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Convert M4A files to MP3 and other formats: This is how it works

After the download, some audio files are available as so-called M4A files. But not all devices support the format. We show how you can convert an M4A file into other common audio formats (for example MP3).

Some providers provide audio files in MPEG file format with the extension “.m4a”. You shouldn't have any problems opening these files on a PC or Mac. Most smartphones can also handle M4A files. If you cannot open the files on a certain device, you have to convert them - for example into an MP3 file.

Some media players can convert M4A files on their own. This applies, for example, to the free “VLC media player”. But “iTunes” (for Windows) and the “Music” app (for Mac) are also able to do this.

Convert M4A files - using the example of the VLC player

To convert an M4A file, do the following:

  1. Start the VLC player and select the "Media" tab.
  2. Click on "Convert / Save".
  3. In the "Open Media" window you select the M4A file that you want to convert.
  4. Go to “Convert / Save” and choose your desired target format (for example “.mp3”).
  5. Specify the destination folder in which the converted file should be saved.
  6. Click on "Start".

After converting, you should be able to open the file on any device without any problems. You then have the option, for example, of downloading the converted music to your smartphone if your mobile phone has not played the songs as M4A files.

Convert M4A files - using the example of the Music and iTunes apps

Music files can also be converted with the music app or iTunes.

Instructions for Mac:

  • Open the Music app on your Mac.
  • Click on "Music" in the upper left corner and then on "Settings".
  • Go to the "Files" tab on the "Import Settings" button.
  • Click the drop-down menu next to "Import Using" and select the format you want to convert the music file (s) to.
  • Confirm with "OK".
  • Click "OK" again to close the settings window.
  • Select the titles you want to convert.
  • Go to "File | Convert ”and select“ Create [Format] Version ”there.

Instructions for the Windows PC:

  • Open iTunes on your PC.
  • Under "Edit | Settings ”click in the“ General ”tab on“ Import settings ”.
  • You specify the coding format via "Import with".
  • Click on "OK".
  • Select the M4A files that you want to convert.
  • Under “File” go to “Convert” and then to “Create [Format] Version”.

A note: When converting, the original file is retained in its storage location.

Summary: This is how you convert M4A files

  • M4A files are audio files of a special MPEG format.
  • These files can be played on many devices - but not on all.
  • You can easily convert the files to other popular audio formats.
  • You can easily convert audio files with tools like VLC, iTunes or Apple's music app.

What software do you use to convert audio files? We look forward to your comment.

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