K3b 0.12 includes some cool new feature of which some are quite hidden. So here I try to unravel the
secret powers that lie within K3b 0.12.
The Audio Project
Let's start with the audio project which has been nearly completely rewritten.
Audio CD Tracks
It is now possible to drag tracks from an audio CD directly into an audio project. To use this feature left
click the device containing the audio CD just as if you wanted to rip tracks to mp3 or ogg-vorbis and then
simply drag the tracks you want in your compilation into the audio project (see the screenshot below).
You can even use tracks from different audio CDs. K3b will ask you to insert the CDs when burning the audio
Multiple track sources
In K3b 0.12 the audio tracks in an audio project may consist of several audio sources. The default case
when adding an audio file to an audio project (like dropping an mp3 file into the project) is a track with a
single file source. But it's also possible to add other sources to a track. One special source that is the
silence source which is added via the context menu of a track.
Tracks with multiple sources may be created in different ways:
- Drag files onto the track and wait a few moments until the track reveals it's source. Then drop it before
or after the already existing track source. Now the track consists of two files.
- Select two or more tracks and use the context menu to merge the tracks into one. Note that you
can also convert a track source into a track the same way.
The next screenshot shows an audio project with a hidden track like one finds on many music CDs these days. It
is created using two file sources and a long silence source (the lenght of a silence source can be changed
directly in the audio project list view). As you can see the track length is a sum of the length of the single
The new Pregap handling
Up to K3b 0.11 pregaps in an audio project were created as additional silence. That was not the best way to
handle it. K3b 0.12 treats pregaps as what they really are: simple index ranges. The pregap on an audio CD
does not influence the music on it in any way (if burned with the DAO writing mode which is the default in
K3b) except that your Hifi CD Player will count backwards on audio blocks with an index of -1 (which is the
index for the pregap).
So now K3b uses the last 2 seconds of a track as the default pregap like it is defined in the Red book
standard. If you want additional silence between the tracks like it was possible with older K3b versions use
the silence sources described above.
Improved Auto Writing Speed Mode
If you select Auto for the writing speed in the audio project K3b 0.12 tries to determine the
maximum possible writing speed for that project. That means it checks how fast the audio tracks can be
converted. This tends to be a little below the actual max but it guarantees for no buffer underruns.
K3b 0.11 simply chose the maximum possible writing speed of the writer with the inserted medium.
Convert Audio Projects
In addition to burning an audio project K3b 0.12 now also allows to convert the project into any audio
format supported by K3b. It uses a dialog similar to the one for audio track ripping and supports the same
features like file naming patterns.
This feature can be used to convert a bunch of audio files into the desired one.
Audio Cue file handling
An audio cue file is a big audio file (for example an mp3 file) and a text file describing the offsets of
the audio tracks in the audio file.
K3b 0.12 now has full support for these kind of images. You can import them into an audio project which will
give you full control of the image (like removing tracks or moving track around or even adding additional
tracks). Or you can simply write them to CD as they are using the Burn CD Image tool.
K3b 0.12 is also able to create audio cue files both for ripped audio tracks or converted audio projects.
The Data Project
The Data project has not been improved as much as the audio project but there are some small things that
are worth mentioning.
The Automatic Multisession Handling
When creating multisession CDs in K3b prior to 0.12 you had to always keep in mind to set the multisession
mode properly since otherwise K3b would default to close the CD.
K3b 0.12 has a new automatic mode which decides which multisession mode to use. K3b does this based on the
size of the project, the remaning space on the target CD (or DVD), and of course the data on the target CD. If
the project would fill up the CD K3b will close it. Otherwise leave it open to allow other sessions. If the CD
already contains a session and has enough space for the project K3b creates a new session and again closes the
CD if the new session fills up the CD or leaves it open otherwise.
New more clean theme design
With K3b 0.12 I introduced a better theme design. If you like to create a theme for K3b (which I would
really like :) you can take a look at this K3b Theme Howto.
K3b 0.12 has full session management. That means you can savely log out without caring about K3b's opened
projects. They will be restored exactly the way you left them once you log in again.
I hope this helps in making K3b more user friendly. Have fun using K3b... :)