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However, Gnac does the job extremely well in a very simple format. By that, I mean that the user interface is as uncluttered as possible, there aren’t many options to get confused by, and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, in an easy-to-understand way.
First you obviously need to install it. Ubuntu users get the pleasure of the availability of .deb files for easy installation. For everyone else, it’s going to be a bit tougher, but still overall easy. In this case, you’ll need to download the source and compile. No worries, as long as you have gcc installed, you can “cd” into the directory of where the source is, then run ./configure, make, and make install (make install as root, the rest as normal user).
You’ll probably run into a couple of problems during the configuration phase, but again, don’t worry. More than likely those error messages are just missing dependencies. Just install the needed package through your package manager and run ./configure again. Keep doing this until no more errors appear and it will finish configuring. Make will build the program for your system, and make install will install it. GNOME users can then find it under the Sound & Video category in their menu.
When you launch Gnac, you’ll immediately see why I said that it’s so uncluttered. In my opinion the user interface cannot get any simpler than it already is. It is also very intuitive. You can add as many songs as you want to convert and videos you want to extract the audio from (yes, they all go into the same pile), check the list to see that everything is on there that you want to convert/extract, choose what file type you would like to receive, and hit convert.
Done. When the process completes, your new, shiny files are waiting for you.
You can also create new profiles to change the file type and quality of settings so you get exactly what you want.
Although there aren’t many options in the program to get you confused, there are nevertheless a couple at your disposal. You do not have to change anything in case any of the options actually do confuse you, but there are some nice features for those who want them. For example, while the conversion is taking place, you can have a notification icon appear so you can work on other things while it converts in the background. You can also change the output folder, delete the original file when conversion finishes (probably not a good idea for videos, so I’d recommend to leave this unchecked), as well as some file and folder naming settings for the audio.
Gnac is a fantastic tool, even with its almost too simplistic approach. However, that simplicity serves the program well, letting users do exactly what they want it to do, with no surprises. It may not work very well for an audio professional, but for the casual home user, this is a highly recommended program.
How often do you need to convert audio, or extract audio from video? Have you been able to do this with Linux in the past? Let us know in the comments!