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I had a bunch of old CDs that were lying around in my car, and since they are mostly from some obscure french bands, there's no way to listen to them on my laptop other than ripping them to my music library.

I really thought it would be simple, but it seems my requirements are a bit too high for a smooth experience: I just want the metadata for the music tracks to be fetched from Musicbrainz, so that I don't have to enter the data twice, and I don't want to learn another tool to do it the other way around. Turns out this only requirement is actually hard to fullfil if you combine it with a ripping software that works.

This is what I ended up doing with whipper after trying a bunch of others:

  1. ❯ whipper drive list
    drive: /dev/cdrom, vendor: HL-DT-ST, model: DVDRAM GUD0N    , release: 1.00
    
  2. If like me, your external USB drive isn't automatically found, you'll need to find the drive in this list and grab the correct offset, whatever that is, +102 in my case.

  3. ❯ whipper cd info
    
  4. Click on the printed link to attach the CD ToC to the right release (obviously after creating the said release beforehand).

  5. ❯ whipper cd rip --offset=102
    
  6. Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 for each new CD, sometimes adding --cdr to the whipper cd rip command.

There might be other tools I haven't found that would do it better, but with this:

  • I was absolutely certain of the mapping between the fetched metadata and my CD, since I'm uploading the cdtoc myself.
  • The output was a bunch of flac files, one per track, and that default is perfectly fine for me.
  • Everything was perfectly tagged also, which means beet matched all the albums 100% when importing them to the library.
  • whipper is maintained, packaged and up-to-date in Ubuntu, which means I didn't have to compile myself an old GTK2 library used by a Python 2.4 app.