Converting music has been something that a lot of people do for a long time. One common example would be the classic YouTube converters that let us download YouTube videos as audio files. Doing this has meant that you don’t need to buy all of the songs you listen to. Considering the abundant library of music across Spotify and YouTube, purchasing every song isn’t a reasonable expectation for most of us. However, this isn’t the only form of converting users are familiar with. M4A to WAV is another conversion.
Audacity is a reputable audio editing software, and it can be used to convert files. This is only one possible solution for audio conversions, and there’s no need to think you are limited to just one option. So, we’ll be showing you the best ways to convert M4A and introducing some great programs too.
Firstly we’re going to point our attention towards Audacity. In addition to what we said before, Audacity is a brilliant audio editing solution that lets beginners get their foot in the door and understand all of the basics.
You can use Audacity on any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, and best of all, it’s free. After you have it set up, you will be able to do M4A to MP3, as well as numerous other tasks. Moving on, let’s go through each of the steps you need to take to convert an M4A file.
Part #1 – Preparing Audacity
Setting up Audacity isn’t as straightforward as installing other programs. Instead, you will have to install two libraries alongside the audio software in order to enable Audacity to support M4A. The reason behind this is that by default, Audacity only supports a small group of formats.
- Step #1 – Download the and install Audacity.
- Step #2 – Download LAME’s installation file, run it, and install it.
- Step #3 – Download FFMPEG, decompress the installation file, and run it.
After that, you can proceed to connect these libraries to Audacity. For the sake of making this process easier, keep a note of where you install LAME and FFMPEG.
- Step #4 – Launch Audacity and go to “Edit > Preferences.”
- Step #5 – When the menu appears, go to “Library” and click on “Locate.”
- Step #6 – Lastly, with the explorer, go to the FFMPEG installation folder and select “avformat-55.dll“.
It’s important that you don’t skip over this installation method if you are converting M4A to MP3, or it simply won’t work. We recognize that this is a lengthier install than most programs, but it’s something you only have to do once.
Part #2 – Converting an M4A File
Now that we have the libraries in place so that you can convert files, it’s time actually to convert the audio file. Audacity is a really easy program to use, hence why it’s for beginners, and the steps below will help you to convert M4A.
- Step #1 – Launch Audacity if you haven’t already done so.
- Step #2 – Go to “File > Open” and select the M4A file that you want to convert.
- Step #3 – Now that the M4A is ready, go to “File > Export > Export as MP3“.
- Step #4 – Give the file a name and adjust the format options if you want to, then click “Save.”
On the other hand, you can also convert M4A to WAV using Audacity too. To add to the saving options, you don’t have to change the bit rate, audio quality, speed, or channel mode. Those settings are completely optional, and unless you already know what they mean, it’s probably best to leave them as their defaults.
Overall, as you can see, Audacity is easy to use, and after converting files, you have a handy audio editing program at your fingertips.
“What Other Formats Can Audacity Convert?”
When it comes to formats, Audacity has clear limits.
Audacity’s full version, and also the portable version, can convert WAV and other uncompressed formats. As you found out in the previous section, to convert to MP3, you’ll need to install the LAME library too.
With the FFMPEG library, we get a few more options. Installing this will also allow Audacity to manage MP4, AC3, and WMA files as well as M4A.
Secondly, the preferable solution to convert audio files of almost any format is Wondershare UniConverter. While Audacity has the benefit of being completely free and available to everyone, this program offers a lot more features and has a reasonable price tag too.
- Converts audio and video files to hundreds of different formats
- Video downloader that can download MP3 audio from any video online
- Convert, download, and compress multiple M4A files at a time
- Capable of converting media files up to 30 times faster than other tools
- Transfer converted M4A files directly to a smartphone device
- Burn the M4A to WAV files to a disc with the CD burner
- Also includes a DVD burner, video editor, screen recorder, and VR converter
- Offers a free trial version (full version includes access to all features)
A lot of extra features alongside the converter are available with Wondershare UniConverter. Users can convert audio and, likewise, can convert their videos too. Our recommendation is that you check out the free trial and get a feel for what UniConverter can do. After that, if it’s right for you, there are a few licenses to pick from.
Now for the important part: how to use Wondershare UniConverter to convert M4A to WAV. Keep in mind that there is the option to convert to MP3, too, and many other audio formats. So, just tweak the steps below for whichever format it is you have in mind, and you’re good to go. Without further ado, let’s go ahead and convert our M4A file.
Steps to Convert with UniConverter
Make sure that you install Wondershare UniConverter before following these steps, and once the program is ready on your computer, start the guide.
- Step #1 – Open Wondershare UniConverter and click “Convert” on the navigation menu at the top.
- Step #2 – Select “Add Files” and from the dropdown menu, click either “Add Files” or “Add Folder.”
- Note: if you’re converting lots of M4A files, copy them into one folder and select “Add Folder.”
- Step #3 – UniConverter will add the files you choose to the converting queue. At the top-right, next to “Convert all files to,” click the downward arrow.
- Step #4 – Various converting abilities will appear, but for this solution, select the “Audio” tab.
- Step #5 – You can search for a format at the bottom of the list, or scroll through the list of formats on the left. Click on “WAV” and choose an audio quality too.
- Step #6 – Once you’ve chosen the formatting options to convert to, change the Output setting at the bottom of the window accordingly.
- Step #7 – When the conversion settings are correct, click the “Convert All” button.
- Note: if there are multiple M4A files, then you can combine them by enabling “Merge All Videos” at the bottom right.
- Step #8 – Once the program finishes converting, all of your files will be found in the Output folder.
In addition to converting M4A to WAV, you could also use UniConverter to compress files. By selecting a lower audio quality, the file size will be smaller, and less storage space will be used.
Alternative Music Converter
It’s preferable to use Audacity or, even better, Wondershare UniConverter. However, installing new software that you aren’t familiar with can be uncomfortable for some. If that includes you, then the alternative solution would be to use an online converter.
Online tools always come with some risks, but that’s not to say there aren’t reasons for using them:
- Accessible from any computer and anywhere
- No need to install third-party software
- Easy to use for all computer users
- Some online tools also come with smartphone apps
- Perfect for users who only have a few files to convert
Moreover, the majority of online tools are free and don’t have to pay barriers. Before we get ahead of ourselves, we also have to consider some of the concerning disadvantages of online tools.
- Online tools are free but also feature ads
- There is no privacy guarantee when uploading files
- If the online tool is hacked, then your sensitive files could be leaked
- Some online converters don’t work and are purely malicious
- There’s a risk of converted files being infected
Conclusion on M4A to WAV or M4A to MP3 Conversion
It’s easier than ever to convert videos, music, documents, and basically any type of file. Audacity is an audio program that a lot of computer users are familiar with, and the fact that it is capable of converting M4A to MP3 (or WAV) may be surprising to some people. Likewise, Wondershare UniConverter can convert all your videos or music files to a long list of formats. The only solution to avoid would be an online converter. In a few rare cases, it can be beneficial to use one of the online tools you find, such as if you’re using a friend’s computer or only have a single file to convert. But most of the time, you should avoid those online tools and use UniConverter or Audacity.