"The fact that the much of computer world equates simple with dumb and complex with powerful is an unfortunate accident of history."
hadess: The GNOME VFS method provided by sound juicer is a start but the ui still sucks due to the lack of steps 2 and 3. Expecting users to be familiar with gnome-vfs schemes is an even worst ui than using an application. 
Anyway, while we're on the subject of code, any chance this patch can get applied to gnome-mime-data. I need it so that the open applet can be used to open folders.
 Once again i'm not picking on sound juicer here specifically.
Ross Burton works on a nice little app called sound juicer. This app aims to provide a simple to use cd ripping interface. The thing thats strikes me though is the fact that no one ever thought "Hey this is a form of file management, lets put it into the file manager!" The file manager, what you say? Thats crack! Think again. The file manager provides the exact required interface here. Ripping cd's is just another form of managing your files (these just happen to cd audio tracks).
Dave's Proposed CD Ripping Interface
Compare the above steps to rip a cd to the similar steps to copying files from a floppy disk. *gasp* you can replace the term CD Player with floppy disk and rip with copy, and you have virtually the exact same steps.
Addendum, July 8th
I whipped up a quick mockup dialog for the UI mentioned above. One issue that came to mind is that users may not want to be bothered every time they try to copy files from an audio cd to a folder. This leaves us with two choices. A lesser designer might suggest adding a "Don't ask me again" checkbox, but as mpt says "oh, so you didn't really need to annoy me, but you thought you would anyway?." The other option is to provide the preferences from the within file manager preference dialog. The issue of a dialog vs preferences really requires two questions to be answered, "How often do users actually rip their cd's?" and "Will they most likely always choose the same format and endoding?" If the answers are quite often and yes, I think a preference available from the file manager preferences might be a better ui, if the opposite answers are true, than perhaps a dialog is better.
2:36 AM, time to go to bed....
 I do think these preferences are useful/necessary. A hi-fi audio fanatic will likely choose a high-bit rate to encode at, a linux geek will want to use OGG and your traditional file swapper will most likely want to use MP3.
In other news, I spent the day painting kitchen walls. It was kind of fun and I made a nice slice of cash as well, considering my current complete lack of income. I have now returned to my normal daily activity, staring at a computer screen.
So I'm back at it once again, trying to convince gnome developers that a concrete document based object model is needed in order for gnome to extend its usability. I wonder if anything will come out of it this time. I'm honestly not holding much hope, but maybe I should join auspex's effort to produce a written document. He claims that he "could present (it) in person on a napkin." I don't doubt this.
So Marco convinced me to put my "OpenApplet" (or as I like to call it "Text Box for Opening Stuff with...") into gnome cvs. He even was nice enough to fix up configure.in and to add an italian translation. Have a bunch of little fixes i need to do, plus i need to decide if i'm going to support keywords, smart bookmarks or both. Smart bookmarks will probably require supporting epiphany's bookmarks system. Also need to provide as easy way for users to configure their gnome-vfs schemes, something minimal is probably best i guess.
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