How to Convert M4A to MP3 on PC and Mac

13 min read


Have you downloaded some audio files in Convert M4A to MP3 format from the Internet but trying to play them in the app or music player you generally use cannot play them? So why don’t you try to solve the problem by converting them all to the well already “digestible” MP3 format ? It’s quick and easy, and there are a bunch of tools out there for the job. If you want, I can explain to you which solutions to use and above all how to use them.

In fact, with this article of mine today I want to show you how to convert M4A to MP3 thanks to specific computer software but, if you don’t want to download new programs, also resorting to the use of specific Web services, which work directly from the browser window and without having to install absolutely anything on the PC, as well as through ad hoc apps for smartphones and tablets. Fantastic, don’t you think?

Ah, I almost forgot: to use these tools it is absolutely not necessary to be a great expert in information technology and new technologies. First of all because you can count on my help and my explanations and secondly because, by their very nature, they are quite practical solutions that can be used without difficulty by any type of user. So? How about we put the talk aside and get busy? Yup? Very good. I wish you, as usual, a good read.

How to Convert M4A to MP3 on PC and Mac

As I said at the beginning, there are several solutions to convert M4A to MP3 on PC and Mac . If this interests you, below you will find the best solutions in the category available for Windows, macOS and Linux. Put them to the test now and you will see that you will not regret it.

Convertire M4A in MP3 con fre:ac


The first program that I want to invite you to consider to convert M4A to MP3 from computer is fre:ac . It’s free, open source in nature, and runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It allows you to convert all major audio file formats between them and extract tracks from videos. It is very simple to use and also works in batches.

To download fre:ac on your PC, visit its website and click on the link Self extracting installer (64 bit): freac-xxxx.exe or the link Self extracting installer (32 bit): freac-xxxx.exe (depending on version of Windows you are using) or the Intel and Apple Silicon Macs, macOS 11.0 link: freac-xxx-macos11.dmg (if you are using macOS).

When the download is complete, if you are using Windows , open the .exe file obtained and, in the window that appears on the screen, click on the Yes button . Then set Italian as the interface language, press the Next , Yes and Next buttons (four consecutive times). Finally, click on the Finish button . After that, launch the program, by selecting its shortcut that has been added to the Start menu .

If you are using macOS , however, open the .dmg package obtained and move the fre:ac icon to the Mac Applications folder . Then, right-click on it, select the Open item in the context menu and click the Open button that appears on the screen, in order to go around the limitations desired by Apple against applications from non-certified developers (an operation that must be carried out only on first start-up).

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Now that, regardless of the operating system used, you display the main screen of the program, close the window relating to project support, consent to the search for automatic updates at startup and close the screen with usage suggestions.

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At this point, drag the M4A files that you intend to convert to MP3 into the program window. Alternatively, click the button with the sheet and the (+) symbol at the top and select the songs “manually”. Afterwards, press the Browse button located at the bottom right and indicate the output location.

If you also want to intervene on the encoding parameters, click on the button with the wrench located at the top of the screen, select the LAME MP3 Encoder v3.100 item from the Codec drop-down menu in the window that opens, press the Set adjacent button and act from further window displayed.

Finally, start the conversion process by clicking on the arrow located next to the Play button on the top toolbar and selecting the LAME MP3 Encoder option from the menu that appears.

Convertire M4A in MP3 con MediaHuman Audio Converter

MediaHuman Audio Converter

Another program to convert M4A to MP3 is MediaHuman Audio Converter . It is an excellent audio converter available at no cost and usable on both Windows and macOS. It allows you to convert all the main audio file formats between them, including those covered by this guide, of course. It also has a simple but at the same time well-maintained and very intuitive user interface.

To download the software to your computer, connect to the relevant website and click on the button with the operating system logo .

Once the download is complete, if you are using Windows , open the .exe file obtained and, in the window that you see appearing on the desktop, click on the Yes button and select the option I accept the terms of the license agreement . Then click on the Next button (four times in a row) and complete the installation procedure, first pressing the Install button and then the Finish button .

Instead, if you are using macOS , open the .dmg package that contains the software and drag the icon of the latter to the Applications folder of the computer, then right-click on it, select the Open item from the context menu and press the Open button in window that appears on the screen, in order to go around the limitations imposed by Apple on third-party developers (an operation that must be carried out only at the first start).

Once the MediaHuman Audio Converter window appears on your desktop, drag the M4A files to it to convert. Alternatively, select them “manually”, by previously clicking on the (+) button at the top.

Then expand the Format drop-down menu located at the top right and select the MP3 item from the first menu attached to the further window that has opened. At this point, set the desired quality for the output file (e.g. stereo, 44100Hz, 320kbps ) in the second menu and press the Close button to save all settings.

Finally, click on the button with the two arrows located at the top right and wait for the file conversion procedure to be completed. By default, the converted songs are saved in the Music > Convert by MediaHuman folder on your computer, but if you wish you can set a different location by clicking on the wrench button and indicating the path you prefer by pressing the Browse button in the Folder section destination in the additional window that opens.

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Convertire M4A in MP3 con iTunes

Come convertire M4A in MP3

It is also possible to convert a song in M4A format to MP3 using iTunes , the famous Apple software to organize and play the music library, as well as to manage iOS / iPadOS devices. Perhaps not everyone knows it, but the program also integrates special functions to convert the files that are fed to it.

If you are using a Windows PC and you have not yet downloaded and installed it, do it in advance, following the instructions I have provided you in my guide on the subject.

Subsequently, start iTunes by selecting the relative link that you find in the Start menu and, once the program window is displayed on the screen, select the Music item from the drop-down menu at the top left, click on the Library tab located at the top and choose the Songs item in the left side menu.

Now, click on the Edit menu located at the top of the screen, choose the Preferences item from the latter and, in the further window that opens, select the General tab . Then click on the Import settings button, choose the MP3 encoder option from the Import using drop-down menu , adjust the quality from the Settings drop-down menu and save the changes by clicking on the OK button .

After completing the above steps, if the audio file you want to act on has not yet been imported into iTunes, drag it to the program window, then select it from the list, click on the File menu at the top on the left, and choose the item Create MP3 version from the latter.

When the process is finished, you will find the converted version of the song in the program window. If you want, you can export it to any location by simply dragging and dropping it into the folder of your interest.

On macOS , on the other hand, everything needed to manage music, iPhone and iPad from a computer is already present on the operating system. In this case, however, there is no longer iTunes, which has been removed from the “standard” Mac programs since version 10.15 of the macOS (Catalina) operating system, but the Music application is available , which has inherited music management features.

Having said that, start the Music application by selecting the relative icon (the one with the musical note ) located on the Dock bar . Once the program screen is displayed, select the Songs item that you find in the Library section in the left side menu.

At this point, click on the Music menu , at the top left, choose the Preferences item from the latter and, in the further window that opens, select the File tab . Proceed then to modify the settings relating to the import and to intervene on the audio files of your interest, proceeding in a similar way to how I explained to you above with regard to iTunes.

More solutions to convert M4A to MP3


None of the solutions to convert M4A to MP3 that I have already reported convinced you in a particular way and would you like me to suggest other solutions ? I’ll settle you right away, you can find them in the list below!

  • VLC (Windows/macOS/Linux) — famous free, open source and cross-platform multimedia player that allows you to play virtually any audio and video format, without having to resort to the use of external codecs. It also integrates convenient functions for converting files, which is why I chose to tell you about it in my guide. To convert M4A to MP3 with VLC , start the program, and click on the menu Media > Convert / Save on Windows or on File > Convert / Stream on maOS, then press the button to select the file, set the MP3 as profile conversion, indicate the location in which to save the output song and press the buttonto start the procedure. For more details on the steps to take, refer to my specific guide on the subject.
  • Switch Audio File Converter (Windows / macOS) — it is a free software for personal use, working on both Windows and macOS, which allows you to carry out conversion operations from and to all the most popular audio file formats. It also allows you to adjust advanced conversion settings, but quickly and easily.
  • Windows Media Player (Windows) — is the default multimedia player of Microsoft operating systems, which also offers special functions to transform the discs that are fed to it into MP3s. To convert M4A to MP3 with Windows Media Player , therefore, start the program, select the disk icon from the left sidebar in the window that opens and click on the CD copy settings button at the top, then select the MP3 format and press the Copy from CD button . For further information, consult my specific tutorial.
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Come convertire M4A in MP3 online

You don’t want or you can’t download new programs on your computer and, consequently, you would like me to explain to you how to convert M4A to MP3 online , therefore using web services designed for this purpose? Then continue reading: you will find those reported right below which, in my opinion, represent the best in the category.

Audio Converter by 123Apps

Audio Converter by 123Apps

To convert M4A to MP3 online you can firstly turn to 123Apps Audio Converter . It is an online service that works on any browser and to use it you don’t need to download anything to your computer. It’s free, doesn’t require creating an account, and aside from M4A and MP3 files, it supports numerous other formats. It also protects users’ privacy, as files uploaded to its servers are automatically removed within a few hours of processing.

To use the service, go to its main page, press the Open files button and select the M4A song on your computer you wish to convert. Alternatively, you can upload the file to convert from Google Drive, Dropbox or by providing the URL by clicking on the relevant links .

Wait, therefore, for the upload of the file to be completed, then press the mp3 button and click the Convert button , to start the conversion procedure.

Eventually, before converting your M4A files to MP3 you can also adjust the audio quality, using the appropriate adjustment bar on the screen. By default, the quality is set to Standard . You can also access the advanced settings by clicking on the Advanced settings button and modify the information relating to the file by pressing the Modify track information button .

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Once the conversion is complete, you can download the MP3 file by clicking on the Download button (the file will be saved in the Download folder , unless you have changed the default settings of your web browser) or you can store it directly in the cloud , on your account Google Drive or Dropbox , by selecting the appropriate links.

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More solutions to convert M4A to MP3 online


If you are looking for alternatives to convert songs in M4A format to MP3 online, you can test the other solutions suitable for the purpose that I have provided in the list below.

  • CloudConvert — it is a web service that allows you to convert M4A files to MP3 and which also supports various other formats (over 200), both in input and output and not just audio. It is free and does not apply upload limits, but can be used for a maximum of 10 minutes a day and also has other restrictions that can be circumvented by registering and possibly also subscribing to one of the subscription plans (with prices starting from 8.54 euros /month). Furthermore, it protects users’ privacy by deleting files uploaded to its servers within hours of uploading.
  • Zamzar — is another converter usable via the Web that allows you to intervene on various types of files, including those covered by this guide. It’s intuitive enough, and uploaded files are removed from the company’s servers within 24 hours. Basically it’s free, but by subscribing to a paid plan (with costs starting at $9/month) you can increase your storage space, remove advertising, etc.
  • — Web service that allows you to perform conversion operations on all popular audio file formats, including, of course, M4A and MP3 files. It has a beautiful user interface, is completely free, requires no registration and protects user privacy by deleting files uploaded to its servers within 24 hours.

App per convertire M4A in MP3

You don’t have your computer at hand and would you like me to suggest you some apps to convert M4A to MP3 directly from your smartphone or tablet? No sooner said than done. Below, in fact, you will find what I believe to be the most reliable solutions of this type for Android and iOS / iPadOS devices .

Media Converter (Android)

Media Converter

If you have an Android smartphone or tablet , the application I suggest you use to perform the operation covered by this tutorial is Media Converter . It’s free, very easy to use and allows you to convert audio and video files to and from any format. It also allows you to set its bitrate, sampling and other parameters.

To download and install it on your device, visit the relevant section of the Play Store and press the Install button . If you’re using a device that doesn’t have the Play Store, you can download the app through an alternative store. Then, launch the app by selecting the relevant icon that has been added to the home screen and/or drawer.

Now that you’re viewing the Media Converter main screen, select the song in M4A format you want to transform into MP3 using the integrated file manager, touch the Convert to mp3 button and wait for the conversion procedure to start and finish. By default, the output file will be saved in the same location as the source one.

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If you then want to customize the output file parameters, before starting the conversion tap the Expert mode button , select the mp3 item from the Output Profile drop-down menu and adjust the options relating to duration, quality, etc. using the onscreen options, then tap the Convert button .

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The Audio Converter (iOS/iPadOS)

The Audio Converter

If you are using an iPhone or an iPad, to convert M4A to MP3 from mobile I suggest you contact The Audio Converter . It is a specific app for iOS/iPadOS which, as you can easily guess from the name itself, allows you to convert audio files, supporting all the most popular formats. It’s free, but to act on files that weigh more than 5 MB you need to unlock the Premium version through in-app purchases (at a one-time cost of 4.49 euros).

To download and install the app on your device, visit the relevant section on the App Store, tap the Get button , then the Install button and authorize the download using Face ID , Touch ID or Apple ID password . Then proceed to start the app, selecting the relative icon that has been added to the home screen and/or the app library.

Now that you see the main screen of The Audio Converter, indicate where to get the song to convert from using the appropriate icons and select the M4A file. On the next screen, set the MP3 Audio (.mp3) option from the A drop-down menu and press the Convert button located at the bottom.

Then wait for the conversion process to complete, then indicate the location in which to save the output file by tapping the Open in button or press the Share button to share the MP3 obtained via WhatsApp, Messenger or other apps.

More apps to convert M4A to MP3

Audio Converter

If none of the solutions for converting M4A songs to MP3 on the go that I have already pointed out to you has convinced you in a particular way, you can consider resorting to the use of other apps of this type that you find in the list below.

  • Audio Converter (Android) — specific app for Android through which you can convert audio files from and to those that are all the most popular formats, even M4A songs in MP3. It’s totally free.
  • MP3 Converter — Audio Extractor (iOS/iPadOS) — application available only for iPhone and iPad that allows you to transform all popular audio and video formats into MP3 and which also integrates various functions for audio editing. It’s free, but offers in-app purchases (at a basic cost of 99 cents/month) to unlock extra features, such as the ability to make unlimited changes to audio tracks.

I would like to point out that on mobile you can also use the online services to carry out the audio conversion that I have indicated in the previous lines. To use it, all you have to do is launch the browser you usually use from smartphones and tablets to surf the web (e.g. Chrome on Android or Safari on iOS/iPadOS) and follow the instructions I have already provided.

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