OK, I dug up some information on the mysterious "nice"ness (see linux.com on this) and will try what happens if I set encoding "nice"ness to zero... It's an old desktop, anyway, and encoding to compressed formats is extremely CPU hungry. So, let's see if I allow ABCDE to be less nice, i.e. more rude (do you native speakers say "ruder"?)... Below you see what I find in the default .abcde.conf before uncommenting and changing the "ENCNICE" value:
Report, 35 mins later: "ENCNICE=0" had no effect on the problem. The file /home/piraja/abcde.2d0f7816/errors reads as follows:
# Specify 'nice'ness of the encoder, the CD reader and the distmp3 proc.
# This is a relative 'nice'ness (that is, if the parent process is at a
# nice level of 12, and the ENCNICE is set to 3, then the encoder will
# run with an absolute nice value of 15. Note also, that setting these
# to be empty will result in some default niceness increase (4 in tcsh
# and 10 using the bsdutils' nice).
encodetrack-ogg-01: returned code 1: nice -n 0 oggenc 8 -o /home/piraja/abcde.2d0f7816/track01.ogg /home/piraja/abcde.2d0f7816/track01.wav