Not everything works like I expect it to. Even with top-end, full-featured distros, I sometimes run into difficulties I can’t explain or just didn’t predict.
For example, I used to be enamored with Brasero. On a day-to-day basis I rely on Recorder, which is a much more expedient program, but if I’m in Ubuntu (which was the case the other day), Brasero usually satisfies.
Except this time, with 10.10, every time I tried to copy from audio disc to audio disc using my USB DVDRW, the program halted. No error message, no warning report … just poof, and it was gone.
Which was strange to me, even though I am accustomed to things acting funny on the machines I cobble together. But this was Ubuntu, this was “just works.” I must be doing something wrong, I thought.
I tried starting it from the terminal emulator, in hopes of getting some more information. And that’s when it complained that cdrdao wasn’t installed.
I am a patient and generous person, so I installed cdrdao from the terminal. But Brasero still complained that it wasn’t available.
At that point, I figured there were more options than just Brasero. Long ago, Gnomebaker was Ubuntu’s weapon of choice, and installing that took only a few seconds.
But in this case, Gnomebaker wanted to take an hour to convert an entire CD to digital files, before burning the copy. An hour seemed like a very long time.
So as a troubleshooting measure, and because I couldn’t find a speed setting for the conversion process in Gnomebaker, I installed Sound Juicer (also a past Ubuntu golden child), and extracted the tracks to flac format in six minutes.
My adventure wasn’t over though. For some reason, I couldn’t add the audio tracks to Brasero, and when I did manage to force-feed it the flac files, it wouldn’t sort them unless I dragged them one-by-one into place.
There were 55 audio tracks. I don’t think so.
Back to Gnomebaker. Added the files. One-button sort the files. And then … Gnomebaker defaulted to a 21-minute CD (who has those?!) and spat out an error message again.
So finally, after about 15 minutes of backtracking and error trapping, I managed to get the CD burnt. It definitely was a lot more of a harangue than I anticipated, just to duplicate an audio CD.
But experiences like this are the exception for me, not the rule. This isn’t so much a critique of Ubuntu or Linux, as just a note that things don’t always go as planned. And that can happen to anybody, with any operating system.