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How to Convert M4A to MP3

By Lois Green, Tuesday, November 14, 2017

M4A audio files are pretty popular among Apple devices. But players from other manufacturers may prefer other formats and therefore, M4A files won't play on some third-party software, such as Serato DJ. If you hope your music or audiobooks to be readily played on any computer or other multimedia device, you may think about converting M4A to a widely supported format - MP3.

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1. M4A to MP3 Converter: Convert M4A to MP3 Without Quality Loss

The best way to convert M4A to MP3 is using a M4A to MP3 converter, like FonePaw Video Converter Ultimate. It is a video converter as well as a audio converter. It can:

  • Convert M4A music or audio files to MP3 without quality loss or convert MP3 and other formats to M4A;

  • Convert M4A files to WMA, FLAC, AAC or other audio fomats;

  • Convert videos to other formats, for example, convert MOV to MP4. 

The converter is available on both Mac and Win PC. Download its free trial version on your Mac or PC and change the .m4a files to MP3 in 3 steps.


Step 1: Add M4A files to the program

Run the M4A to MP3 converter on your computer. Next, click "Add Files" to upload your .m4a audiobooks or music to the program. You can choose "Add Folder" to convert multiple .m4a files in a batch.

Add M4A Files

Step 2: Choose MP3 as output format

Click the "Profile" line and then in the "General Audio" category, choose MP3 - MPEG Layer-3 (*.mp3) as the output format. 

Tip: You will be able to customize the audio parameters(encoder, sample rate, bitrate, channel) by clicking the "Settings" button.

Choose MP3 from General Audio Format

Step 3: Convert M4A to MP3 

Press "Convert" button to convert M4A to MP3 audio format.

Start M4A to MP3 Conversion

2. Convert M4A to MP3 with Windows Media Player(on Windows)

You can also use Windows Media Player to convert M4A to MP3. But the player can only convert .m4a files in a CD to MP3. If you .m4a files are downloaded from internet, use a audio converter instead. 

  1. Launch WIndows Media Player and insert a CD with .m4a files into the computer.

  2. When the audio files are added to the player. Click Organize > Options > Rip Music.

  3. Choose MP3 as the output format and click OK to rip the .m4a music from the CD and convert the files to MP3. The MP3 files will be saved on your computer.

M4A to MP3 Windows Media Player

3. Change M4A Files to MP3 with iTunes (on Mac)

You can also use iTunes to change M4A file to MP3. Since iTunes is not a professional audio converter, you can't convert M4A to WMA/FLAC or convert MP3 to M4A.

  1. Launch iTunes and navigate to iTunes > Preferences > Importing Settings.

  2. Choose MP3 Encoder from the pop-up menu. For the Setting popup, specify a quality preference. I recommend the highest quality (192 kbps). Click OK.

  3. Go to the iTunes library and select one or more .m4a files you want to convert.

  4. Then, go to File > Create New Version > Create MP3 Version. iTunes will convert your M4A file to the MP3 specifications you established previously.

  5. By default, the converted media will be saved in the iTunes Media folder of your computer.

Convert M4A to MP3 with iTunes

4. What Is M4A and How to Play It?

People who own an iPhone, iPad, iPod or a Mac computer might be familiar with the .m4a format. The .m4a file signifies the audio layer of (non-video) MPEG 4 movies and is encoded with advanced audio coding (AAC) that is a lossy compression. It is generally regarded as the successor to MP3 and produces better audio quality and smaller size than MP3 file.
You can play .m4a files on many devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phones and tablets. Also programs including iTunes, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, VLC, support .m4a files. 

Even so, M4A is not adopted as widely as MP3. To convert M4A to MP3, you can use iTunes or Windows Media Player. If the two tools are the options for you, you can also use FonePaw Video Converter Ultimate, a professional audio & video converter to convert W4A to MP3, FLAC to MP3, WAV to MP3. 



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