How to convert M4A file to MP3?

Music has a deep effect on both body and emotions. It not only relaxes and soothes mind but also helps to deal with anxiety and mental stress. Upbeat music makes us feel positive, slower tempo relaxes mind and muscles.

Music is something that is, loved and accessed by all. But certain file formats like the new M4A makes accessing music infeasible. As this new file format is compatible with only Apple devices accessing M4A file on other devices is difficult. Therefore, we need to learn ways to convert M4A into MP3.

Here we discuss how to convert M4A files to Mp3?

But before that lets understand what a M4A file is, how is it different from MP3.

What is a M4A File?

An audio file encoded with advanced audio coding (AAC) and lossy compression is M4A. It is considered the successor to MP3, and it stands for MPEG 4 Audio.

Both MP3 and M4A extensions are used for only audio files. But there is something that makes M4A different i.e. M4A files are unprotected and are used by Apple for music downloaded from their iTunes Music Store while M4P file extension are protected.

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How is M4A File Different Than Mp3?

M4A or AAC files are different from MP3 in several ways:

  1. M4A has better file quality and smaller file size.
  2. M4A files sound better than MP3 files when encoded at same bit rate with certain enhancements like compression, smaller sample block size 120 or 128 samples rather than 192 and larger block sizes in stationary signals, 1024 or 960 vs MP3’s 576 sample blocks.

Advantages of M4A Format

– M4A files are smaller in size and they are compressed with lossless quality.
– M4A audio files can be used as iPhone Ringtone when renamed from M4A to M4R.
– As M4A files are unprotected it is easy to stream and distribute them.


– As M4A file formats are made for iPod, iTunes, and other Apple devices they cannot be played on other devices. This means they have poor compatibility.

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M4A vs MP3: Which One Is Better?

M4A files are considered as the successor to MP3, because when M4A files are compressed with the same bit rate their file size decreases and they have a stereo bit rate of 128kbps, 192 kbps or 256kbps.

Bit rate is the number of bits transmitted per second over a digital network.

M4A files can deliver better quality with ALAC codec at the same bit rate. Bit rate is proportionally related to file size. Larger the bit rate larger the file size with better sound quality. Still MP3 is more popular as an audio format because it has better compatibility. Also, it depends on the user which file format he would like to use as the audio format.

How to change M4A files to MP3?

To change purchased iTunes M4A tracks or other file formats to the universally used MP3 audio file format follow the steps below:

Step 1: Choose M4A file

To convert M4A file into MP3 different cloud conversion sites can be used. Here we will talk about Cloud Convert to convert files.

How to change M4A files to MP3 -1

To convert M4A file into MP3 go to the homepage > click on the gray “Select Files” button > select the location where M4A file is saved > select the file you wish to convert.

How to change M4A files to MP3 -1-2

Alternatively, you can even drag the file from the saved location into site’s conversion window. To do so you need to click on the down arrow > Select from my computer. This will open the File Explorer window from here drag the file to the conversion windows.

Besides this you can even select files saved on Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox for conversion.

Step 2: Select conversion format

Now that you have the M4A file into Cloud convert file conversion window select the audio format into which you want to convert the file.

How to change M4A files to MP3 step-2

Since we are talking about converting the file into MP3, you need to select it. By default, the file will be converted to a default setting of 250 kbps. This bitrate can be change from advanced settings.

To access advanced settings, click on the wrench icon. This will open advanced settings window from here you can change customize conversion settings.

How to change M4A files to MP3 step2-1

Once you’ve made the customization click on the “Okay” button.

Step 3: Convert the file

Now that all the settings are done you need to click on the red “Start Conversion” present at the bottom right of the page.

Convert the file

This process might take around 10 seconds. Once the M4A file is converted you will be able to download it too.

Step 4: Download the converted file

Once the file conversion from M4A to MP3 is successful you will see a green Download button. To download the converted MP3 file you need to click on it. The converted file will be saved in default downloads folder.

Download the converted file

You also get option to Get QR code to download file on mobile device. For this click on the down arrow.

Also, you can click on the “Create Archive” to include your files in a compressed file of a variety of types.

Wasn’t the file conversion easy using Cloud Convert.

However, if you do not wish to use it and want to use the traditional iTunes here are the steps to do so.

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How to Convert M4A to MP3 Ising iTunes?

iTunes is one the of popular apps that makes converting M4A to MP# super easy. It is like and used by both Windows and MacOS.

To use it, open the Preferences > tweak import settings to use “MP3 Encoder.” Now simply select the file you wish to convert. For this click “File,” > “Convert,” > “Create MP3 Version.” Now leave rest to, iTunes the file will be converted to MP3.

Using these simple steps, you can easily convert M4A files to MP3 without losing the quality. M4A files are better in quality but since they aren’t compatible with most of the devices we need to convert M4A to MP3.

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