How to Optimize Your Audio Usage With MP4A

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The MP4A audio file packs quite the punch considering its noticeably small size. Because of the new explosion of audio needs from things like podcasts and music streaming, the mp4a is something to learn about and consider using. Here’s a guide to get you started.

What Is an Mp4a Audio File?

The MP4A is an MPEG-4 audio file format. The MP4A is commonly used to stream large audio tracks, such as music or podcasts. It’s a common file type that has quality audio at a smaller, more manageable size. It’s also compatible with most mobile devices.

How to Open It

Programs like Quicktime and Windows Media Player are both capable systems, though sometimes they fail to playback the audio file without updates to the current version. There are other programs that open mp4a audio file types but some require a software upgrade to perform the necessary actions.

A screenshot of Windows Media Player.
Windows Media Player is a popular tool to open the mp4a.

The mp4a is also accessible through mobile phones, such as an Android or iPhone. This extends to other mobile devices as well, such as tablets.

How to Convert It

There are a lot of different variables involved in converting an mp4a. For example, the type of file you wish to convert it to, the operating system you’re using and the software you want to use to convert it. For the sake of helping the most people possible, I’ll detail how to convert it into an mp3 (a common conversion) using iTunes. Note that iTunes isn’t specific to either Mac or PC so this conversion works fine for both systems.

  1. In iTunes, open the ‘Preferences’ menu from the dropdown menu
  2. Click ‘Import Settings’
  3. Under ‘Import Using’ select ‘MP3 Encoder’ from the dropdown menu
  4. Select the ‘Okay’ button
  5. Click on the mp4a file you wish to convert
  6. Click ‘File’, ‘Convert’ and select ‘Create MP3 Version’
A screenshot of iTunes.
Use iTunes to convert the mp4a.

When Is It Used?

The most popular use-case of the mp4a is large audio segment files on websites, such as audiobooks or podcasts. This is because it’s a manageable size, making it easy for users to access, download and stream the audio file without slowing down the service for other users at the same time. Some video games take advantage of the mp4a file as well, implementing it into their product for similar reasons (smaller files).

Further Functions of the mp4a

The mp4a retains extremely high levels of sound quality during compression, making it compact and easily accessible and shareable. The most interesting feature of the popular audio file format is its ability to increase original sound recordings using different frequencies.

Give the mp4a a shot if you’re in need of a high quality audio file with minimal storage and bandwidth burdens.

Casey Schmidt – Content Manager and Industry Expert | Canto

Casey Schmidt is a content manager at Canto who enjoys taking complex subjects and making them easy to understand for readers.