Top 4 Ways to Convert M4A Audio to MP3

Updated by Adam Gorden on December 25, 2018 08:24:00 AM.

convert m4a to mp3

M4A is not a commonly used audio file format by most programs although it has better quality than MP3. It's actually an audio-only file extension that stands for MPEG-4 audio layer and largely used by Apple iTunes Store to encode its music files, as well as the DRM-protected audio books.

In result, you'll find sometimes you can only play those M4A audio files on iTunes or iOS devices, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc. Therefore, converting M4A to a more popular format like MP3 is highly necessary if you want to play the M4A files on more media devices and MP3 players. Now we'll show you the 4 best ways to convert M4A to MP3 for universal use, under the help of some best M4A to MP3 converters.

Solution 1. Convert M4A to MP3 with iTunes

Free software could be the first option for converting M4A to MP3, as they cost nothing. Fortunately, there are many free M4A to MP3 converters you can rely on. Among them, iTunes is one of the best and easiest choices to go for, as it provides its music and audiobook files all in M4A format within the app itself.

Now you can simply follow these easy steps to make your purchased iTunes M4A audio tracks available as MP3.

convert m4a to mp3 with itunes

Step 1. Open iTunes and navigate to Edit menu item and Preferences. Then click General tab and Import Settings.

Step 2. In the popup window, click Import Using, then select MP3 Encoder. You can then adjust the bit rate of the audio file based on your requirements. Then click OK button to apply the settings.

Step 3. Once you apply the Import settings, select the M4A audio file you wish to convert to MP3 in your iTunes library, then click on the File menus, then Convert, and then Create MP3 Version. iTunes will automatically create and place the MP3 version of the song directly beneath it.

Solution 2. Convert M4A to MP3 with Audacity

Of course, you can also convert M4A to MP3 without iTunes, thanks to many other freeware on the Internet that can also support converting M4A audios to MP3 well, such as Audacity, a free and open-source audio converter that can convert, edit and manage your M4A files easily. The following guide will show you how to use Audacity to convert M4A to MP3 for free on Windows.

audacity audio converter

Step 1. You should firstly download and install Audacity from its official site.

Step 2. Launch Audacity Audio Converter on your PC. Then click File option on the top menu and add the M4A audio files from your iTunes music library by clicking Import, then Audio.

Step 3. After importing the M4A files to Audacity, you can edit the audio in your own way by adjusting the metadata, adding effects, splitting the audio and more.

Step 4. Once all the modifications are done, click File menu again and save the output format as MP3 by clicking Export, then Export as MP3. After that, it will automatically convert the M4A files to MP3 as expected.

In addition to a great M4A to MP3 converter, Audacity also works as a professional audio editor and recorder that can manage many other popular audio formats, such as MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, OGG, etc.

Solution 3. Convert M4A to MP3 Online

If you however prefer using some online audio solutions to convert the M4A to MP3 for free, you are highly suggested to try Online Audio Converter, a web-based audio converting software that makes it easy to convert M4A to MP3 without installing any program on the computer. Though there comes shortcoming that it always has storage limit for the file size of M4A audios you are trying to convert. Anyway, it's still worth trying. Here's how to convert M4A audio to MP3 online with this freeware.

online audio converter

Step 1. Go to

Step 2. Click Open Files button and import your M4A audio files. You can also add them from Google Drive or Dropbox. If you haven't downloaded the M4A file yet, you can import it via inputting the URL instead.

Step 3. Choose output format as mp3. You can also set the quality as Economy, Standard, Good or Best. The Advanced settings option allows you to customize the bit rate, sample rate, channels, or other effects.

Step 4. Start to converting M4A to MP3 format by clicking Convert button.

Solution 4. Convert DRM M4A Files to MP3 with Dedicated M4A Converter

As mentioned in the beginning, most of the M4A audios you downloaded from iTunes are encrypted with DRM and restricted to play on iTunes and iOS devices only. And those 3 free M4A to MP3 converting tools are supposed to work with the DRM-free M4A files only. To convert iTunes M4A audiobooks, you'll need a more powerful M4A converter, like TunesKit DRM Audio Converter, which is dedicated removing DRM and converting iTunes M4A to MP3 without any quality loss.

tuneskit m4a to mp3 converter

As a complete audio converter, TunesKit DRM Audio Converter can not only convert DRM-ed M4A audios to unprotected MP3, M4A, FLAC, etc., but also work with DRM-free audio formats, such as MP3, WAV, OGG, M4R, FLAC, and so forth. Besides, you can also use this smart tool to convert Apple Music, iTunes and Audible audiobooks to non-DRM files. It will keep the original ID3 tags during the conversion.

Download Download

Now let's start to convert DRM-locked M4A audio files to MP3 with TunesKit DRM Audio Converter.

Step 1. Install and open the free trial version of TunesKit DRM M4A Converter on your Mac or PC.

Step 2. Click the second "+" icon on the top to load the M4A audios to the program. The first icon is for common audio file formats with no DRM. You can also directly drag and drop the M4A files to TunesKit main window.

Step 3. Click Format option and select the output format as MP3 in the popup window. There you can also set the audio codec, bit rate, sample rate etc.

Step 4. Start to convert M4A format to MP3 by clicking Convert button. Wait until the conversion completes. Then you can locate and transfer the DRM-free MP3 files to any device for playing without limit.


is an experienced writer of TunesKit who is obessing about tech, movie and software.

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