In order to distinguish pure audio MP4 file and MP4 file containing videos, Apple uses ".m4a" to name pure audio MP4 file. That's to say, the main difference between MP4 and M4A is M4A can include MP4 audio only.


If you just want to play the audio in MP4, converting MP4 to M4A is a great choice. M4A has good compatibility that Apple devices, Android, Windows phone, computers are all supporting to play it. In this article, I will introduce two useful methods to convert MP4 to M4A. They are easy to learn.

Ultimate Guide: Convert YouTube to M4A on Windows/Mac

Rename the Filename Extension from MP4 to M4A

There is no need to convert between formats If you only want to get an M4A file. You can simply change the filename extension from .mp4 to .m4a. It will still play.


Step 1.

#On Windows

Open file explorer, and then check "File name extensions" in the "View" panel.

Show File Name Extensions

#On Mac

Check "Show all filename extensions" in "Finder Preferences".

Show File Name Extensions on Mac

Step 2. Simply change .mp4 extension to .m4a.


This method is convenient but there's a big problem — the video is still there. You got a playable M4A file, but the file size is exactly the same as the original MP4 video because by simply changing the extension, the video won't be removed. How to fix this? Keep reading, this question will vanish.


Use an MP4 to M4A Converter to Extract the Audio from MP4

To get an audio-only M4A file, you will need an MP4 to M4A converter. VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate is an excellent converter with fast conversion speed and stable converting process. Go beyond this, the feature that you can choose to convert MP4 as lossless M4A or lossy M4A has made this converter become top-level.


Feel free to download the proper version on your Windows or Mac. Now let's see how it works.

Step 1. Add MP4 Video to the Converter

Click the "Add File" button or directly drag the MP4 video(s) into the program. Remember that your MP4 video must contain audio track because M4A is an audio format.

Add MP4 Video

Step 2. Choose an Output M4A Format (Important Step)

After importing the MP4 video that ready to convert, click the pull-down menu beside "Profile" and locate on "General Audio". Here you can find two kinds of M4A audio.

1. M4A - MPEG-4 Audio (*.m4a). This one encodes in AAC. It is lossy.

2. ALAC - Apple Lossless Audio Codec (*.m4a). This one encodes in ALAC, a lossless format.


I tested a 16.2MB MP4 video on my computer. When converting to the first one, the converted M4A file is only 651KB. When converting to the second one, the converted M4A file is 6.85MB. This is a lossless conversion that completely extracts audio from the MP4 video. Choose a suitable one according to your needs.

Choose M4A as the Output Format

Step 3. Merge the M4A Audio into One File (Optional)

If you have multiple files to convert from MP4 to M4A, VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate will by default save the converted M4A files separately. But if all you want is one single M4A file which combines all the audio that you want to convert? You can check the "Merge into one file" box before conversion.

Merge M4A into One File

Step 4. Fast Convert MP4 to M4A

Once output settings are done, click the "Convert" button at the lower right corner and start conversion. VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate will convert selected MP4 video into M4A audio. This can be done quickly if you enable NVIDIA, Intel, or AMD hardware acceleration in the program.


The conversion page will show you the total progress, elapsed time, and remaining time. You can choose "No action" or to "Shut down the computer" after converting MP4 to M4A. If the "Open output folder" box is checked, the output folder will be activated once you click the "Completed" button.

Convert MP4 to M4A Successfully

After reading this article, do you know how to rename .mp4 to .m4a, or utilize VideoSolo Video Converter Ultimate to extract the audio from MP4 as M4A format? I believe that mastering these two ways can help you get the M4A files that suit you best. Just have a try by yourself, and you will realize how useful they are.