How to convert M4A files to MP3

Ever downloaded songs from iTunes or Apple Music? Then you’ve probably encountered the M4A file format. And while these files can be convenient to use, they can also be bit limited when it comes to compatibility with certain devices. As a result, you may end up preferring to convert your M4A files into a more versatile and more widely-supported format, like an MP3.

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Here’s how to convert your M4A files into MP3s, so you can play your music using a wider variety of devices.

Step 1: Select your M4A file

Cloud Convert screenshot 1
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There are a number of cloud conversion sites, but our favorite for this particular task is CloudConvert. Head to its homepage and click the red Select File button, and then select the desired M4A file you wish to convert. Clicking the Select File button directly will open up a File Explorer view of your system, from which you can select your file. If you click the down arrow button, you can select from a number of other sources, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or a URL.

One possible alternative online converter is Online Audio Converter. You can learn more about this method in our how to convert FLAC to MP3 guide.

Step 2: Customize your output settings

Cloud Convert conversion screen screenshot
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Once you’ve selected your file, you’ll be presented with the conversion options screen. Click on the file format arrow, and select the MP3 option from the list of audio formats.

You can click the wrench icon next to the drop-down menu to adjust the file’s output settings. From there, you can change the bitrate, trim your audio file, and more. Once you’re satisfied with your settings, click the red Okay button in the bottom-right corner.

Step 3: Convert the file

Convert button screenshot
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Click the red Convert button on the right-hand side. When the conversion process finishes, your file will be available for download.

Step 4: Download your new MP3

Cloud Convert Download page screenshot
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A preview of your new Mp3 file may automatically play for you once the file is converted. A green Download button will appear and indicates that your MP3 file is available. You can click directly on the button and your file will be saved in your default downloads folder.

Alternative: Apple Music app for MacOS

MacOS users can also use the Apple Music app to convert their M4A files to MP3 tracks. Here’s how to do it:

To use it, open the Preferences menu and tweak your import settings to use MP3 Encoder. Then simply select the file you want to convert in your music library. Click File, then Convert, followed by Create MP3 Version. After that, the Apple Music app will do all the heavy lifting for you.

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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