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By Gabriel Coleman - Last Updated: Contact Author

3 Ways to Convert MP3 to M4A [Free & Online]

Summary: How do you convert to an M4A audio file? In this post, we will walk through best 3 methods to convert MP3 to M4A, and provide you 3 free M4A file converters that won't charge you a dime.

MP3 or M4A? What's the Difference?

Both MP3 and M4A are lossy audio compression formats.

MP3 is short for MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer 3. It is the most commonly used audio file format today because of its well compatibility. M4A stands for MPEG 4 Audio files, many of which are encoded in aggressive advanced audio coding (AAC) to make the size smaller. Some M4A files use Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), which are larger in size without any loss in quality.

There is no huge quality gap between AAC and ALAC provided you are not using audiophile-grade hardware, but they have obvious advantages over MP3 file format in terms of quality and size. If you are seeking for a practicle way to convert MP3 to M4A, you've landed on the right place. On the following page, we will walk through best 3 methods to convert to an M4A audio file, with step-by-step instructions to follow.

Let's dive in!

Method 1: Convert MP3 to M4A with Online Utilities

The first online MP3 to M4A converter we will go through is Online-Convert. It supports different source formats conversion including audio, video, image, document, etc. Let's see the following guideline.

Step 1: You'll have to navigate to the homepage of Online-Convert and you will find Audio converter at the top-left corner.


Step 2: Under the Audio converter tab, click Select target format and choose Convert to M4A in the drop-down list. Then check Go for the next step.

Step 3: Click Choose Files to import the audio file you want to convert. It is also available to enter the URL of your target file or load files from Dropbox and Google Drive.

Import MP3 Audio File
Import MP3 Audio File

Step 4: Customize audio parameters on the Optional Settings tab. If you are a logged in users, you can save all the parameter settings for later use.

Step 5: Download your file when the conversion is completed.

Download the Output M4A File
Download the Output M4A File

The next online transcoding tool is Zamzar that is capable of managing the conversion like documents, images, videos, audio, CAD, eBooks, and more. And here's the instruction to use.

Step 1: You'll have to navigate to the homepage of Zamzar in the first place.

Step 2: To import files, browse the floder or drag & drop the file directly.

Convert MP3 to M4A with Zamzar

Step 3: Choose the format you want to convert to.

Step 4: Click Convert Now and then download the file when the conversion is done. You can also fill in your email address, then you can get an email with the download link.

Like many online converters, they put upper limits on the number, size, and length of the audios that you can process each day. Worse than that, some of them may even downgrade the sound quality after exporting. What couldn't be ignored is that, they might not be safe and could do harm to your PC with additional malware that could steal your private information or remotely occupy your bandwidth. But don't worry, we have a better option for your reference in the following.

Method 2: Convert MP3 to M4A with VideoProc [Fast & Safe]

VideoProc is an easier way for MP3-to-M4A conversion. It is a multipurpose converter for 370 input codecs and more than 420 output formats. Moreover, the conversion speed is 47 times faster than traditional conversion tools. Below is the tutorial to change MP3 to M4A format with VideoProc.

Step 1: Download and install VideoProc on your Windows PC (VideoProc for Windows ) or Mac computer (VideoProc for Mac ), and you are free to go.

Step 2: Launch VideoProc and select Video Processing at the home screen. Click +Video the the top-left corner of the window or drag & drop to import audio files directly.

Step 3: Select M4R format at the bottom of the window > Click Browse for output location > Check RUN to get it started.

Convert MP3 to M4A with Videoproc
Convert MP3 to M4A with Videoproc

Method 3: Convert MP3 to M4A with VLC

Step 1: Download and launch the latest verison of VLC.

Step 2: Click on Media and select the Convert / Save option, or press Ctrl+R directly.

Step 3: You will now have to click on the File tab followed by the +Add button for loading the files you wish to convert. And then choose the Convert / Save button to continue.

Step 4: You need to browse the destination file along with specifying the desired video profile as well as file name. Click the edit icon to create M4A@AAC format. When all settings are done, click Start for initiating the conversion.

Create M4A file format in VLC
Create M4A file format in VLC

Final Words:

Till now, we have walked through three ways to convert MP3 to M4A. There are various online converters, but most of them have restrictions in the size, length, number of audios, and even potential safety risks. While open-source software just like VLC, the format conversion process is troublesome to beginners.

In comparison, VideoProc is free and available to hundreds of file formats. And it is easy and quick to use. Moreover, it is not only a well audio converter but also a multifunctional video editor. You can easily convert, cut, merge, resize, record, etc. all kinds of file formats from different platforms, systems, and devices at wills. Just download and have a try!

Free Download VideoProc to Convert MP3 to M4R Now!


Gabriel Coleman

Gabriel is a technical editor with several years of writing experience. Gabriel covers video processing, post-production, hardware, Windows, Apple's Macs, iPhones, iPads, and all kinds of technology topics. He loves collecting cool gadgets and trying new things like virtual reality, drones, 8K TVs and the latest 4K games. He also has interests in reading, photography, climbing, scuba diving, and tennis.

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