This guide is written for Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04. Older/newer versions may also work but have not been tested.
Wouldn't it be nice to rip your favourite CD to high quality VBR Mp3 with Rhythmbox so you can play it on your Mp3 player? I'll tell you how.
First, we need to install some packages containing the required Mp3 encoder. Go to System>Administration and open Synaptic Package Manager. Search for gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad, gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly and gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse. Right-click on each one and select "Mark for installation". When you're finished, click Apply.
If you can't find those packages, go to Settings>Repositories and make sure Universe and Multiverse are enabled. Don't forget to click reload after enabling!
Now go to Applications>Sound & Video and start Rhythmbox. Go to Edit>Preferences>Music and click the "edit" button next to the preferred format. Select "CD Quality, MP3" and click Edit. Empty the field for "GStreamer pipeline", and paste the following into it:
The "2" for VBR-quality can be changed if you like. Higher numbers lead to smaller files and lower quality. 0, 1, 2 or 3 are good for high quality, 4, 5 and 6 are good for mobile use (when your storage is limited). 7 and higher don't sound very well.
audio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc mode=0 vbr=4 vbr-quality=2 ! xingmux ! id3v2mux
Now click close, click close again, make sure your preferred format is "CD Quality, MP3" and click the final close button.
When you add a CD to your library now, it will be VBR Mp3.