On its SourceForge page, it says that cdrfte (short for cdrtools front end) can extract files from CD in mp3 format. However, I can't find anything on its support wiki or anywhere else about how this is done. How do I rip mp3s using cdrfte?
So, it does not make mp3s. What made you think it does? It can extract wav files from CDs which you can then encode as mp3 using an mp3encoder, yes. But it does not seem to have the encoder built in. Why should it? That is not what cdrtools does.