Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Just when you think we’re ahead…

Just when you think we’re ahead…

We gave my daughter a small radio/CD player for her sixth birthday a while back, so she’s been excited to get copies of some of our CDs that she can play in her room. Yes, we still get the majority of our music the old-fashioned way, by buying CDs. So today Evie wanted a copy of a CD, so I dutifully inserted it in my F7-endowed laptop, right-clicked the Nautilus desktop icon for the CD, and chose “Copy disc.”

The outcome was… less than satisfactory. Although the nautilus-cd-burner program launches a readcd process (from the wodim package) to read the CD in a perfectly acceptable RAW mode, and extracts a correct table of contents (TOC), that’s where the fun stops. The write process runs cdrecord and writes the image as a single data track (in “cooked” mode, no less) to the disc. The resulting disc is obviously not playable.

I’m wondering why the Nautilus guys didn’t include a simple bit of logic that keeps the user from wasting time making a coaster when the source is an audio CD. If you know a feature doesn’t work, why mislead the user? Shouldn’t honesty be as important as simplicity?

The funny thing is, doing this right is very easy:

cdrdao write -n --device /dev/cdwriter /tmp/image.iso.FOO.toc

The point is, if I set this system down in front of my daughter (who’s already quite computer friendly) or my mother, they’d be frustrated at this particular result. I don’t even know if other operating systems allow you to do this easily, but I know Fedora should.


  1. @Tanner: I like how you criticize with (apparently) zero understanding of US copyright law. 😉 US copyright law has long allowed you to make copies for personal use of a CD you own. My daughter lives in my household and since the CD in question is not copy-protected, this activity is protected as “fair use.” I can’t give such a copy to a family member outside my household, nor (obviously) sell or transfer it, unless I sell or transfer all copies at once to the same receiver. Please get your facts straight next time, thanks.

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