Audio files come in several formats like mp3, wav, m4a, etc, but most of them are not supported by Android devices.
M4A files are the native audio file format for Apple devices and all the audio files in Apple Music like songs, podcasts, etc are in the M4A format.
If you’re an Android user, then you should know that Android devices cannot play M4A files with the default music player and you will need to download a third-party music player app to run these audio files.
What is an M4A file?
- 1 What is an M4A file?
- 2 Can Android Play M4A File Formats?
- 3 How To Play M4A On Android?
- 4 How to Convert M4A Files to MP3 files on Android Device?
- 5 Android Apps to Convert M4A Files to MP3 Files
- 6 Websites to Convert M4A Files to MP3 Files
- 7 Which is the best method for Converting M4A Files to MP3?
- 8 Best Audio Format for Android
- 9 Does Samsung Music Play M4A?
- 10 Conclusion
M4A files are audio only files in MPEG-4 format which are encoded using Advanced Audio Codec(AAC) or Apple Lossless Audio Codec(ALAC).
In order to understand this, you have to understand the different formats in which these files are stored. Most audio files stored in a device come in three major Audio formats.
(a) Uncompressed Audio Format – These files have the best quality but the file size is so large that it is not feasible to store and distribute audio files in this format. Example PCM and WAV.
(b) Audio Format with Lossy Compression – In this format the audio files are compressed to take up the least space but with some loss in sound quality. Example – MP3, M4A.
(c) Audio Format with Lossless Compression – This audio format compresses the audio files without loss in sound quality but the file size is huge and can be around 5 times more than files with lossy compression. Example – FLAC, AAC.
M4A files fall under Audio Format with Lossy compression.
They are encoded in such a format because the file size is so small that it can be stored and transferred very easily. The loss in sound quality is also not that significant.
Users can download the M4A files without spending a lot of Internet data and can store a large number of these files because they use very less disk space.
As mentioned earlier, the M4A file is the primary audio format used by Apple iTunes and Apple Music for all their devices, whereas Android devices use MP3 as the primary format.
M4A Files in Apple Music and Apple iTunes are protected by copyright DRM Licenses.
Sound Quality of M4A Files is better than MP3 Files but Size of MP3 Files is less than M4A Files.
Can Android Play M4A File Formats?
Yes, you can play M4A files on Android devices but you cannot play M4A files with the native original music player.
The native audio player does not support .m4a audio format. It only supports .mp3 format
In order to play M4A files in Android devices, you will have to download a third party Music Player App like VLC Player, Google Play Music, Poweramp, BlackPlayer, etc.
These third party apps support most widely used Audio formats like .m4a, .mp3, .wav, .flac and others.
How To Play M4A On Android?
The default Audio players in most Android devices cannot play .m4a files. As I mentioned earlier, you will have to download a third-party audio player app from Google Play.
You can open these files using any of the third-party music player apps from the list of seven audio players below.
VLC for Android
VLC player by VideoLabs supports most audio and video files you will find on the Internet.
They are one of the best music players for playing m4a files because it is lightweight, has a simple user interface, and most importantly it is totally free.
Download Link – VLC Player for Android
Google Play Music
The music player developed by Google themselves supports most audio files, including .M4A files. The interface is simple, intuitive, and the app is free.
Download Link – Google Play Music
Music Player – MP3 Player
This music player developed by the company Apps10X supports a lot of audio formats including M4A format.
It has a beautiful design and offers a lot of other features including music mixer, mp3 cutter and supports wearable devices as well. It is Free to Download.
Download Link – Music Player – Mp3 Player
Poweramp Music Player Full Version
The Poweramp Music player supports M4A files and comes with a multi-load of features like band optimized graphic equalizers, custom visual themes, lyrics support, etc.
It supports Google Assistant, Chromecast, and Android Auto. This is a paid App, which is around 4.99 USD. There is also a 15-day trial version available.
Download Link – Poweramp Full Version Unlocker
BlackPlayer Free Music Player
BlackPlayer has free and paid versions but if you want to run mp3 and m4a files mostly then the free version is more than enough.
It also supports Android Auto and is compatible with Wearables. Some features include Band Equalizers, 3D Surround Sound, etc.
Download Link – BlackPlayer Free Music Player
Pulsar Music Player – MP3 Player, Audio Player
Pulsar is an offline music player that supports most audio formats including .m4a audio format.
There are no intrusive Ads and it has a plethora of features like Crossfade support, Android Auto support, WearableOS support, Lyrics support and also comes with a Sleep Timer.
Download Link – Pulsar Music Player
Eon Music Player
This music player developed by qsmapplications supports M4A files and is lightweight and minimalistic.
You don’t get a lot of features but you can play m4a files along with other audio formats with ease. It is a free app and it is an Offline music player so you don’t have Ads in this audio player.
Download Link – Eon Music Player
How to Convert M4A Files to MP3 files on Android Device?
If you don’t want to download another music player on your Android device for playing .m4a files then you have to convert them into .mp3 format.
You can convert .m4a files to .mp3 files using certain websites and Android Apps. Below are some curated lists of Android Apps and Websites for hassle-free conversion.
Android Apps to Convert M4A Files to MP3 Files
Audio Converter (MP3, AAC, WMA, OPUS) – MP3 Cutter)
Audio Cutter by Bdroid Team converts most audio formats like M4A, OGG, MP3, AAC into any other format.
The User Interface is extremely simple and you can easily convert your M4A files to MP3 files in less than 5 minutes using this app.
It also has an audio cutter so you can cut, merge and edit your audio files without downloading any other additional applications. The app is free to use.
Download Link – Audio Converter
MP3 WAV AAC M4A Audio Cutter, Converter, Merger
This app from Inverse.AI supports most audio formats, and you can convert from any audio format to the other in a matter of minutes.
You can compress audio files by using different encoding methods and changing bit rate frequency. This is a Free App.
Download Link – MP3 WAV AAC M4A Audio Cutter, Converter, Merger
M4A to Mp3 Converter – M4b to mp3 – M4p to mp3
This App from SmartApps38 is an offline app that converts your M4A, M4B and M4P files to MP3 files easily in a few steps.
You just have to select your files, click on convert and Voila! Your files will be converted into mp3 and saved on your phone.
This is a Free App with No Ads.
Download Link – M4A to Mp3 Converter – M4b to mp3 – M4p to mp3
Websites to Convert M4A Files to MP3 Files
ZAMZAR Online File Conversion
Zamzar converts m4a files to mp3 files in just three clicks.
Upload m4a file, choose mp3 file as output and click on Convert. Your files will be converted and you can easily download them by clicking on the Download button.
Website link – ZAMZAR
Online Audio Converter by 123 Apps
With this website, you can convert your m4a files to mp3, wav, flac, ogg and more. You can convert your files following these steps.
Click on Open file to upload the file from your phone. Select output format, Select Quality and Click on Convert.
This website supports uploads from Google Drive and Dropbox. You can also control the output quality.
Website Link – Online Audio Converter
With Convertio, you can convert any audio file from one format to another in a matter of clicks. It supports around 26 Audio formats and the conversion process is simple.
Upload your files, select the format for output and click on the convert button. After conversion just click on download.
Website Link – Convertio
Which is the best method for Converting M4A Files to MP3?
I recommend using Android Apps to convert because once downloaded they consume lesser data than websites while converting.
M4A to MP3 converter app is my recommended app because it is an offline app which means you can convert m4a to mp3 without an active Internet Connection.
You will save a lot of data and there are no Advertisements.
Best Audio Format for Android
MP3 audio format is the best audio format for Android devices.
The .mp3 audio format occupies the lowest space among different audio formats and is supported by native Android music player.
M4A files are the best audio format for Apple Devices.
Does Samsung Music Play M4A?
No, Samsung Music cannot play M4A audio files.
When you try to play m4a audio file using Samsung music, you will notice that the music player skips the file and does not play it.
If you’re using a Samsung smartphone, then you should download a third-party music player App. You can download any of the apps I have shared above.
Even though Android supports .m4a format, the native Android music player cannot play m4a files. Mp3 is the most preferred format for Android.
You can play m4a files using third-party apps which you can download from the Google PlayStore.
If you want to play m4a files without downloading third party apps then you can convert your m4a files into mp3 files using certain audio converter apps and websites.