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K3b—Easy CD Burning Program for Linux

K3b is a CD- and DVD- burning program for Linux. This chapter from the book Point & Click Linux! by Robin Miller will help you get started with this useful program right away.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

We chose K3b as the CD and DVD burning program to include in the SimplyMEPIS CD and this book because it is one of the finest and most versatile programs of this type we have ever used, in any operating system. K3b handles music, video, and data equally well, and has no trouble burning the "ISO" (complete file system image) CDs needed to boot your computer directly from its CD drive. This is the program that was used to create the original master version of the SimplyMEPIS bootable CD and the video instruction DVD included with this book.

You can also use K3b to copy almost any kind of CD or DVD that doesn't have some sort of built-in copy protection, although you will want to make sure you don't make illegal copies of movies or songs that are protected by copyright laws where you live.

Remember, too, that if your drive won't burn DVDs, no software—not even K3b—can make it into a DVD-burner. Most R/W (Read/Write) drives that can read DVDs can't make them, even if they do a fine job of writing CDs.

Running K3b

So far we haven't encountered a CD or DVD drive that K3b failed to detect or that needed any setup action beyond clicking "Okay" on the defaults. When you start K3b for the first time it will detect your CD R/W (or DVD R/W) drive and that will be that. You will soon be taken to an opening screen that has a big "Tooltip"' window splashed across it.

As with all other Linux programs, you can keep the "Tips" windows from showing up when you start the program by unchecking the "Show tips on startup" box. It's probably a good idea to let them come up at least the first few times you open the program—and to act-ually read them, because they contain useful information. Or you may want to click "Next" on the K3b tooltip window four or five times and read all the tips at one time, then shut them off for the future. (K3b is so easy to use that there aren't a lot of tips, so this might be best.)

Figure 19.1Figure 19.1

Now we have K3b set up (automatically) and ready to run. So let's do something with it. The main startup screen gives us several choices. We're going to choose "New Data CD Project" because we often create Data CDs. In this case, the data will be a bunch of pictures we took of a sailboat race. We're going to make a CD with all the pictures on it that we can give to the editor of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron's monthly newsletter, "The Burgee," for publication in the next edition.

Figure 19.2Figure 19.2

We have four types of projects from which to choose:

  1. New Audio CD Project

  2. New Data CD Project

  3. New Data DVD Project

  4. Copy CD

K3b considers everything other than music "Data," and we're writing to a CD, so we'll choose "New Data CD Project."

Figure 19.3Figure 19.3

After we make that choice, we need to choose the data we want to put on the CD. The top half of our K3b screen is divided into two sections: files on the right, folders on the left. We're going to put an entire "Pictures" folder on CD, so we put our cursor on the "Pictures" directory listing and, while holding our left mouse button, drag it down into the "Current Projects" area, then release the mouse button.

Figure 19.4Figure 19.4

We look down in the lower left corner of the window and see that we have 69.4 megabytes of data in our "Pictures" folder, which will easily fit on a single CD. There's only one thing left to do, assuming we've put either a blank recordable CD or a rewritable CD in our drive: Click the "Burn" button in the lower right corner of the K3b window and sit back.

Figure 19.5Figure 19.5

Making a music CD is exactly the same, except you choose "Audio CD Project," and instead of selecting a whole folder at once to put on the CD, you might want to place each file (that is, each piece of music) individually on it so you can set the order in which they'll play on the finished CD. To move files around within the "Project" listing, you just "drag" them to where you want them with the mouse while holding the left mouse button and release the button where you decide they best fit in your custom-made playlist.

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