My wife asked me to make a compilation of R.E.M. songs for her father and burn them to a CD that he could play at home or in his car. Believe it or not, I have never tried to make an audio CD before. I hardly knew where to start.
The first thing I checked was what programs came with Ubuntu that might help me. In the Applications --> Sound & Video menu, I found Sound Juicer CD Extractor and Serpentine Audio CD Creator.
Sound Juicer pops up when I put an audio CD in my computer. It was very easy to see how to rip the music off the CD, but I didn't know what format I should rip it in so that it could be burned onto a CD-R and played in a normal CD player. I figured that if I created MP3 or OGG files, only special, modern CD players could read the data. After some Googling, I found that I was right - I would need to rip the music as .wav (WAVE) files if I wanted to support normal CD players.
Unfortunately, Sound Juicer did not contain a gstreamer audio profile for the lossless .wav format. I had to add one using these instructions. After that, I was able to easily rip music into the .wav format and then setup a playlist of music to burn onto a CD using Serpentine. With Serpentine, it was as easy as opening the audio files, ordering them, and clicking one button to burn them to a CD. Serpentine also kept track of the time taken up by the playlist, letting me know how much more room was left on the CD. Easy as pie.
The resulting CD, however, was not perfect. It plays fine on Ubuntu Linux, Windows XP, and in my new car CD player, but it fails to play in my portable Sony CD player and an old Toshiba DVD player.
I assume there is something special about newer CD players and computers that give them the capability to play an audio CD created on a computer, but I have no idea what it is. I am wondering if there was some different CD-R type or some way I could have burned the music so that it would play on the oldest of CD players. If you know anything about this, please share.