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Best Free M4A to MP3 Converters to Convert M4A to MP3 on Mac & iPhone

M4A is used by Apple to distinguish the audio and video files on iTunes and iPod. But if you need to play your music more conveniently, then MP3 foramt is the best option. That's why we will show you how to convert M4A to MP3 files.

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Why convert M4A to MP3? M4A, the standard extension for MPEG-4 audio files, is used by Apple to distinguish the audio and video files on iTunes and iPod. However, the primary compatibility of M4A files lies with Mac devices.

MP3, on the other hand, is universally recognized by almost all devices and media players. So, if you want to ensure smooth playback of an M4A file on all platforms, it's advisable to convert M4A to MP3.

Now, this article collects some best free M4A to MP3 converters for Mac users.

1. M4A to MP3 Converters for Mac & iPhone

1.1 online-converter.com: Online M4A to MP4 Converter Tool

Online-Convert.com is a popular online converter that supports a wide range of audio and video formats, including M4A and MP3. The platform boasts a user-friendly interface and allows users to adjust the audio settings to their liking.

However, the free version has some limitations, such as a file size limit of 100MB and a maximum conversion time of two hours.

Step 1:
Open this M4A to MP3 online converter. And then select the Audio Converter service on the main interface.     
Step 2:
Choose 'Convert to MP3' format as your selected your target format; and then drop your M4A file to this tool.  
Step 3:
When your file is uploaded, you can customize the settings according to your needs. And then, don't forget to click the Start button. A short time later, your M4A to MP3 conversion will be finished.
 

1.2 Freemake Audio Converter: M4A to MP3 Converter Software

Desktop M4A to MP3 converters are robust tools that offer a hassle-free way to convert multiple M4A files to MP3 at once. Freemake Audio Converter is one of the popular tools that can convert M4A files to MP3 without compromising quality.

The software is free and supports a wide range of input and output formats. Plus, it comes with a simple user interface, making it easy to use for beginners.

Step 1:
Search for the Freemake software, download it from the official website, and install it following the setup wizard instructions.
Step 2:
Find it on your device and click to open it. A clear and user-friendly interface will appear on your screen.
Step 3:
After you open the Freemake software, you will find the "+ Audio" button on the upper left corner. Click it to add your M4A files to the software.
Step 4:
Navigate through the device's storage system and select the M4A file that you wish to convert into MP3 format.
Step 5:
Scroll down to the bottom of the software interface and click the "to MP3" button to convert your M4A file to an MP3.
Step 6:
Click the "Quality (bitrate)" dropdown list to choose the quality of your output MP3 file, and click the "Save to" dropdown list to select where you want to save your file.
Step 7:
Once everything is properly set up, click the "Convert" button to start the conversion process.
Step 8:
After the conversion process is complete, navigate to the folder you chose to save your file in and access your newly converted MP3 file.

1.3 iTunes App: Convert M4A to MP3 on Mac

Should you be utilizing a Mac and seeking a dependable method to rip your M4A files into MP3 format, iTunes could be an excellent solution for you. It provides an easy-to-follow approach for converting your files.

Step 1:
Open your iTunes app on your Mac.
Step 2:
Go to the iTunes menu and click on "Preferences."
Step 3:
Click on the "General" tab and then on "Import Settings."
Step 4:
Choose "MP3 Encoder" from the dropdown menu and select the desired quality.
Step 5:
Go to the Music Library and select the M4A file you wish to convert to MP3.
Step 6:
Click on the "File" menu and then on "Convert."
Step 7:
Select "Create MP3 version."
Step 8:
Wait for the conversion process to complete, which should only take a few seconds.
MusicFab All-In-One
MusicFab All-In-One is a full-featured music converter software application designed to help users convert streaming music on Spotify/Amazon Music/Apple Music/YouTube Music and other 10+ music platforms to MP3, FLAC, OPUS, WAV, or M4A format.

1.3 MusicFab Apple Music Converter: Save M4A to MP3 Easily

MusicFab Apple Music Downloader is a unique application engineered to transcode Apple Music tunes into straightforward MP3, FLAC, WAV, or M4A formats. This tool grants you the freedom to enjoy your Apple Music on multiple players and devices without limitations.

Beyond this, this application removes DRM protection from Apple Music and iTunes media, enhancing their usability and offering greater flexibility.

Here are the steps of using MusicFab to convert M4A to MP3--

Step 1:
Finish the installation guide to have this M4A to MP3 converter on your computer. Then log into your Apple Music account.musicfab: m4a to mp3
Step 2:
Log into your Apple Music and browe it with the built-in web browser to select songs/playlists/podcasts you want to convert to MP3.musicfab: convert m4a to mp3 easily
Step 3:
Click on the Download Now button to start the conversion process.convert m4a to mp3 format easily
​​​​

1.4 Audio Converter+: M4A to MP3 Converter for iPhone

There are several options available but Audio Converter+ is the best. Converting M4A to MP3 on an iPhone may seem complicated at first, but it can actually be done with just a few simple steps. Here's how:

Step 1:
Once you have downloaded the app, open it and select the M4A files that you want to convert.
Step 2:
Next, select the MP3 format as your output format. Some apps may also allow you to adjust the bitrate and other settings.
Step 3:
Ultimately, click on the "Convert" button to start the transformation of M4A files to MP3 format. The conversion time may vary based on the size and quantity of files undergoing conversion.

That's it! You now have converted M4A files to MP3 format on your iPhone. It's important to note that some conversion apps may require you to purchase a subscription or pay for a full version to access all the features. 

2. M4A vs MP3: A detailed comparison table

The actual performance and characteristics can vary depending on the encoder settings and the specific files being compared. M4A files encoded with ALAC are lossless, while those encoded with AAC are lossy but generally offer better quality than MP3 at similar or even lower bit rates.

MP3 is widely regarded as the standard format for audio file compression but is slowly being surpassed by more advanced codecs like AAC used in M4A files for many applications.

Here’s a detailed comparison table of M4A and MP3 formats from various aspects:

Aspect M4A (MPEG-4 Part 14) MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III)
File Extension .m4a .mp3
Compression Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) or Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) Lossy compression
Quality Higher quality at the same bit rates due to better compression algorithms Lower quality compared to M4A at the same bit rates
File Size Generally smaller due to better compression Larger file sizes
Compatibility Supported by Apple devices and many others, but not as universal as MP3 Nearly universal support across all devices
Metadata Supports more metadata tags and cover art Limited metadata support
DRM Can include DRM protection Does not include DRM
Streaming Well-suited for streaming due to better compression Suitable for streaming, but less efficient
Sound Range Better at handling higher frequencies and dynamic range May lose some high frequencies during compression
Popularity Popular within Apple ecosystems and for higher-quality audio More popular due to longer history and device support
Usage Preferred for higher quality audio and where file size is a concern Preferred for compatibility and when file size is less of a concern

FAQs

Q1

Is it legal to convert M4A to MP3?

Yes, it is legal to convert M4A to MP3 as long as you have the license to use the audio file that you are converting. It is recommended that you check the terms and conditions of the audio files before converting them.

A
Q2

Will converting M4A to MP3 affect the audio quality?

Yes, converting M4A to MP3 may result in a slight loss of audio quality due to compression. However, the difference in quality is barely noticeable, and most people won't be able to detect it.

A
Q3

What Are Some Important Features for A Video Downloading Chrome Extension?

The conversion time depends on the file size and the speed of your computer. Online converters generally take less time, and desktop converters might take a bit longer. On average, it should take only a few minutes to convert a 3-4 minute audio file.

A
Q4

Can I edit the metadata of the MP3 file after conversion?

Yes, most conversion tools allow you to edit the metadata of the MP3 file, including the track name, artist, album, and genre. You can also add cover art and other details to the MP3 file.

A

Conclusion

Converting M4A to MP3 is necessary for convenient listening and this can be achieved under the help of many converison tools.

And we hope this article has been effective in steering you through the process of converting M4A to MP3 using the top-rated tools currently available!

Among all these tools, MusicFab Apple Music Downloader is highly recommended for its great features and stability. 

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