M4A - Details about audio file format and playback of the files

M4A is an audio file format based on the MPEG-4 container format, i.e. MP4. during that MP4 container and file format M4A files consist of audio data only, although they can contain both video and audio, graphics and subtitles. They are mainly used on Apple devices, not least because Apple advocated dividing MP4 files into different areas of application (M4V for video, M4R for ring tones, etc.). In M4A Apple also comes with the Advanced Audio Codec (AAC) and the specially developed Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) are used. More details below.

What is M4A and how to open an .m4a file? Why was the MP4 container divided into individual formats and which apps do you use on the Mac or PC to open them? Here you get all the answers.

What is M4A and how to open an .m4a file? Why was the MP4 container divided into individual formats and which apps do you use on the Mac or PC to open them? Here you get all the answers.

Details of M4A audio files

As already mentioned, the file format .m4a goes back to the container with the file format .mp4. After the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standardized this for digital video content in 2001, Apple demanded that individual content be classified into its own formats. The .mp4 file format remained for containers with video, audio, subtitles and the like, while e.g. For example, .m4a is set for audio. The .m4b format emerged for audio books. The trick of changing the format of .m4a files to .m4r in order to be able to use songs as iPhone ringtones also resulted from the division. The format still exists today, but is less well-known and popular than, say, MP3.

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Open an .m4a file or convert it to .mp3

Of course, since Apple actively promoted the creation of this format for audio files, you can use pre-installed means on Mac, iPhone and iPad to open .mp4 files. Among other things QuickTime Player, iTunes and the Music app help to play the songs or other recordings. The pre-installed Windows Media Player helps with the playback of .m4a files on the Windows PC. In addition, you can use the macOS as well as Windows VLC Player Use to both play the files and convert them to .mp3 or other formats. So you don't have to download an M4A to MP3 converter or put your files in an online tool.

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