Best 4 Free Ways to Convert M4A to MP3

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March 6, 2024

Apple Music users often encounter M4A files on their devices, as Apple uses this format to store various audio content like songs, audiobooks, and podcasts. M4A files can also be found in the iTunes Music Store and are the default file type for Voice Memos created on iPhones. However, some devices or applications may not support M4A. In such cases, you will need to convert these files to MP3, the most widely compatible audio format that can be played on almost any device or media player. In this article, we will guide you on how to convert M4A to MP3 with different tools.

1. Convert M4A to MP3 with iTunes/Music

Unlike M4P files, which are protected by digital rights management (DRM) and subject to usage restrictions, M4A files are less restricted and can be converted to MP3 format with iTunes on Windows or the Music app on Mac.

Step 1. Open iTunes for Windows or Music for Mac. In the menu bar, choose Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Music > Settings (Mac).


Step 2. Select the Files tab and click the Import Settings button.


Step 3. Choose “Import Using” to “MP3 Encoder” and click OK.


Step 4. Select the songs in your Library that you want to convert, and choose File > Convert > Create MP3 Version from the menu bar.

Convert m4a to mp3

Step 5. The converted MP3 song file will appear in your Library next to the original file. Right-click on the song and select Show in Finder to locate the song on your device.


2. Convert M4A to MP3 with Online Converter

Users without immediate access to iTunes or the Music app can easily convert M4A files to MP3 through free online audio converters. Simply search for “M4A to MP3 converter” on Google, and you’ll find several online tools like Convertio, FreeConvert, Zamzar, and more. Let’s take Convertio as an example.

Step 1. Visit and click “Choose Files” to upload your M4A file.


Step 2. Choose the export format as MP3 and click the Convert button.

Step 3. Once finished, click Download to download the converted MP3 file to your device.

Download Converted File

3. How to Convert M4A to MP3 on Google Drive

If your M4A files are stored on Google Drive, you can convert them to MP3 with a third-party tool called CloudConvert.

Step 1. Right-click the M4A files on your Google Drive and select Open with > CloudConvert.


Step 2. If needed, sign in to CloudConvert and allow CloudConvert to connect to your Google Drive.


Step 3. Choose MP3 as the output format and click the Convert button.


Step 4. Once finished, click the Download button to download the converted MP3 file to your device. Or you can return to Google Drive, and the converted track will be available next to your original file.


4. Convert M4A to MP3 with VLC Media Player

Some media players, such as VLC Media Player, also support audio format conversion. The tool is free to use and supports multiple operation systems.

Step 1. From the VLC Media Player menu, click File > Convert / Stream.

select convert

Step 2. Drag and drop your M4A file to the VLC, select Audio-MP3 under Choose Profile, and click the Save as File button.

Step 3. Click the Browse button to choose a destination and rename your converted MP3 file. Then Click the Save button to start converting. When you name your MP3 file, remember to add .mp3 to the end.

Bonus: Download Apple Music Songs to MP3

Apple Music employs a specific audio format known as M4P. Unlike M4A, M4P contains audio content protected by digital rights management (DRM), restricting its usage to authorized devices or software only. If you want to download Apple Music DRM-protected M4P songs to MP3, you can use a reliable and secure tool – the Pazu Apple Music Converter. This converter downloads Apple Music playlists, albums, and songs to MP3, AAC, FLAC, and other popular formats on both Mac and Windows platforms. After downloading, you can freely transfer the MP3 files to any supported device or application for offline enjoyment.

When downloading Apple Music songs and playlists, Pazu Apple Music Converter preserves the original audio quality, ID3 tags, and metadata, ensuring you won’t lose any important information. The converter has a remarkably fast download speed—almost 10 times faster than comparable software.

Key Features of Pazu Apple Music Converter

  • User-friendly interface
  • 10x Fast Music download speed
  • Advanced DRM removal
  • Lossless audio quality
  • Keep original ID3 tags & metadata
  • Download Apple Music songs, albums and playlists
  • Unlimited downloads
  • Adjustable output options

Follow the tutorial below to download Apple Music to MP3 and enjoy them during your traveling. 

Step 1. Launch Pazu Apple Music Converter

Download, install and run Pazu Apple Music Converter on your Mac or Windows.

Apple Music Converter

Step 2. Choose the output format

The default format is M4A in 256kbps. Apple Music Converter also supports MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, and AIFF. Click the gear icon if you want to change the output format or output folder.

Apple Music Converter settings

Step 3. Choose a playlist, artist, or album to download

Follow the on-screen instructions to choose a playlist, artist, or album you want to download.

add Apple Music songs

Step 4. Start to download Apple Music songs

Click the “Convert” button to download Apple Music songs, albums, and playlists to MP3. After downloading, you can play them anywhere you want, even after canceling your Apple Music subscription.

convert Apple Music to MP3

Step 5. Locate the Converted Songs

After the download is complete, click on the clock icon in the upper right corner to view the converted Apple Music songs. To locate the downloaded Apple Music songs:

  • Click the folder icon to open the output folder where the songs are saved;
  • Directly go to the output folder you customized in the previous step.
find downloads

In Conclusion

Converting M4A to MP3 is a simple task with multiple tools available for Windows, Apple, or Google Drive users. Online audio conversion tools also provide a solution for those who prefer not to install applications. On the other hand, when it comes to converting DRM-protected Apple Music M4P files to MP3, the best solution is the Pazu Apple Music Converter. With this tool, downloaded music can be permanently saved and transferred to other devices or applications for enjoyment.

To get started, download Pazu Apple Music Converter on your Mac or Windows.