A GUI frontend (made with GTK+) for various UNIX CD-R burning tools and related utilities, by Jonas Munsin.

In my experience, it beats GNOME Toaster easily, even when it doesn't have all the glitter of that program.

Not only it burns, but it also creates ISO images, creates CD covers, and other such niceties. All from external programs.

Home page: http://www.abo.fi/~jmunsin/gcombust/ - also available as a Debian package.

A practical comparison of GNOME Toaster and gcombust

...or, introduction on why I like gcombust over GNOME Toaster, and some good reasons why I like gcombust.

...or, tale of the Evil Coaster of DOOM!

So, I was going to Kuhmo that fateful day and I decided to burn myself some music to listen to during the journey. Since most of my music is in .mp3s and .oggs, I decided to try out GNOME Toaster because gcombust, the program I'm familiar with, doesn't auto-uncompress audio files. (It is, as said, a simple front-end - it just feeds the file names to cdrecord, which knows only .wav and .cdr.)

Bad Side: No auto-conversion (author said it wasn't reliable enough, so it was left out)

So, I dragged the music files around to GNOME Toaster. It showed a Nero-style CD fill bar. Very cool. While gcombust is okay, it doesn't have nice feature like that. It's just a frontend.

Bad Side: Less feedback (just megabyte counts, no bar).

gToaster had a "preview" button that played the song. Well, that didn't work! The player just horribly died. I killed the mpg123 that it had spawned. Well, for some reason, killing the player didn't make the program to think it was dead - it just said "Hey, I'm playing stuff - I can't burn the CD!"

Good Side: Uses only reliable external tools and knows what to do when the other program dies.

As an Experienced Beta Tester of Open Source Software, I knew what to do: Just save the work, restart, and voila, the problem was solved. Right? Right? Well, gToaster doesn't support saving the layout of the CD! Nero does this, gcombust does this. gToaster doesn't. (Or, if it does, the user interface provides no obvious way to do that.)

Good Side: Can save file layout / track collections.

Okay, erm, so I quitted, restarted, and redid the tracks. (This is Not Fun To Do if you have half an hour time left until the bus to the railroad station leaves!) I hit the burn button (which was, by the way, a small button well hidden in the UI - gcombust has an alone-looking and readily visible "Combust" button in the bottom of the options tab to start the burn).

Good side: Clear and easy UI (drag and drop works too!)

...and I ended up producing a coaster with one track that only had a really bad song dub from Agapio Racing Team.

In the company of other songs, it would have been categorized humor. Alone on the CD... well, the CD could be considered an Evil Artifact.

The Conclusion of this Review:
dpkg --purge gtoaster

Good side: Very reliable.

Overall, I can recommend gcombust - it's simple, it doesn't even try to be the greatest and best, but it works like a train toilet.

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