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I have downloaded some .m4b files, but my mp3 player cannot play them. I have tried several converters i found through google, but they can't seem to be able to convert the whole files. (Its an 8 hour long file, first program only converted it to a 1 hour long mp3, and the 2nd converted it to 5 hrs long, but with 3 hrs still missing).

Is there a reliable program for converting them that i can use?

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You might list what programs you have tried, so they don't get recommended again. – Moab Aug 8 '10 at 21:38
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I'm assuming since your file has an M4B extension, you're working with an audiobook. You should be able to use Audacity to open the .m4b file and export it as an MP3 file. The m4b extension is just a fancy name for an AAC file.

I would recommend the 1.3 beta version - even though it's labeled as a beta, it's very stable. You'll also need to install the LAME MP3 encoder (to export the mp3 file) and the FFmpeg Import/Export library (to read the .m4b file).

The first time after you open Audacity, it should automatically find the LAME and FFmpeg installs. If not, you can have it search for them by going to Edit -Preferences (or press Ctrl+P), go to "Import / Export", and click the "Find library" buttons if nothing is listed (see here for detailed instructions)

Having never converted a file that large, I'm not sure how long it will take. Once Audacity is installed, open the .m4b file, and then choose File -> Export... and save it as an MP3 file. Audacity will give you the chance to fill out the ID3 information, so you can have the proper author, etc, listed for the MP3 file.

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The VLC player also works, use file -> convert/save. – Click Upvote Aug 9 '10 at 0:01

I know this is an old thread, but VLC continually crashed on me when I tried to export mp3.

I also tried Super Converter, which looks like it was written by a schizophrenic, but it is my go to freeware converter. Very reliable.

In the end all that worked was good old ffmpeg. Here's the command line I used successfully.

 ffmpeg -i "c:\pathTo\imput.m4b" -acodec libmp3lame -ar 22050 "c:\pathTo\output.mp3"
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FFMPEG has to be the answer to the vast majority of all media conversion questions. – H.B. Nov 15 '11 at 4:08
It worked for me, though I had to install libavcodec-extra-53 package to get libmp3lame encoder. I also received "*** THIS PROGRAM IS DEPRECATED *** This program is only provided for compatibility and will be removed in a future release. Please use avconv instead.", when I entered the above command (Kubuntu 13.04). – Mohamad Fakih Nov 1 '13 at 7:00

dBpoweramp will do it, but not free. Once the program is installed go to codec central, download and install this codec, note:these only work with the dBpoweramp program.

Buy it, select #1

Other codecs if you need them, I suggest you download and install all of them.

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protected by slhck Aug 24 '12 at 10:14

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