iTunes has been around since 2001 now and as an anti-Apple person myself, I’ve pretty much avoided it from the get go. However, I was finally forced to accept defeat, download and install the software after finding myself in possession of more and more .m4a music files.
The reason I conceded defeat and installed this admittedly rather good piece of software is because I like uniformity which means my music file compression of choice is the trusty old MP3 format. Now iTunes has the nifty feature of being able to convert between a number of different formats, including the m4a to mp3 conversion that I am interested in (in fact, iTunes 7 can currently read, write, and convert between MP3, AIFF, WAV, MPEG-4, AAC, and Apple Lossless. It can also convert unprotected WMV to MP3).
So, in order to convert your .m4a files to .mp3 files simply follow this process:
1) Go to the main menu and navigate to Edit -> Preferences. Once the preferences dialog box appears, click on the Advanced tab. Under the Advanced tab, go to the Importing sub-tab. The second dropdown box is labelled “Import Using:” and you need to set this to MP3 (or whatever other format you want to convert to). The “Settings” label allows you to adjust the quality of the generated files.
2) Once you have changed the preferences, simply navigate to the songs you wish to convert, select and right-click. You will see the “Convert Selection to MP3″ option on the context menu. Select that and sit back, brew some coffee and wait for the conversion process to finish up.
Sorted. If you couldn’t follow the words completely, I’ve included to images to help you out. Simply click on them to enlarge.
For more information on MPEG-4 Part 14, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.m4a
For more information on iTunes, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itunes