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...none of the software that came with it can encode in to mp3.
Of course it can. You may need to do a little tweaking, and you very likely need to get an mp3 codec in place. Check out Grip, Lame, K3B, etc. This ain't Windows. Freedom requires a little extra work, ... but it's fun.
in a command line. You should get the version number and a little help for Lame. If you get "bash: lame: command not found" you didn't install Lame correctly (you MUST install it, it doesn't come prebundled, at least not in the Community Version of Mandriva). Lame is found on plf, to configure it, follow instructions on this link (in step 2, choose a server for at least the two last entries), then you can install via the Control Center: http://easyurpmi.zarb.org/
Go to "Configure KAudioCreator" -> "Encoder". Select "lame" and press the "configure" button. There you can change all the settings in the section "command line".
WARNING: Only mess around here if you know what you are doing and know the lame commands well.
Now, why do you want to change the bitrate? Changing this will unlikely bring you neither big change in file size, neither better quality (especialy if you plan using 128kbit/sec, it will get worse). But well, people always insist in controlling the bitrate setting for Lame ...
You can change the "--preset standard" part to either "--preset medium/extreme/insane" (choose only one of the tree).
But you want CBR? Sure? OK, type in a command line prompt (NOT in the KAudioCreator menu!!!)
read it all and answer yourself if you know what all this stuff is for. OK, see why it's no good idea to mess around to much? If you want do that, you should know what all this fancy stuff is for, which algorithm is controlled, what each switch is good for. If you still really think you need to use CBR (why do people insist on this?) while you have no idea of the above you can replace the "--preset standard" part by "-q 2 -b 192" with the last number being the bitrate.