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Audacity Convert M4A to MP3 – How to Convert M4A to MP3 in Audacity?

Author by Vita

Updated on July 22, 2020

Audacity offers formats and encoding options for exported files. For specified audio files, it can be useful as an audio converter. Some people may wonder “Can Audacity convert M4A to MP3”. You will get disappointed if you try to process the conversion in Audacity as shipped, yet with optional FFmpeg library installed on Audacity, the whole thing becomes easy.  

The Necessary Element to Convert M4A to MP3 in Audacity

As a popular audio editor and recorder, Audacity runs smoothly on all mainstreaming operation systems including Windows, macOS, and GNU/Linux. It’s well-known for flexible configuration settings, rich functions as well as support for varied extended functionality. Although Audacity works well enough with its out-of-box settings and features, sometimes users still need to customize the settings and install plug-ins for Audacity for more purposes. Letting Audacity convert M4A to MP3 is exactly such an example. Audacity can’t recognize M4A as import inherently but it allows users to install the third-party FFmpeg library to add the support for M4A inputs. Based on this, the whole M4A to MP3 conversion will be divide into two parts: Install FFmpeg library for Audacity and convert M4A to MP3. Let’s delve into the steps.

Also Read: Split Tracks in Audacity l Audacity Merge Tracks l Record YouTube with Audacity

Part 1: Install the FFmpeg Library for Audacity

Step 1. Go to the FFMPEG library download page:

Step 2. To Install FFmpeg for Windows, scroll down to “TO DOWNLOAD Lame and FFmpeg for Windows", left-click on “ffmpeg installer download ” to download the latest version of FFMPEG; we use Windows as an example to explain the process here. Mac and Liunx users can apply the similar steps.

Step 3. After downloading the .exe file, find it on your computer, double click to run the installer.  

Step 4. Hit Yes > OK > Next >Next, and specify the destination as C:\Program Files\FFmpeg for Audacity or C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity for Windows 64 bit version.

Step 5. Click Next > Yes > Install. Now you have finished the installation. Please remember to restart Audacity.  

Convert M4A to MP3 audacity

You can also manually check and install FFmpeg library in Audacity.

Step 1. Launch Audacity, go to Edit > Preferences.

Step 2. On the Preferences dialog, select Libraries > FFmpeg Library: Locate.

Step 3. If you have successfully installed FFmpeg library, a success dialog pops up.

Step 4. If not, you will see a Locate FFmpeg dialog. Click Browse, head to the folder containing FFmpeg and select avformat-55.dll.

Step 5. Click Open > OK > OK.

Locate the FFmpeg library manually

Part 2. Let Audacity Convert M4A to MP3

Step 1. Open Audacity, click File > Open on the ribbon. Select and import the M4A files.

Step 2. Still go to File, click on Export, Export as MP3.

Step 3. An Export Audio window appears. You are able to specify the name, choose a bit rate mode, change audio quality, channels and more.

Step 4. Click Save. Then the Metadata editor window pops up. Enter the related metadata information if you have the need.

Step 5. Click OK to export M4A to MP3.

Audacity M4A to MP3

Since Audacity has a built-in LAME library for Windows and Mac on the latest version, you don’t need to install a specific plugin to export MP3 in Audacity. However, Linux/Unix still needs to install Lame library manually. The official Audacity has explained how to perform the installation:

Optional Solution to Convert M4A to MP3

Letting Audacity convert M4A to MP3 takes a complicated installing process. For new users, the technical terms have unavoidably increased the complexity. On top of that, if you need to convert many audio tracks in Audacity, it can be time-consuming unless you apply the Audacity Apply Chains features, which needs further settings. So how to easily change audio formats? WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro will solve the problem. It is a powerful yet simple video converter offering the most efficient and overall solutions to video & audio conversions. The following part shows you how convenient it is for M4A to MP3 conversion. 

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A simpler way to convert M4A to MP3

Before start, please free downloadfree download the software.

Step 1. Import the M4A Audio Files

Select “Converter” on the main interface, click “Add files”, browse and batch import your M4A audio files. Or you can directly drag files into the Video Converter window.

Step 2. Choose MP3 Audio Format

Click the big format icon on the right side, choose MP3 under the Audio tab.

Step 3. Finalize the Conversion

Hit the small triangle icon on the bottom and specify the output path. Then, click “Run”.
WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory will batch process the files and complete the conversions soon.

Sum Up

Audacity empowers to process varied audio tasks by installing external plug-ins and customizing its built-in setting options. We have discussed the detailed process of Audacity M4A to MP3 conversion with the help of FFmpeg library plug-ins. If it works for you in some ways, please share the post with more friends.

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