Converting m4a and m4v files to mp3 with VLC Media Player

I still use my trusty old Samsung YP-Z5 mp3 player to listen to podcasts, trouble is it won’t display or play MPEG-4 or MP4 format files, for example audio files with the extension m4a. Occasionally, I download podcasts in this format so I have to convert them to mp3 format. A quick search on line for m4a to mp3 brings up a whole bunch of free converters but I already have enough utilities on my PC without downloading another.

I remembered reading that VLC media player does audio and video conversions so I gave it a try. Launch VLC and click Media, Convert/Save (Ctrl-R). Click Add and browse to your m4a file,  click Open, then click Convert/Save.


Then under Destination, select a folder and name for your converted file remembering to add the .mp3 suffix. Under Settings, select Audio – MP3, then select Start.


Along the bottom of the next screen, the Play progress bar actually indicates the progress of the audio conversion. Conversion of an 80MB m4a file took 5 to 10 minutes on my PC. I also checked out the conversion of m4v video format to mp3 audio and that works well too.

So there’s a great way to convert audio and video file formats using VLC without adding any extra free conversion utilities to your PC.

4 Responses

  1. AJ Says:

    Good post, this was also helpful to me when I was looking for a free mp4 player to convert my files. Choosing the mp4 player that’s right for you depends upon the content you need to view and the features you want:

  2. michel Says:

    Converting M4A and M4V music files to MP3 format with the help of VLC player sounds really interesting as well as easy way to carry out the conversion process. I think the conversion rate will also be fairly quick in this case.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    This no longer works. The conversion takes all of .1 seconds and the resulting .mp3 file does not play in any programme, despite the file being a couple megabytes, the approximate expected size.

  4. Alane Says:

    All of the major and even most of the minor developers of media player software offer MP4 capability. Which you choose depends on how extensive their support is for MP4 and how well the product performs. The most important thing is playback quality. That first depends on the input source, how well the player functions, then, your subject opinion of the images and sound. I have not been happy with VLC in the past and have been using RP for the last year:

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