M4A File Extension

Have a problem opening a .M4A file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what M4A files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .M4A file type?

The .m4a filename extension stands for 'MPEG-4, Audio' and is used to distinguish 'MPEG-4, Part 14' (MP4) files that contain audio tracks only. M4A is a non-standard extension used and promoted by such companies as Apple, Inc. to point out to a file's function (an audio file). There is no difference between M4A and MP4, the latter being the standard MPEG-4 media container format.

An M4A file is a container for compressed audio data, encoded with AAC (Avanced Audio Codec). AAC is a lossy audio codec that supports both constant and variable bitrates (CBR/VBR) and provides more efficient compression and generally better quality than MP3 at the same bitrate. M4A files can also use ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec).

M4A audio files are DRM-unprotected and not encrypted. One can find an abundance of .m4a audio available at the iTunes Store or similar online media marketplaces.

M4A files are well supported by media players, however, on rare occasions a change of the extension to the standard .mp4 may be necessary with some players.

Software to open or convert M4A files

You can open M4A files with the following programs:
Free M4a to MP3 Converter
Free M4a to MP3 Converter by ManiacTools.com
VLC media player
VLC media player by VideoLAN
iTunes by Apple Inc.
Winamp by Nullsoft, Inc
QuickTime by Apple Inc.

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