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How to Convert Apple Music to Unprotected AAC in M4A format

Linda Shaw | October 19, 2022 | License plans: 1 month $14.95, 3 months $29.95 & more | Buy Windows Version | Buy macOS Version


When using AAC quality, downloaded Apple Music songs are encrypted AAC files with .m4p file extension. Meanwhile, M4A with .m4a file extension is the unprotected AAC format which you can use widely without any limitation. M4A is also the format of the songs you purchased from iTunes Store. If you want to remove the protection from Apple Music AAC songs and convert Apple Music to M4A, do not hesitate to try TuneMobie Apple Music Converter. It can losslessly convert 256kbps Apple Music protected AAC songs to 256kbps unprotected AAC (M4A) files with all ID tags retained.

Protected AAC (M4P Format) VS Unprotected AAC (M4A Format)

Covnert Apple Music to M4A

In music industry, it's known to all that AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding, and was designed to be the successor of the MP3 format. AAC actually is gradually replacing MP3 as the most popular audio format since MP3's creator have abandoned licenses to the format, signing its death sentence in May 2017. It's predictable that AAC will be the dominant audio format in near future.

The tech giant Apple had been providing AAC music services to consumers. At the beginning, people could purchase protected AAC songs in M4P format from iTunes store, later Apple abandoned multimedia encryption and switched to sell unprotected AAC songs in M4A format, and on June 30, 2015, Apple started to provide its streaming music services called Apple Music in over 100 countries worldwide. As of October 2022, Apple Music has more subscribers than Spotify in America, and its members have steadily increased to more than 88 million. And a new report by JP Morgan suggests that Apple Music will reach 110 million paying subscribers by 2025.

As to audio format of the Apple Music tracks you downloaded, they are still protected AAC audio in M4P format. So both M4P and M4A are AAC audio formats, the difference is the extension and whether its' protected or not.

However, M4A is much more convenient than M4P. If you have purchased some songs from iTunes Store, you should be aware of that you can enjoy M4A songs on all kinds of devices without any limitation, and use M4A songs in iMovie, Final Cut Pro or different video/audio editing programs and apps.

Convert Apple Music to M4A for iPod

As to Apple Music, though it is also available on iPhone/iPad, Android and some other devices, M4P songs still can't be enjoyed on iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, PSP, Walkman or all kinds of MP3 players, nor you can use them in iMovie or Final Cut Pro as background music. If you have got such a device or you are using iMovie or Final Cut Pro, and you have also subscribed Apple Music, it's likely that you may want to convert Apple Music to M4A since M4A brings more freedom and convenience.

Many Apple Music users may have the same question: how to convert Apple Music to M4A? Actually, converting Apple Music to M4A is just a piece a cake and can be easily achieved with the help of TuneMobie Apple Music Converter.

The Best Apple Music to M4A Converter – TuneMobie Apple Music Converter

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter is designed to convert Apple Music songs, albums and playlists to M4A, MP3, WAV, etc. easily and fast. To convert Apple Music to M4A, you don't even need to download Apple Music songs to your PC or Mac, nor you need to use iTunes or Music app. Just add your favorite songs to your music library and Apple Music Converter can directly convert to M4A with a built-in Apple Music web player and a stable internet connection. TuneMobie Apple Music Converter also boasts high conversion speed, lossless conversion and other practical functions. Now let's see what this powerful Apple Music to M4A converter can do.

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter

  • Batch convert Apple Music albums and playlists to M4A with 100% original audio quality
  • Convert Apple Music to MP3, WAV, FLAC or AIFF when necessary.
  • Convert Apple Music to M4A with a built-in Apple Music web player without using iTunes or Music app.
  • Preserve all ID tags including title, artist, album, genre, track number, disc number, etc.
  • Save your time by converting Apple Music to M4A at 20X faster speed on both Windows and Mac
  • Rename output files in bulk by title, album, artist, track number, hyphen, space, etc.
  • Sort output files into folders by album, artist, album/artist or artist/album
  • Fully compatible with latest Windows and macOS (Intel & Apple silicon)

The free trial version of TuneMobie Apple Music Converter can only convert 3 minutes of each song and only convert 3 files at a time, but this is enough for you to test Apple Music to M4A conversion. If you want to get unprotected AAC in *.m4a extension from Apple Music, get the trial version now.

6 Steps to Batch Convert Apple Music to M4A

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter comes with an easy-to-use interface, 20X faster conversion speed, diverse output formats, flexible output options and lossless audio quality. Converting Apple Music to M4A can be as easy as a breeze by following the steps below.

Step 1: Launch TuneMobie Apple Music Converter and Sign in

Launch TuneMobie Apple Music Converter and you will see a built-in Apple Music web player with a Sign In button at the upper right. Click the Sign In button, enter your Apple ID and password to sign in. If you don't sign out the built-in Apple Music web player, you don't need to sign in again in next time. After signing in, you can see that your Apple Music songs, albums and playlists will be listed in the left panel.

Launch Apple Music Converter

Step 2: Choose M4A Format

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter provides MP3, M4A, WAV, AIFF, FLAC and AUTO option as output formats. By default, AUTO option will be used and it's actually 256kbps M4A which is equal to Apple Music audio quality. For converting Apple Music to M4A, AUTO option is the best output option as it will be a lossless conversion. So you don't need to change output format.

Choose M4A output format

If necessary, you can also click Settings icon at the upper to open Settings dialog where you can change output format, MP3/M4A bitrate, outout folder, renaming method and sorting method.

Step 3: Open An Album or A Playlist

Browse the built-in Apple Music web player and you can open the detail page of your favorite album or playlist.

built-in Apple Music web player

Step 4: Add the Album/Playlist to Conversion List

In the song list page of the album or the playlist you opened, you will see a button in the middle right. Move your mouse onto the button and it will be changed to "Add to list". Click it to add all the songs to conversion list.

Add Apple Music to conversion list

Step 5: Select Songs

By default, all the songs will be added to conversion list with a check mark. However, if you don't want to convert some of the songs, you can simply uncheck them.

Select Apple Music songs

Step 6: Start Apple Music to M4A Conversion

Now, simply click the Convert button at the bottom right to start converting Apple Music songs to M4A. With 20X conversion speed, Apple Music to M4A conversion of an album or a playlist can be done in only a few minutes.

Select Apple Music songs

Bottom line

In iTunes Store, you can still purchase favorite songs one by one or purchase an entire album. After purchasing, you can download plain M4A audio files which you possess the ownership. however, it may cost plenty of money if you want to download tons of music. So subscribing Apple Music service and converting Apple Music to M4A with Apple Music Converter is a good way of money saving for music fans. After converting Apple Music to M4A, you can add them to your music library, just like adding the songs from external sources.

As you can see, if you have a valid Apple Music subscription and TuneMobie Apple Music Converter, you can enjoy the benefits of both iTunes Store and Apple Music. If you also want to convert Apple Music protected AAC to unprotected AAC (M4A), please do not hesitate to download the converter and have a try first.

Apple Music Converter How-to Guides