2.1. Hacks 1346: Introduction
Many people in the Linux community believe that choice is good. Perhaps second only to text editors, audio applications under Linux truly embody this philosophy. Even if you limit yourself to strictly audio players, you don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the programs out there. XMMS, Rhythmbox, amaroK, juK, and others are on the GUI end; hybrid programs can play both audio and video files; and command-line tools such as mpg123 and mpg321, may also have GUI frontends.
Everyone listens to music differently. Some people listen to a single CD or album, every track in sequence. Others put their entire music collection on shuffle. Some people like minimalist audio players while others want every option and effect under the sun. With all the audio choices under Linux, no matter how you like to listen to your music, Linux has an application that fits. Beyond simply listening to music, Linux also has a number of tools to help you rip, mix, manage, and burn your audioeven "scratching" your digital audio is possible.
In this chapter, I highlight some of the best Linux audio applications. There are also hacks in this chapter that take you through the full audio extraction process from ripping CDs to encoding them to tagging the resulting files. Linux has a number of amazing audio tools to automate common tasks, and I've tried to include some of the most useful. At the end of the chapter, I also cover how to access a number of different portable media players under Linux so your music can follow you wherever you go. So put on some music, crank the volume up to 11, and let Linux handle the rest.