Looking for a good way to convert your old physical CD collection to digital files on Linux? If so, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll go over exactly how to turn Music CDs into digital files and convert them so they can upload to the cloud. Linux has many different programs that save Music CDs but by far the most user-friendly one out there is Gnome Sound Juicer.
Install Sound Juicer
To install it, open up a terminal, select your operating system below and enter the command to get going.
To use Gnome Sound Juicer, you’ll need Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora or OpenSUSE.
sudo apt install sound-juicer
sudo apt-get install sound-juicer
sudo pacman -S sound-juicer
sudo dnf install sound-juicer
sudo zypper install sound-juicer
Sound Juicer is an old program. As a result, it’s available on most Linux distributions without issue. To install it, open up Gnome Software, KDE Discover or use the terminal to search your package manager for “sound-juicer” and install it. Can’t find it? Don’t worry! The Gnome project has versions of this app’s source code downloadable. Grab the latest version of the source code and read the file INSTALL to learn how to compile it.
After installing the Gnome Sound Juicer correctly, open it up and move on to the next part of the tutorial.
Using Sound Juicer
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Sound Juicer is a useful tool because it can scan the data on an audio CD, convert the files, and save them to various formats on your Linux PC. To get started, open up your CD/DVD disc drive and place in the audio CD. Sound Juicer should automatically detect that a Music CD is in the drive. If not, close the app and re-open it.
Note: Sound Juicer will not launch if it does not detect a CD/DVD drive connected to your Linux PC. If you plan to use an external USB disk drive, connect it before attempting to run the program.
The app should instantly read the CD. Additionally, it’ll attempt to use the Music Brainz database to detect and automatically assign metadata to what it thinks the album is. If your album isn’t detected, you’ll see the button “Edit Album”. Click this button and manually add the id3 metadata for the album.
When all information for the Music CD is added, click the “Select All” button, then hit “Extract” to convert the audio tracks on the CD to OGG music files. All files, once done with the Sound Juicer application, will save to a folder (with the artist name) inside of /home/username/Music/.
Converting OGG Files
At this point, it’s a good idea to point out that Sound Juicer converts audio tracks on albums to the OGG format. It is an open source format that enjoys pretty good support on a lot of different operating systems. However, if you have plans to upload your music to Google Play Music, Amazon Music, or others, this format isn’t a good one to use.
Sound Juicer can’t save in any other format, so you’ll need to also install an encoder. On Linux, the best encoder to use is FFmpeg. It runs through the command line but it’s the fastest and most versatile tool to use for this job. Open up a terminal and install FFmpeg to your PC.
sudo apt install ffmpeg
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
sudo pacman -S ffmpeg
sudo dnf install ffmpeg
sudo zypper install ffmpeg
Need FFMpeg on your Linux PC? Head over to the official website and learn how to build it from source. Otherwise, search your Linux distribution’s package manager for “ffmpeg” and install it.
Now that FFmpeg is taken care of, go back to the terminal window and CD into the ~/Music directory on your Linux PC. In this example, our Music CD is labeled “Unknown Artist”. Yours may differ.
Next, use the LS command to reveal the contents of Music. Look around for the Artist folder that corresponds with what you just saved in Sound Juicer.
CD into the artist folder.
cd Unknown ArtistUnknown Title
Run the conversion command. Please note that you will need to do this for each individual file. In our example, we have 10 OGG files, so FFmpeg needs to convert 10 separate times.
Note: be sure to change “saved-track-file-name” and “new-track-file-name” to each file you’d like to convert.
ffmpeg -i saved-track-file-name.ogg new-track-file-name.mp3
Now that all OGG files are MP3 files, it’s safe to remove the old OGG files:
By using a wild-card, RM will only remove files with the OGG extension. The new MP3 files generated by FFmpeg remain in the same place as the original ones.