The M4A file format is not a well-known name and is far behind the much more popular MP3 files. However, this does not mean that it is irrelevant. Apple's iTunes Store – a dominant force in digital music distribution – offers DRM-free music as M4A files in addition to AAC. Therefore, it is not impossible for you to find a title in M4A format that you would like to play elsewhere in iTunes.
Follow these steps to make your purchased iTunes M4A tracks (or others) available for universal use as MP3.
: Choose your M4a file from cloud conversion sites, but our favorite for this specific task is Cloud Convert. Go to the start page and click on the gray button "Select Files" . Then select the desired M4A file you want to convert. Alternatively, click the file you want to convert and drag it from its saved location into the site conversion window. Clicking directly on the "Select files" button opens a file explorer view of your system from which you can select your file. If you click the down arrow, you can choose from a number of other sources, such as: DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box and a URL.
Alternative online converters are Zamzar and Online Convert. You can read more about this in our guide to converting FLAC to MP3.
Step 2: Adjust output settings
When you have selected your file, the conversion options screen appears. Click on the file format arrow and select the MP3 option from the list of audio formats. Unless otherwise specified, Cloud Convert automatically converts your file to a variable bit rate MP3 file between 220 Kbps and 250 Kbps.
You can click the wrench icon next to the drop-down menu to customize the output settings of the file. From there you can change the number of audio channels, the sampling frequency and more. When you are satisfied with your settings, click on the blue "Okay" button in the lower right corner.
Step 3: Convert the file
Click the red button "Start Conversion" the right side. When the conversion process is complete – with most files taking about 10 seconds – your file will be available for download.
Step 4: Download Your New MP3 File
The green Download button indicates that your MP3 file is available. You can click the button directly and your file will be saved in your default download folder. The drop-down arrow options available include creating a QR code for download to a mobile device. When you click the Create Archive drop-down button, you can paste your files into a compressed file of various types.
iTunes is not the only one desktop app that shows you how to convert M4A files to MP3. However, it is still one of the best (and most recognizable) options for Windows and MacOS. It's easy to use and we can help you with computer authorization or make sure it's up to date when needed.
To use it, open the Settings menu and adjust the import settings to use "MP3 Encoder". Then just select to convert the file you want to convert to your music library, click "File," then "Convert," and then "Create MP3 Version." Then iTunes does it all for you.
If you want to create a dedicated file This unit allows you to play the newly created MP3 files. Check out our suggestions for the best modern MP3 players when you're done!