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Converting M4B's to MP3

I ended up with some M4B audio files; these are "MPEG v4 system, iTunes AAC-LC" files. In order to reliably manage these files along with every other audio file [all of which are MP3] the simplest solution is just to convert them to MP3. In order to accomplish that I dumped them back out to WAV using mplayer and re-encoded them to MP3 using lame. Both lame and mplayer are available for openSUSE from the PacMan repositories, so you can easily install them via zypper.

mplayer "filename.m4b" -nojoystick -ao pcm:file=tmp.wav
lame -b 128 -q1 tmp.wav tmp.mp3

The -nojoystick option for mplayer isn't required but it prevents mountains of output about mplayer being unable to read the joystick device [most likely due to the fact that I don't have a joystick]. I left the bit-rate for lame at 128 since there is no point in re-encoding a file at a higher bit-rate than the originally encoded file - these files are mono-channel human speech not high-fidelity audio.

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