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.