How to convert M4A files to MP3 format for listening on any device

M4A is great for quality, but not for storage. Here's how to convert to MP3

The M4A file format isn’t exactly a household name, coming in far behind the vastly more popular MP3 format. However, that doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. Apple’s iTunes store — a dominant force in digital music distribution — offers DRM-free music as M4A files alongside AAC, and so it’s not impossible that you’ll find yourself with a track in M4A format that you’ll want to play it somewhere other than iTunes. Follow these steps to make your purchased iTunes M4A tracks (or any others) available as MP3 for universal use.

How to convert M4A files to MP3 using iTunes (Windows/MacOS)

iTunes isn’t the only desktop app that shows you how to convert M4A files to MP3, but it remains one of the best (and most recognizable) choices out there. It’s easy to use and we can help you with computer authorization or making sure it’s up to date if necessary.

Step 1: Open import settings. Click the “Edit” menu item and select “Preferences”. The General tab should be opened by default, otherwise, click on it. Then, click Import Settings’ “OK” button.

How to convert M4a files to MP3

Step 2: Adjust import settings. Click the drop-down to the right of “Import Using” and select “MP3 Encoder.” Choose the bitrate you think best; higher rates mean higher quality, but larger file sizes. If space is tight, we’d recommend you go with 128kpbs encoding.

How to convert M4a files to MP3

Step 3: Convert. Once you apply the Import settings, select the file you wish to convert in your music 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.

If you want a dedicated device to play those newly created MP3s, check out our suggestions for the best modern MP3 players once you’re finished!

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