A quick summary article here to help those people (and myself) fix the fact that RipperX doesn’t encode MP3 files natively.
The main purpose of installing RipperX on your Linux / Ubuntu system is likely to be the fact you want to create a digital copy of all those shiney CD’s you have laying around. However it doesn’t create MP3’s just huge WAV files. Whats the point in that? Why not the really useful and common MP3 format? Well…
MP3’s ripping with 0 byte file size
The reason I noticed this was that after ripping some of my CDs, the MP3 files had a file size of 0 bytes. No file size, something was obviously not right. Anyway the reason for that problem was that even though the correct encoder was selected in RipperX, it wasn’t actually available on the system.
The MP3 format is actually owned by a company, so for copyright reasons doesn’t ship with Ubuntu. In fact it turns out that Technicolor own the whole MP3 patent, so everyone should be paying them mega bucks. Thankfully though they don’t enforce the patent unless you’re some really big music player, so you can sleep safe in your bed tonight knowing that.
If you want to read more about the copyright issues regarding the MP3 file format, head over to wikipedia who have some info on it.
Fixing RipperX with the LAME encoder
Thankfully you can easily install the LAME MP3 encoder using the following snippet of code in your terminal.
sudo apt-get install lame libmp3lame0
Restarting RipperX should then allow you to encode your files using the LAME encoder. Check your settings to make sure its no longer greyed out.