How to Convert M4A to MP3 in Windows

By James Red

The M4A audio format is a popular digital audio format: most music sold in the iTunes store is sold as M4A files. While M4A does offer great sound quality in a small file size, it is not as compatible as the MP3 format. Nearly every portable audio player made today supports MP3 playback. Thankfully, it's easy to convert M4A format files to MP3 files in Windows, allowing you to play your music on any device you want with minimal effort.

Things You'll Need

  • iTunes
  • Switch
  • Format Factory

iTunes

Step 1

Open iTunes. In the menu bar, click on "Edit," then "Preferences." Click on "Import Settings." Next to "Import Using" select "MP3 Encoder" and click "OK."

Step 2

Create a new playlist ("Ctrl"+"N") with the M4A files you want to convert. If the files are not already in your iTunes library, you can drag them into the playlist. This will automatically add them to your library.

Step 3

Highlight the files you want to convert. You can select them all by pressing "Ctrl"+"A." In the menu bar, click "Advanced" then "Create MP3 Version." iTunes will create MP3 versions of the M4A files and place them in your library.

Switch

Step 1

Download and install Switch (see Resources). Launch the program after installation is complete.

Step 2

Drag the M4A files you want to convert into the Switch program window.

Step 3

Select the folder you want your converted files to go to by clicking "Browse" next to "Output Folder." Click "OK" when you've chosen the output folder.

Step 4

Click on the drop-down menu next to "Output Format" and select ".mp3."

Step 5

Click "Convert" and Switch will create MP3 copies of your M4A files.

Format Factory

Step 1

Download and install Format Factory (see Resources). Launch the program after installation is complete.

Step 2

Click the "Audio" button, then click on the "All to MP3" icon.

Step 3

Drag the files you want to convert into the program window. You can also add individual files by clicking on "Add File" and selecting the files you want to convert. Add whole folders by clicking on "Add Folder" and selecting the folder with the M4A files you want to convert.

Step 4

Choose an output folder for your converted files by clicking on "Browse." Select the folder you want the MP3s to be saved to and click "OK."

Step 5

Click "OK" and then "Start." Format Factory will create MP3 copies of the M4A files, saving them in the directory you chose.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're not going to use your M4A files after creating the MP3 versions, be sure to delete them to save hard drive space.