If you’ve ever downloaded music from iTunes or Apple Music, then you’ve probably run into the M4A file format a few times. While it can be convenient in some cases, if you find yourself wanting to play your tracks on a wider variety of devices, you may end up preferring to convert your M4A files into a more versatile and popular format, like an MP3 file.
Step 1: Select your M4A file
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, Box, or a URL.
Step 2: Customize your output settings
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. Unless specified, CloudConvert will automatically convert your file into an MP3 at a variable bit rate of between 220kbps and 250kbps.
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
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
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, iTunes 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!