How to Convert M4A to MP3 with FFmpeg and Its Alternative?

Mar 1st, 2023
  • DownloadDownload the best free video converter first. Then
  • Step 1. Import the M4A file to the converter;
  • Step 2. Select MP3 as the export format;
  • Optional: Tweak audio settings;
  • Step 3. Start the conversion.
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Steps to Convert M4A to MP3 with FFmpeg
Easier Way to Make M4A to MP3 Conversion

Don't know how to convert M4A files to MP3 audio with FFmpeg? You've in the right place. In this post, we'll show you the FFmpeg command line for M4A to MP3 conversion. Besides, you're provided with a simpler way to process varities of audio and video files. Keep reading!

Steps to Make FFmpeg M4A to MP3 Conversion

FFmpeg is free, multi-platform command-line software for processing audio and video files. You can use it to make format conversions and perform editing tasks.

Next, we’re going to show you how to let FFmpeg convert M4A to MP3. If you haven’t installed it on your PC, please follow the steps to install it first:

Step 1. Visit FFmpeg’s official website to get the latest version.

Step 2. Hover over the Windows logo and select “Windows builds from”.

Step 3. This takes you to a new page where you can find the latest version of FFmpeg and click to download the full build.

Step 4. By default, the zip will be saved to the Downloads folder. Right-click the zip and choose to Extract Here.

Step 5. Then rename the extracted folder to ffmpeg and save the whole folder to a desired location. I choose to move it to my local disk C drive.

Step 6. In the Windows’ search bar, input “system variables”. In the pop-up System Properties window, hit Environment Variables.

Step 7. Move down to find the Path tab in the System variables section. Select it and hit the Edit… button at the bottom.

Step 8. Then click New to add FFmpeg to it. Hit OK to save the settings.
For example: C:\ffmpeg\bin

Now, let’s see how to convert M4A to MP3 with FFmpeg.

Step 1. Open the location of your .m4a file. type in CMD in the address bar, and press Enter.

Step 2. In the new pop-up window, you can easily make FFmpeg convert M4A to MP3 by typing in:
ffmpeg -i file’name.m4a file’name.mp3

Step 3. Press Enter key to start the conversion. Then you’ll see the exported MP3 audio file in the same folder as the source M4A file.

Some users reported that the bitrate of the exported .mp3 file was reduced to a very low value. Is there any way to make FFmpeg convert M4A to MP3 without significant loss? Yes! You can use the following command to set the output bitrate. For example, 256kbps M4A to 256kbps MP3.
ffmpeg -i file’s name.m4a -ab 256k file’s name.mp3

The -ab 256k parameter means you set the audio bitrate to 256kbps for the resulting MP3 file.

As you see in the above, by using different FFmpeg commands, you can not only change the container but also specify the parameters that you desire to influence the output quality.

However, it is challenging to master all the commands for users, especially for novices. If you are looking to process audio and video-related tasks, like transcoding, modifying parameters, trimming, etc., more easily, try converters with a graphical interface. To make things easier, we’ve helped you pick out one of the best free video converters for Windows. Read on to learn the details.

Best FFmpeg Alternative for PC

Not only can Free HD Video Converter Factory convert M4A to MP3 free, but it also can handle a wide range of formats and output to 500+ presets. After that, you can continue using it to trim, split, crop, watermark, merge, compress, add effects, etc. Download and give it a bash!

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Best FFmepg Alternative for Audio Conversion

Featured with an easy-to-navigate interface, WonderFox Free HD Video Converter Factory allows you to convert M4A file to MP3 audio within 3 steps. Simply drag and drop the source files to the converter and then click to convert! All types of video and audio formats are supported. Besides, you can customize parameters like resolution, aspect ratio, bitrate, sample rate, channels, and much more. It can also serve as a handy volume booster, editor, downloader, compressor, etc.

Free downloadFree download this functional toolkit and take the steps to make the conversion within clicks.

Step 1. Load M4A Files to the Converter

Launch Free HD Video Converter Factory and open Converter. Click on the + Add Files button or straightly drag the .m4a file to the conversion list.

Step 2. Select MP3 as the Output Format

Hit the format image on the right side to open the output format library. Navigate to Audio > MP3.

Step 3. Tweak the Audio Parameters

Below the output format image, click the Parameter settings tab. Here, you can modify the parameters based on your needs. Convert MP3 128kbps to 320kbps, for instance.

Step 4. Start M4A to MP3 Conversion

At last, specify a new destination for the exported file by hitting the triangle button at the bottom. Then click Run to start the conversion at once.

The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to make FFmpeg convert M4A to MP3. FFmpeg is powerful but requires a learning curve. By comparison, WonderFox Free HD Video Converter Factory is a better choice for beginners. GETGET the free & powerful converter to convert, edit, compress, and download audio and video files effortlessly.

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