Here’s a Quick Linux Tip for ya!
Podcasts are increasingly using the mp4 format favoured by iTunes and the iPod. That’s great if that’s your media player of choice, but less useful if you don’t use or like bloatware, own a different mp3 player or would rather play them in some other way. Mp4 audio files usually have the file extension of .m4a, so they’re easy to spot.
Here’s how to convert these .m4a files to format neutral .mp3s, as detailed here.
First, you need faad and lame. Under Ubuntu or Debian, a quick
sudo apt-get install faad
snarfs it for you. Run the following (replacing the filenames as required) and after a short while, you’ll have your .mp3 of the podcast, all ready for use.
faad -o - inputfile.m4a | lame - outputfile.mp3
This command decodes the AAC audio codec from the .m4a file, which lame then converts to an .mp3. Simple.
Now excuse me, I’m off to listen to some podcasts