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grip 3.0.7 review

 
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wolfie
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Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 11:22 am    Post subject: grip 3.0.7 review Reply with quote

Review of Grip 3.0.7

Background

Grip is billed as a "cd-player and cd-ripper for the Gnome desktop. It has the ripping capabilities of cdparanoia builtin, but can also use external rippers (such as cdda2wav). It also provides an automated frontend for MP3 (and other audio format) encoders, letting you take a disc and transform it easily straight into MP3s. Internet disc lookups are supported for retrieving track information from disc database servers."

In layman's terms Grip has two main functions: a) it acts as a CD player, b) it allows you to rip CDs converting the contents to a compressed. Most Linux distributions come with a CD player, so having another one isn't that beneficial.

Installation

As no Mandrake 9.2 rpm was listed on grip's website, I downloaded the 855kb source file. grip-3.0.7-2mdk package is available for download elsewhere on the net, but interesting to see if compiling source is easy for grip.

The compressed tar ball (a tar.gz file) was extracted and uncompressed and installed grip by typing

Code:
tar zxvf grip-3.0.7.tar.gz
cd grip-3.0.7
./configure


At this stage the configure script complained that the gnomeConf.sh could not be found and that gnome-libs had not been installed.

Before I could compile the source with the "make" command I needed to install some other packages including libgnome32-devel, libhttp and id3lib rpms. This was painless with the Mandrake Software Packages Installation Tool.

In operation





Although grip has a non-standard interface, the program is very easy to use. Converting a CD to mp3 format involves pressing the Rip column on the Tracks tab, which selects all of the tracks on the CD. Then, by selecting the Rip tab and clicking the Rip+Encode button, the process begins. You couldn't get much more simple in operation than this.

The settings by default use the builtin cdparanoia as the program to rip the tracks from the CD, and lame to encode the output. Somewhat suprisingly the default encoding bitrate is 128kbits/sec which is on the low side. I've always preferred using a higher bitrate, either 192 kbps or for really good quality 320kbps depending on whether I was going to listen to the tracks on my laptop or desktop.

If you don't like lame there was various other encoders, grip can call including: bbladeenc, l3enc, xingmp3enc, gogo, oggenc and flac.

The features that impressed me the most are:

    Lookup of CD titles using the freedb.org server
    Multiple CPU support
    Simplicitly of the program, uncluttered interface
    DigitalDJ support

When a CD is being extracted on my system, other applications could not get their fair share of the CPU even when the nice value was changed; this did not occur if only encoding was taking place.

Conclusion

The usefulness of grip largely stems from the separate applications it makes use of, notably cdparanoia and lame. However, by making the operation of ripping and encoding so simple, grip is definately a program to be strongly recommended. It's small, unbloated and an excellent utility. Free too! This is every bit as good as the Windows CDex application!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many stars out of 10 would you give it?
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wolfie
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Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least 9 out of 10, a quality app!
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