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.M4A File Extension

File TypeMPEG-4 Audio File

3.8 (171 Votes)
CategoryAudio Files

What is an M4A file?

An M4A file is an audio file saved in the MPEG-4 format and encoded with either the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec or the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). It may store various types of audio content, such as songs, podcasts, and audiobooks.

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Screenshot of a .m4a file in Adobe Audition CC 2019
M4A file open in Adobe Audition CC 2019

MPEG-4 is a multimedia container format used to store both compressed audio and video data. The format is used by .MP4 files, which store audio and video data. M4A files only contain audio data, which led to the .m4a extension that stands for "MPEG-4 Audio." This name change helped distinguish 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

Updated 9/18/2019

About M4A Files

Our goal is to help you understand what a file with a *.m4a suffix is and how to open it.

The MPEG-4 Audio file type, file format description, and Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and only publish information about file formats that we have tested and validated.

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