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Distribution: handbuilt (reliable), FC3 (flakey as a piecrust)
Unfortunateley, life is not always so simple ...
mplayer -ao pcm -vo 1\ -\ Vespers\ Introit\ Hymn.wav 1\ -\ Vespers\ Introit\ Hymn.wma
MPlayer 1.0rc1-rpm.livna.org-4.1.1 (C) 2000-2006 MPlayer Team
CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+ (Family: 15, Model: 35, Stepping: 2)
CPUflags: MMX: 1 MMX2: 1 3DNow: 1 3DNow2: 1 SSE: 1 SSE2: 1
Compiled with runtime CPU detection.
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
Playing 1 - Vespers Introit Hymn.wma.
ASF file format detected.
name: Vespers (Introit & Hymn)
author: Philip Pickett
copyright: Linn Records
Requested audio codec family [wma9dmo] (afm=dmo) not available.
Enable it at compilation.
Requested audio codec family [wmadmo] (afm=dmo) not available.
Enable it at compilation.
Cannot find codec for audio format 0x163.
Audio: no sound
Video: no video
I could have eliminated the .wma with sed in the one-liner (sorry). But now that you have all these files with .wma. in it, you could use a convenient tool like the GUI krename  or the command-line 'rename'  to rename all files.
I found that ffmpeg will not preserve your ID3 tags, which is a big problem for me since the orginal wma files were completely tagged.
Using Synaptic, I innstalled Sound Converter (soundconverter). This will give you a GUI to do conversions, with the added benefit that it uses a tag reader to preserve all tags -- except that it didn't preserve the tags. Sound Converter (and Amarok) read the tags from the .wma files just fine.
Why not convert to FLAC (free lossless codec). You can convert WMA to FLAC directly --even on Windows and if you are in Windows Winamp (free) can play FLAC files directly.
I Don't recommend converting to PCM first as a WAV file has a maximimum size of 4GB -- might seem large but if say you make a high quality recording this could be as little as 70 mins. Editing large WAV files is also a pain however FLAC editors do this much more easily.
Flac compresses nicely and is LOSSLESS. There are loads of converters around once you've got your file into FLAC so you can convert to whatever format you need.
FLAC is good for archiving your music and you can share the disk with Windows / other computers etc etc.
I agree that you don't want to store your music in ANY Proprietary form -- and under no circumstances do you want to add any DRM crud to your own music.
BTW most FLAC converters preserve ID3 tags etc etc so you won't lose titling or whatever even if you convert some files later again to mp3 for playing on a portable music device.