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iTunes m4a files

January 12th, 2004 Tony Leave a comment Go to comments

One of my mac using friends sent me a Missy Elliot remix today. When I tried to play it I realized it was a .m4a file type which wasn’t associated with any application on my machine.


Rename the file to .mp4 and the file plays great on Quicktime.

Update: 02/25/2004

Boy do I feel stupid. The easiest solution is to download iTunes

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  1. Oliver
    May 3rd, 2005 at 00:17 | #1

    How can i convert m4a files into mp3s or even aac so i can play them on my cpu, put on my ipod and also onto cd? The m4a files are all the same size at 82 bytes which seems rather odd please help me im bout to lose it!!!

  2. Cobyt
    September 13th, 2005 at 22:37 | #2

    you can save it as a mp4 file and play it on quicktime, I am researching the adding it to cpu and burning it to dick part.

  3. Giacomo
    December 14th, 2005 at 11:26 | #3

    All u have 2 do is download iTunes, set importing default to mp3. After u add the m4a 2 the library,just right-click on it and choose “convert to mp3″. It’s that easy. Check out my blog that helps with that kind of thing at:

  4. Angelo
    February 8th, 2006 at 17:41 | #4

    You can use NERO and convert to other file types, including .MP3
    – Angelo

  5. brillo1232000
    February 16th, 2006 at 21:20 | #5

    BSPlayer wil play .m4a files showing extra content – Gervais podcast is good…..

  6. Anonymous
    April 17th, 2006 at 10:38 | #6

    thank you guys it was so easy
    dbpowerAmp is a great converter

  7. jason t
    December 31st, 2006 at 18:06 | #7

    so i just got this nano. and i dont want to put itunes on my comp. everytime ive tried somethin mac on my pc it f’s it up. whats the solution to put my old mp3’s that i alrdy have for my comp onto my ipod?

  8. Gus
    January 3rd, 2007 at 07:31 | #8

    Getting an iPod nano and then saying that you don’t want to use iTunes with it is a little silly. iTunes doesn’t mess everything up, you just have to read the options and make sure that you don’t tell it to do anything you don’t want it to.

    If you’re that set on not using iTunes though, I think you can use Winamp and a set of mods to update your iPod. The support for it won’t be as full as it will using iTunes, however.

  9. January 13th, 2007 at 23:09 | #9

    Download the new RealPlayer and it will handle them fine.

  10. meggy
    January 23rd, 2007 at 16:42 | #10

    HI, my uncle is sending me songs from his computer. They work when they frrst go on to itunes but when I try to sync it on to my ipod it has a “!” beside the songs my uncle gave me. The other songs down load but the others don’t. What should I do?

  11. ioanna
    March 1st, 2007 at 07:26 | #11

    hi.for once again how can i convert m4a files to other types in order to play them??

  12. March 9th, 2007 at 00:29 | #12

    Help! I have just recently bought a rca lyra and it requires me to use Yahoo music jukebox. I have previously owned a ipod and had installed and imported all my cd’s onto itunes. I dragged all the music into Yahoo music and they play within that program. I try to add the music to my rca player but they dont play. I see that they are saved as a m4a file once out of itunes but how do I get them to work on my rca player??? Can I convert them to Mp3? How do I do that? Thanks!!!

  13. David
    April 10th, 2007 at 00:34 | #13

    Just need to use WinAmp, open the file since WinAmp and right click on it, select Send To and choose Format converter set your preferences about conversion and that’s all!

  14. Ki-aka-Kyle
    April 19th, 2007 at 06:25 | #14

    Heya I recieved sum info the otherday bout if i convert MP3 to MP4 or M4A I could send them to my mobile and it would take up less memory I am trying it now and don’t know if it works but i cum across this forum and if anyone knows anything that might go wrong or if there is another way to do, with the name of the software i need please post a reply for me thanx. Ki-aka-kyle

    September 18th, 2007 at 11:17 | #15


  16. Sectiva
    September 23rd, 2007 at 18:13 | #16

    READ ABOVE PEOPLE!!!: All u have 2 do is download iTunes, set importing default to mp3. After u add the m4a 2 the library,just right-click on it and choose “convert to mp3″. It’s that easy. Check out my blog that helps with that kind of thing at:

  17. zep
    November 4th, 2007 at 15:08 | #17

    ease audio converter works the best boys… ciao!

  18. ruth
    November 6th, 2007 at 20:42 | #18

    hi there, i received a ebay item a few weeks ago. its an MP4, this is not in the shops in England and it has come from Japan. i also have itunes, and i would like to transfer songs from itunes on to windows media player. now i do not have a clue about downloading, so please can you just email with exactly what i need to do. really appreciate that. ruth

  19. Jean
    November 12th, 2007 at 12:05 | #19

    you guys are idiots. There are alternatives to using iTunes. You can go and download floola to manage your music and still drop them into your iPod (nano or not). HTH

  20. Mr. Common Sense
    January 6th, 2008 at 05:22 | #20

    WOW! I’ve never seen so many stupid people asking the same questions after the answers have been given on the top of all this. Before this continues any more, I suggest that if someone is considering posting in here, DON’T. Get the book “Dick & Jane” and learn how to read. That’s step one. After that you can proceed to more difficult books like comics or something. TAKE YOUR TIME. BABY STEPS, you foolish idiots. Then after you understand simple words and meanings, AND ONLY THEN; you may proceed back to the top and read EVERY SINGLE LINE before submitting another comment. Thanks to those giving answers over and over again. Now, the illiterate losers can continue to waste web and disk space else where. As a last resort, for those still confused. If you can’t transfer your files or convert them, you really need to get your computer and put it in a box. Ship it back to where ever with a note that you are too stupid to use the thing and maybe they could send a chew toy as a replacement. :) Good day.

  21. January 8th, 2008 at 15:48 | #21

    I can figure how to get music on my mp4 player ahh

  22. Zeppy
    January 9th, 2008 at 07:17 | #22

    Kinda funny that about 8 months ago, when we needed bunch of cheap mp3 players those couldn’t handle the AAC/mp4. We figured we need to pay 25-40% more (that’s how much more memory the same quality mp3 files take compared to AAC) but my friend in China found suitable new models that also play AAC.

    Man, I feel sorry for people with all of those outdated mp3 only players, not only the sound quality is worse but the files take more space everywhere. In my workmates case, he bought 320GB HD instead of 160GB to have enough space for his mp3 collection. After the HD lost reader head which destroyed the whole HD, he ripped everything to iTunes AAC and burned backup libraries. iTunes can get corrupted too, so burn those libraries on DVD, NOW!

  23. Rachael
    January 11th, 2008 at 14:01 | #23

    my friend sent me a file off her phone,
    and i can’t get it to play on mp3.
    it’s in a weird format that i can’t play
    on anything except quicktime.
    but i need it up on myspace music
    which only accept mp3 format files.
    how can i convert it simply?
    i’m useless on computers.
    so i could do with something a little less complex.
    i heard you have to use codec things,
    but i can’t seem to get it to work.
    help please?

  24. Tyler
    January 18th, 2008 at 22:43 | #24

    Hi I dont know if anybody reads this anymore and yes ive read the post above me but none of them helped. I got a music card for my new lg phone and I downloaded songs from itunes to it but some i cant because it says there protected. The file name is MPEG-4 Audio File (Protected)….well how do I convert it so it allows me to put it on my phone?

  25. Ashley
    January 27th, 2008 at 23:06 | #25

    Hey Tyler…your phone wouldn’t happen to have a broken screen would it?

  26. titch 1 1
    January 31st, 2008 at 17:03 | #26

    what and how do i change my mp4 so i can play on my comp pleease help !!!!

  27. bigshineybike
    February 26th, 2008 at 19:38 | #27

    Thanks for this thread it helped me convert files in itunes to mp3. I like I tunes but I need to use message boards for instructions. I found you lot and now my files are fixed up thanks.
    the right click and convert to MP3, so easy!

  28. cliff
    February 27th, 2008 at 14:42 | #28

    Hi, the real problem here is that Apple, Microsoft, Rhapsody, Quicktime, etc…want to sell us music instead of just providing software to make computing easy and trouble-free. Using iTunes and seeing how it bullies it’s away around my operating system once it’s downloaded just makes me more certain that i won’t be moving to an Apple environment.

  29. March 16th, 2008 at 17:29 | #29

    Someone sent me music in the m4a format. It will play on my computer just fine. When I put it in another CD player, it won’t play. How can I correct this?
    Thank you,

  30. Lesley
    March 25th, 2008 at 06:39 | #30

    I just used ‘reezaa’ to easliy convert these m4a to mp3 without the need for that shitbox software, Itunes from bloating my pc

  31. Donna
    June 21st, 2008 at 04:08 | #31

    I have read, and tried out, Sectiva’s suggestion on how to convert mp4 into mp3. The problem is that the downloads from the iTunes store are apparently protected, so I am told by iTunes that I cannot convert mp4 into any other format. What do I do now? Are there any free converters out there that will let me do this? I have tried out several this morning, and none of them let me do the job with their freeware.

  32. Ali
    July 6th, 2008 at 13:59 | #32

    I have followed the advice above to convert m4a files via ipod to convert to mp3, however some songs do not convert entirely. Sometimes I’m left with only the first half of the song. Any ideas – civil ones!

  33. tom
    July 9th, 2008 at 10:31 | #33

    people keep saying download itunes and change the import to mp3…..where the hell is that iv looked through all the options. i cant find any other free converter they all seem to charge

  34. GSXR
    July 11th, 2008 at 10:05 | #34

    Convert to MP3…..http://www.mp3-cd-converter.com/convert_mp3/free_convert_m4a_to_mp3.html

    Just as a added comment Mr Common Sense…don’t be so sarcastic not everyone is as clever as you seem to think you are…back off and be nice…..

  35. Kelly
    July 14th, 2008 at 12:03 | #35

    My friend is trying to put her songs from iTunes onto her MP3 player, but it won’t let her. So she is trying to figure out how to change her M4A files, into MP3 files. How do you do this? Help please!

  36. Dawn
    September 11th, 2008 at 11:17 | #36

    Help! Purchased songs from i tunes so i can add them to my windows movie maker. But can’t the files downloaded from i tunes are AAC protected files and they need to be MPEG files .. Help

  37. Steve
    November 5th, 2008 at 20:50 | #37

    Changing MP4 to MP3 (Assuming you’re using iTunes):

    1) Find your songs in the music library
    2) Highlight the ones you want to convert
    3) Under “Advanced” there should be a option called “Create MP3 Version”
    4) Wait until the conversion finishes
    5) Right-Click your new songs and select “show in finder”

    Voila! There are your new songs in MP3 format!
    Just converted an album and played it on my Sansa Clip (note: not an iPod), no problems at all.

  38. Chuck
    January 11th, 2009 at 00:36 | #38

    Ok I really don’t think I am that stupid guy that Mr. Common Sense was talking about, but my version of iTunes does not let me convert to an MP3. It will let me make an ACC file. Where can I get the version of iTunes that will allow me to convert these files.

    I have copied the music folder from my ipod to my hard drive. How can I get these files to another ipod.

  39. michelle
    January 11th, 2009 at 15:18 | #39

    hey, i dont want or have iTunes and im kinda bad at cpus (used to the old ones). So my friend burned me this cd and some of the files are m4a files. i dont know how to change the *Type of file:….* thing cuse all you can do is highlight it but you cant change it. if you change the name, nothing happens so im kinda clueless….hehehe

  40. Beth
    January 16th, 2009 at 18:41 | #40
  41. SomeClearInstructions
    January 17th, 2009 at 20:59 | #41

    For those who can’t figure out how to convert m4a file to MP3 via iTunes:
    1. Click Edit
    2. Click Preferences
    3. On first tab (General) click the Import Settings button half way down the form to the right of setting “When you insert a CD”
    4. On the “Import Using” setting, change it to MP3 Encoder”
    5. Choose the quality desired (I prefer at least 160kbps, and 192 kbps is even better but creates larger files)
    6. Click OK
    7. Click OK again
    8. Locate the song on a playlist (when it shows each song on a line – not the Library view where it shows pictures for each song/album)
    9. Right click pointing at the song and choose Create MP3 version

    Hopefully this helps…

  42. Worrier
    January 25th, 2009 at 12:05 | #42

    Well, coming from an old drop out who started on the internet WAAY before algore invented it, I find this thread facsinating.

    I JUST started using Itunes, after resisting for years for all the reasons mentioned above, and I am a little frustrated also. (You see, my old version of Musicmatch stopped working altogether.) I just figured out that itunes was ripping my CD’s into m4a format, and being an old hack, I did figure out on my own that I could redirect it to rip into MP3, which is good.

    BUT, why didn’t the program ask me my preference before I ripped al those songs? HMMMM?

    Anyway, thanks to all the good advice (as well as few great laughs from Mr. Common Sense). I converted one of the tunes to mp3. GUESS WHAT!

    Not only did the resulting mp3 end up 30% smaller than the originally ripped m4a, Itunes left the originally ripped m4a in the Library, as well as on the hard drive, so now I have 2 #$@%&^* copies!

    I haven’t yet deleted the m4a, and I suspect that might be a problem. SOOOO, I figure i will go back and delete the 37 new cd,s I already ripped, set ratings and other info on, AND DO IT AGAIN.

    I’ll be dead before I get to enjoy my tunes, but that’s OK, because I know that, eventually, all the misdirected brainless folks walking around hooked up to their Ithings WILL walk into speeding traffic, or get run over by a train before too long, and logic, reason, and sanity will one day make a comeback. (Hopefully before we loose our freedom to use same.)

    Thanks all.

  43. Evan
    January 27th, 2009 at 23:41 | #43

    Okay. I have converted an entire season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia into mp4 files via Handbrake. I now have the entire season on my i-tunes, however, I am unable to load the videos onto my 120 gig i pod classic. WHY? What am I doing wrong here? Whenever I attempt to drag a video onto the i-pod, simply get the alert “I-pod cannot perform this function.”

  44. Covale
    January 30th, 2009 at 00:29 | #44

    I just converted a bunch of m4a files using this program:


    Free, and even though it seems to take forever, it works, and doesn’t require anything else to run. Ran in using Vista, if that helps anyone. Obviously, there are enough people that have had their iPod hijacked by iTunes enough that they find it might be better using it once to set it up, then manage it elsewhere. To each their own tho. Gool luck, everyone!

  45. Deepblue
    February 1st, 2009 at 07:23 | #45

    Covale is right, the free m4a-to-mp3-converter does exactly what it says on the tin. It can convert to wav as well. It’s very easy to use, good interface. One thing I disagree with is it that it takes “forever” – I found it to be lightning quick (XP). I didn’t have anything else running though.

  46. i love that guy
    February 4th, 2009 at 17:38 | #46


  47. i love that guy
    February 4th, 2009 at 17:44 | #47

    :D DDD

  48. lee
    March 19th, 2009 at 23:53 | #48

    so instead of asking the same ol same ol and get know where i have a question and im completly lost in how to solve the darn thing!!! how good people do i get m4a music onto cds so i can get some joy in my truck lol

  49. Debbie
    April 13th, 2009 at 22:55 | #49

    So I want to be able to view all of my music in both itunes (for my ipod) and WMP (for phone/MP3). I started off with itunes so all of my music is in there (located on C drive in the itunes music folder. But now when I look at WMP it only shows some of my music…is that because of the file ext.? some of them are m4a’s. If I convert them to MP3’s (as above) in itunes will WMP find them?

    Thanks :)