Top 3 Tools to Convert M4A Audio to MP3

Posted by Adam Gorden on November 23, 2017 11:14:00 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 the DRM-free music files as well as the DRM-ed audio books. In result, you'll find sometimes you can only play those M4A audios on iTunes or iOS devices like iPhone, iPad, etc. Therefore, converting the M4A files to a more popular format like MP3 is highly necessary if you want to enjoy the M4A on more devices and players. Now we'll show you the top 3 best ways to convert M4A to MP3 for universal playability.

Method 1. Two Free Solutions to Convert M4A to MP3

Free software could be the first option when we are going to convert M4A to MP3 as they cost nothing. Fortunately, there are many free M4A to MP3 converters we can rely on.

1. Convert M4A Files to MP3 with iTunes

Since iTunes provides its music and audio files in M4A format, it could be the easiest solution to convert M4A audio to MP3 within iTunes itself. Luckily, so it does. Now you can simply follow these steps to make your purchased iTunes M4A 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 create and automatically place an MP3 version of the song directly beneath it.

2. Convert M4A to MP3 with Free M4A Audio Converter

Of course, except iTunes, there are many other freeware that can also support converting M4A audios to MP3, including some online M4A converter. Here we'll take Freemake Audio Converter as below to show you the tutorial to convert M4A to MP3 for free on Windows.

Step 1. You can download and install Freemake Audio Converter from its official site.

Step 2. Launch Freemake Audio Converter on your PC. Then click Audio button to import the M4A audio files from your iTunes music library.

Step 3. After importing the M4A files to converter, you can click Edit menu to customize the audio quality and preferences, including output format, bit rate, codec, size, etc.

Step 4. Once all the settings are adjusted, click Convert button and it will begin converting the M4A music to MP3 as you wish.

In addition to a great M4A to MP3 converter, Freemake Audio Converter also works great for other audio format and supports multiple popular output formats, including WMA, WAV, AAC, OGG, M4A, etc.

If you however prefer using some online audio solutions to convert the M4A to MP3 for free, you are highly suggested to try Zamzar, and others. The advantage of those online tools is that you don't need to install the software on your computer. But the disadvantage is that there's always storage limit for those online M4A converters which can only store up to 100MB files.

Method 2. Best Way to Convert DRM-ed M4A Files to MP3

As mentioned in the beginning, most of the M4A audios you downloaded from iTunes store are restricted to play on iTunes and iOS devices only. That's because some of those M4A files are protected with Apple's DRM. Those two free M4A converting tools are supposed to work with the DRM-free M4A audio files only. That's why you'll probably find it's impossible to convert some of your iTunes M4A audios, like the audiobooks with iTunes or Freemake. Don't worry though. If your M4A files are protected with DRM, you can simply use TunesKit DRM Audio Converter to help you remove the DRM and convert the files to MP3 from M4A.

tuneskit m4a to mp3 converter

TunesKit DRM Audio Converter is a complete audio converting software specially designed for Mac and Windows users to convert DRM-ed as well as DRM-free M4A audios to unprotected MP3, M4A, FLAC, etc. Besides, you can also use this smart tool to convert Apple Music, Audible audiobooks, M4P, and other types of audios. It can keep the original ID3 tags and quality when converting M4A to MP3 for you.

Download Download

Step 1. Install and open the free trial version of TunesKit Audio Converter on your computer.

Step 2. Click "+" icon to load the M4A audio files to the converter. The first icon is for common audio file formats and the second one is for DRM-ed audios, such as the M4A from iTunes. You can also directly drag and drop the M4A files to TunesKit.

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 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.


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

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