I am about to receive a CDA audio file from someone who does not know anything about computers but uses Audio Cleanic for Windows.

I would like to convert it into an MP3. What software do you recommend for this ? Is Gnome SoundConverter for instance able to achieve it ?

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    Fyi, CDA files are not audio files. It's just how Windows represents the existence of audio tracks on a cd. You have to rip the cd to WAV or FLAC, then you can convert to MP3. – djeikyb Mar 15 '11 at 9:00
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    As djeikyb says .CDA files do NOT contain any audio at all so the file you receive from your friend will be useless for converting. Your best bet is to get them to rip them for you in MP3 format (less work for you) or any other audio file standard, ogg, flacc, aac, wav, mpeg.... etc – Mark Rooney Mar 15 '11 at 11:44

I think Sound Juicer(Click To Install) is a good tool for conversions.

I use Banshee for my conversions from cd to Flac or Mp3. For Banshee go first to Edit-->preferences and change the folder and the output type and then from the main GUI you can push the button for conversion.

Of course you can use Gnome sound converter.


I'm a geek. I enjoy torturing myself with the command line. I used to study the lame man page to find the best settings every time I ripped a new cd. Eventually I got tired of this and recorded my settings in a simple script. So after I rip a CD to a folder, I run this command to turn the lovely lossless FLAC files into ipod friendly MP3s:

for file in *.flac
    $(flac -cd "$file" | \
    lame -b 128 -B 320 --replaygain-accurate -V 2 --vbr-new - \

The key here is the lame command. Respectively, it:

  • Ensures a minimum bitrate of 128
  • Caps the bitrate at 320 (which is the max for mp3)
  • Adds fancy ReplayGain analysis info to the file
  • Use variable bitrate, quality level 2
  • Use the "new" super fast variable bit rate algorithm

Then I tag my files with Picard which automagically adds tons of ID3 information from its extensive MusicBrainz database.

  • +2 vote for the torturing as well, torturing yourself in CLI is fun sometimes :P – Thomas Ward Mar 17 '11 at 7:09

I'll take a different tack. There is another app in the Ubuntu Repos called abcde.

You can install it like this:

sudo apt-get install abcde cd-discid lame cdparanoia id3 id3v2

nb. This also installs Postfix as a dependency, but you can remove it safely after installation.

Then copy over the config:

cp /etc/abcde.conf ~/.abcde.conf

Open this new copy of ~/.abcde.conf file in your favorite editor.

Uncomment the Lame Encoder on line 134:

# Encoders:

Uncomment and edit line 363 with your CD/DVD-ROM Drive:


Uncomment and edit the output directory:


Save and close the document.

Insert your CD into your CD/DVD-ROM Drive.

Open your Terminal and type abcde, sit back and let the magic happen :)

The output folder ~/music/ should eventually fill up with all your songs in glorious MP3, with IDv3 tags and proper naming.

Occasionally, you may need to fix them yourself though.

There are a LOT of possible output options, and you should seriously read through ~/.abcde.conf carefully. It's very well commented.

This is a little bit of work, but once it's done, you dont really have to worry anymore. Just run the terminal command and done :)

  • 1
    postfix?? bahaha.. but seriously abcde sounds awesome – djeikyb Dec 1 '16 at 21:09

Actually, CDA only represents a shortcut of audio track. In reality, it does not have any music file in it. That’s the reason why you cannot play the files without the original CD in your computer drive. To solve this problem, you’d better convert your CDA files to the most common mp3 format. To know more about how to do that, you can refer to this article, hope it helps!

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    Link answers are not recommended since the linked site can become unavailable. It's better to include the procedure/steps here too. – Parto Mar 18 '14 at 7:55
  • You should add step-by-step instructions. – user45853 Mar 18 '14 at 8:27
  • @Parto: Marrian answered the original question. The links are just for further info and anything beyond them would be off-topic – user829755 Dec 8 '15 at 2:19

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