In the second part of this feature, I will focus on my
experience of running three
different Windows applications under Wine. These are mp3DirectCut (an
audio editor and recorder), Mp3tag (a universal tag editor), and CDex
(a very popular CD ripper
with more than 38 million downloads to date). They are all fairly small
Unlike the software featured in the first part of this
article, the applications here are not proprietary software. In the
case of mp3DirectCut and Mp3tag they are released under a freeware
whereas CDex is published under the GNU General Public License version
3. However, the
developers of this software have elected, for whatever reason, not to
release Linux versions.
mp3DirectCut is a
fast and extensive lossless audio editor and recorder
for MP2 and MP3 files. This software lets a user directly cut, copy,
paste or change the volume with no need to decompress files for audio
editing. This saves encoding time and preserves the original quality,
because nothing is re-encoded.
The built in recorder creates mp3 on the fly from your audio
input. Using Cue sheets, pause detection or Auto cue users can easily
divide long files.
Whilst mp3DirectCut is extremely simple and intuitive to ease,
it also has a good feature set supporting non-destructive cut, copy and
mp3 recording, mp3 visualization, tags, cue sheet support, track
basic audio manipulation (e.g. fade, normalize, amplification), and
The installer for mp3DirectCut worked fine, although it was
the only application where a Wine menu entry was not automatically
created. Apart from this minor inconvenience, the software ran
absolutely spotlessly in Wine. In fact it seemed almost as if it ran
slightly quicker in Wine than it does under
Windows. Another complete unqualified success!
mp3DirectCut is not necessarily a superior audio editor to
Audacity, another easy-to-use audio editor and recorder. Audacity also
has the advantage that it is cross-platform running natively under
Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and is released under a freely
distributable license. However, I am already experienced in
using mp3DirectCut and never tried Audacity under Windows. Given
that mp3DirectCut does everything I want in the audio editing world, it
is great that Wine enables me to run the application under Linux.
Chances are if you
have used Windows in the past you will have given CDex a whirl. CDex is
extracting digital audio data from an Audio CD. This software is able
to convert CD audio into several formats including WAV, MP3 (using the
LAME encoder), Ogg Vorbis, VQF, Musepack, APE, and
It is a fast, and reliable multimedia utility, and is one of
the most popular downloads on SourceForge.net. Consequently, it is an
important test of the capabilities of Wine.
For a compact utility, CDex has a good feature set. I
particularly like the fact that CDex has a really easy to
use interface, the advanced jitter correction works really well,
supports ID3 V2 tags, has support for cuesheets, freeCDDB, and creates
PLS and M3U
playlist files without any fuss or bother. Bascially it has all of the
functionality that I need.
Whilst CDex is released under an open source license it is not
clear how to compile it under Linux (if that is even possible).
Fortunately, I am pleased to report that CDex works sweetly
under Wine. It recognised my DVD drive without any difficulties, and
proceeded merrily to rip audio CDs (as depicted in the above
a hitch. The only problem I encountered with CDex was trying to save
files to a
directory with a space in it. Apart from that, CDex works spendidly
Linux is blessed with some great CD ripper software such as
Grip, Sound Juicer, and K3b. However, CDex has again the big advantage
have used it for years and therefore know the application inside out.
The final application
that is under the spotlight is Mp3tag. This is a freeware metadata
editor for many audio file formats. It runs on Microsoft Windows only.
Mp3tag includes support for the following audio formats: AAC,
FLAC, APE, MP3, MPEG-4 (mp4/m4a/m4b/iTunes compatible), MPC, OGG,
OptimFROG OFR, OFS, SPX,
TAK, TTA, WMA, WV.
Mp3tag is another incredibly useful multimedia utility. I
regularly use its batch tag editing features, and importing tags from
such as Amazon and MusicBrainz is a real time saver. UTF-8
encoding is also crucial.
Unfortunately drag'n'drop between a windows application to a
different Windows application is not currently implemented in Wine. In
Windows I would often use Mp3tag by dragging files to the
application from Explorer. Unfortunately this is not possible
when running Mp3tag in Wine. Nevertheless, this is not a
showstopper, as it is still possible to use Mp3tag
effectively, but I just had to change my approach to using it.
Apart from the above issue, Mp3tag worked very well. It was
stable in use, and support for cover art and import functionality
worked perfectly. Another hit for Wine.
I am very impressed with Wine and heartily recommend it to
Windows users who are thinking of migrating to Linux. It is incredibly
software, and is now mature enough to use on a daily basis. With the
exception of VideoReDo, the multimedia Windows software worked like
magic. However, there is still a lot of development needed to Wine.
Wine makes a real difference to reducing one of the most
significant barriers of entry to Linux. Moving to Linux is
overwhelming for Windows users as they are faced with a largely alien
set of software. Whilst this will have little importance to experienced
Linux users, if Linux is going to significantly increase its market
share of the desktop (currently about 2%) it needs Windows software to
run effortlessly. Furthermore, as much as I dislike the
Windows operating system, there is a vast catalogue of high quality
Windows software available (some of which is free).
Virtualization software (such as VirtualBox) represents
another approach to running Windows software, but for me, Wine
represents the quickest way to get Windows software running on a Linux
Return to the first part of this article:
1: Spotify, DigiGuide, VideReDo
Last Updated Sunday, September 06 2009 @ 09:14 AM EDT