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.M4A File Extension

File TypeMPEG-4 Audio File

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CategoryAudio Files


This file is saved in a binary format, which requires a specific program to read its contents.

What is a M4A file?

An M4A file is an audio file created in the MPEG-4 format, a multimedia container format used to store compressed audio and video data. It contains audio encoded with either the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec or the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC).

More Information

M4A files are similar to .MP4 video files since both file types use the MPEG-4 container format. However, M4A files only contain audio data. The use of the ".m4a" extension arose due to the confusion between MPEG-4 video files and MPEG-4 audio-only files.

The iTunes Store provides songs in the M4A format. These songs are encoded using AAC compression, which significantly reduces the size of each file. Songs that include copyright protection have an .M4P extension.

NOTE: Windows Media Player 11 requires the K-Lite Codec Pack in order to play M4A files. Windows Media Player 12 (included with Windows 7) provides native support for the M4A format.

Open and view .M4A files with File Viewer Plus.
Programs that open M4A files
File Viewer Plus
Microsoft Groove Music
Apple iTunes
Microsoft Windows Media Player
Nullsoft Winamp
Media Player Classic
VideoLAN VLC media player
Apple iTunes
Apple QuickTime Player
VideoLAN VLC media player
Eltima Elmedia Player
VideoLAN VLC media player
VideoLAN VLC for iOS 2
File Viewer for Android
Updated 7/26/2016

.M4A Extension Information

This page contains information about the file extension M4A and its known file associations. Our goal is to help you understand what a *.m4a file is and how to open it.

The MPEG-4 Audio file type, file format description, and programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and do not publish any information we have not verified.

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