Use Serpentine and K3b to burn your own custom audio CD in just a few clicks.
Even with the advent of high-tech hard drives, flash-memory-based media players, and sophisticated peer-to-peer file-sharing software, sometimes the simplest way to take your music with you is on a good old-fashioned CD. After all, many home and car stereos still don't support the playback of MP3s or other audio formats, so if you mix your favorite tracks and burn them to a CD, you can play them just about anywhere. Plus, if your CD breaks, it's quick, easy, and cheap to replace with another burned copy.
Creating a CD used to be a bit of a dark science under Linux and required you to use a number of command-line tools to convert audio files into WAVs if they weren't already WAVs. Then you had to execute another script to burn them onto a CD and, of course, hope that you calculated the song length correctly so your music would all fit on the CD. With Ubuntu, those days are over. Ubuntu offers a number of options for burning audio CDs, but this hack will cover the built-in option Serpentine, and K3b, a very powerful and very user-friendly graphical CD- and DVD-burning tool. Both tools accomplish all of the steps that you would normally have to do on the command line, all within a nice simple interface.
Serpentine is installed by default on your Ubuntu system, so you will only need to get K3b (and its MP3 decoding library, if you want to burn MP3s to disc). To do so, just ...