artist, etc...)
  • handle the encoding of your choice (if you have plenty of disk space, you can opt for a lossless ripping, and make smaller versions of your file later if needed)
  • do it in background without bothering you

To be more precise (from the man page), it will :

  • Do a CDDB or Musicbrainz query over the Internet to look up your CD or use a locally stored CDDB entry
  • Grab an audio track (or all the audio CD tracks) from your CD
  • Normalize the volume of the individual file (or the album as a single unit)
  • Compress to Ogg/Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, Ogg/Speex, MPP/MP+(Musepack) and/or M4A format(s), all in one CD read
  • Comment or ID3/ID3v2 tag
  • Give an intelligible filename
  • Calculate replaygain values for the individual file (or the album as a single unit)
  • Delete the intermediate WAV file (or save it for later use)

The only drawback (well, I don't think it is, but some people might) is that it's a command line tool.

According to this page there is a GUI for abcde called XCFA.

  • thanks for the suggestion, will be be faster? – dotdawtdaught Oct 19 '12 at 20:21
  • Well, the process of reading the datawill be just the same, so if your cd driver is slow, it will remain so, but the rest of the process it pretty optimized, and yes, I think it is quicker than with rhythmbox. – alci Oct 22 '12 at 7:41

I found that with new(er) Ubuntu installs, that even abcde ripped at very slow speeds when pointed at the default CDROM device, which was /dev/sr0 in my case.

Setting CDROM to /dev/disk/by-id/ata-PIONEER_DVD-RW_DVR-106D_CJDC269789WL allowed abcde to rip at full speed.

Note: You'll need to find the correct entry in /dev/disk/by-id/ata* for your exact make and model for this to work right.


The Ubuntuusers.de Wiki has an article about programs for CD ripping and an extra section with instructions on how to reduce the amount of time it takes to rip a CD. The article says that all the listed programs are based on cdparanoia, which – like EAC on Windows – prefers to retrieve accurate data from optical media over achieving short extraction times and fast speeds. This is actually a good thing: you want to rip your CDs as accurately as possible to your computer, save them in a lossless format and would never want to do it again if you still have music on CDs these days.

One example to increase speed in the article is to install sound-juicer and to disable paranoia mode. The instructions are for gconf though, the correct command for the newer dconf should be:

dconf write /org/gnome/sound-juicer/paranoia "['disable']"

to reset just run:

dconf reset /org/gnome/sound-juicer/paranoia

The article also notes that there should be an option to enable or disable to use error correction for extracting audio CDs in the KDE control center, where enabling error correction will disable paranoia mode and speed up extraction.

cdparanoia itself can be used from the terminal and lists options like --disable-paranoia and --disable-extra-paranoia on its manpage which might also be handy if you can figure out a way to pass these options through the GUI application you are using, but as I said, ideally you want to have accurate results.

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