How To Mac

How to free Convert m4a to mp3 on Mac

Written by John

The Shortcuts app is one of the best features to be introduced with the macOS Monterey. Users of iPhone and iPad already had access to the app when it was released with the launch of iOS 12. However, Mac users did not have the ability to create shortcuts for their regular tasks with automation tools for a long time. With macOS Monterey, Apple has brought the highly anticipated Shortcuts app to Mac. Users who want to stay productive and be efficient with their time and efforts can create shortcuts for their regular tasks to be executed with one click of a button. Some examples of useful shorts include converting M4A to MP3, sharing a page/clipboard with QR code, creating a GIF, etc. You can leave out the trivial manual tasks that take up a lot of time and let automation handle them for you. Shortcuts allows you to set up automation rules so that your Mac can take care of your repetitive tasks while you can focus on tasks that require creativity.

The iPhone and iPad users who have already used Shortcuts for automating tasks on their handheld devices will appreciate the same interface for creating shortcuts for tasks on Mac. New users of the Shortcuts app will find it extremely easy to use the simple drag-and-drop interface to create powerful automation that can save hours and days of work. All that is needed is to set up rules for executing certain tasks and let your Mac repeat the tasks automatically, saving you time. You will no longer need to switch between tabs and manually repeat steps to finish tasks.

Why Should You Use the Shortcuts App to Free Convert M4A to MP3?

The Shortcuts app on the new macOS Monterey allows you to convert M4A MP3 files. You can instruct your Mac to follow simple steps to get your tasks automatically done. You have to input your rules on how to convert M4A to MP3 and then let your Mac handle work for you. After the automation is created, you only need one click of a button to execute routine tasks. There is no need for paid tools when you can free convert M4A to MP3 on your Mac.

By following this tutorial, you can also convert multiple M4A files to MP3 files. Mac users can enjoy the convenience of creating shortcuts for tasks that usually take a lot of time and replace many steps with a one-button click.

What are M4A and MP3 Files?

M4A file is an audio file to store different types of audio content including songs and audiobooks. It is stored in the MPEG-4 format and is encoded in Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec or Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). The MPEG-4 format supports audio, video, subtitles, and image data, and is saved with a .mp4 extension. However, if the MPEG-4 file only stores audio, it is saved with a .m4a extension.

An MP3 file is an audio file using a compression algorithm to reduce the file size. The format is called a “lossy” format because some of the data from the original source are lost and become irreversible after the compression. MP3 is the most widely used audio file format and is identified with the .mp3 extension after the file name. Almost all audio playback applications can play MP3 files.

How to Convert M4A to MP3 on Mac with the Shortcuts App

Let us take a look at how to convert M4A to MP3 on Mac with the Shortcuts app. The process will involve setting up rules for the Mac to follow for converting M4A to MP3 files and finding the location of the converted audio files.

Step 1: From the Application, launch the Shortcuts app. You can launch it from Spotlight. Click on the ‘+’ button on the top-right corner of the application screen to start creating a new shortcut

Open Shortcuts App in macOS Monterey

Step 2: Type ‘Select File’ in the search bar and drag the shortcut option to the left window to start building your shortcut. Select ‘Show More’ and enable ‘Select Multiple’.

Open m4a file with Shortcuts app

Step 3: Search ‘Import Audio Files into Music’ and drag the shortcut option below the ‘Select Files’ action. Click on ‘Show More’, enable ‘Re-encode’ and select the encoder as MP3.

Convert m4a to mp3 with Shortcuts app

Step 4: Type "Terminal" and drag "Run Shell Script" to your Shortcuts and Select "Allow Running Scripts".

Run Shell Script in Shortcuts app

Step 5: Click on "Imported Items" and select "Clear".

Clear Imported Items

Step 6: Once the process is completed, the "Unknown Album" folder in Music App where you will find the converted M4A to MP3 files with the original file names. Use this command to open "Unknown Album" folder.

open "./Music/Music/Media.localized/Music/Unknown Artist/Unknown Album"

Open Folder with Command

Step 7: Name the shortcut as ‘Convert M4A to MP3’ and add an icon of your choice and color to identify it.

Step 8: Click on the ‘Shortcut Details’ option in the right sidebar and enable ‘Keep in Menu Bar’. This will add the shortcut to the menu bar and make it easier for converting M4A to MP3 with a single click.

Click on the ‘Play’ button to test the shortcut. It should prompt you to select files to convert to MP3 format. Wait for the re-encoding to happen. It should take a while depending on the size of the M4A file.

The Shortcuts app allows you to create a one-click shortcut for converting M4A to MP3. All you have to do when you want to convert relevant M4A files to MP3 is to run the shortcut you’ve created. Depending on the size of the audio file, the process takes time and once it is completed, you will have the converted MP3 file available in the Music folder on your Mac.

Featured Posts

Leave a Comment