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CD Burning in Linux Made Easy with k3b

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 15 Dec 2004
 

Quite a few programs exist to burn CD in Linux. Here's a quick list of some of the more popular ones:

  • Nautilus
  • X-CDRoast
  • k3b
The best one, in my opinion, would definitely be k3b. The other two are good, but if you're into finding the most user-friendly and easiest way to get your burner working, k3b is it.

K3b comes installed by default on both Gnome and KDE when you select the multimedia packages during installation of Novell Linux Desktop.

K3b can be used for practically everything you need from creating backups of data, to creating a mix of your favorite audio CDs.

If you don't have k3b installed, you can install it very easily by using YAST.

Gnome

k3b can be started by following in Gnome: Programs -> Multimedia -> k3b CD/DVD burning

Programs -> Multimedia -> k3b CD/DVD burning

KDE

In KDE: "N" -> Multimedia -> k3b CD/DVD burning

'N' -> Multimedia -> k3b CD/DVD burning

When k3b is started, it needs to gain access to your hardware, so you'll be prompted to enter the root password. Soon after entering the password, k3b will start.

The opening screen.

Now, to begin using k3b, you'll most likely need to open a new project by following

File -> New Project

The first two of the options are the most popular. If you want to make an audio CD, select New Audio CD Project. If you need to backup or copy some data on to a CD, choose New Data CD Project.

Choosing which project...

Let's look at making an audio project, first.

Using k3b for audio

First, make sure a blank CD is in your CD Writer drive. When you put a blank CD in, a window pops up asking you what do to:



If you've already got k3b open, go ahead and choose No.

*note* Make sure you uncheck the "Do not ask again" box if you want your computer to notify you when you put in another blank CD.

Once the CD is in, and you've chosen to create an audio project, the k3b window will look like this:



Creating the audio CD is just a matter of navigating to the folders in top-half portion of k3b and dragging and dropping the music files you want to copy to the lower-half.

K3b defaults to listing the contents of your home directory, so if I wanted to create a music CD of some of the contents in my "ogg" folder in my home directory, I'd click on the "ogg" folder, along with any subsequent folders containing content I wish to burn. I'd then drag the files from the top portion of k3b to the lower portion.



You'll notice, all of the files I'm dragging are encoded in the "ogg" file format. K3b will automatically sense the file type and convert it to the correct format so your CD can be played in most conventional CD players. K3b truely is a wonderful program.

When you're done dragging the music you wish to burn, take note of the green bar at the bottom of the screen. This bar will tell you how much of the CD you're using and if you've used too much. If the bar has turned yellow, you might be using too much and have to delete one or two of your songs from the CD layout. If it's red, you'll definitely have to delete some.

After you've verified everything is in order, simply click the burn button in the bottom right-hand corner and another window will pop up.



You usually don't have to worry about any configuration items in here. They're usually set corretly, so unless you have a reason to do otherwise, just click Burn.

After the burn has started, a status window will pop up letting you know exactly what the burner is doing.

Status of the burner while burning.

After the burn is successful, you'll see the CD tray open with your newly burned audio CD and the status screen will change to this:

Status of the burner while burning.

Feel free to take your CD out and use it in just about any CD player out there! Also feel free to brag to your friends because you now know how to use Linux to easily burn audio CDs.


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