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Play M4A Files for Free on Mac

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Elmedia 4.8 Rank based on 131+ users, Reviews(131)

It’s quite easy to play .m4a on Mac. M4A is one of those officially-adopted Apple formats, derived from MP4. Can iTunes play M4A? Naturally, and so does QuickTime. But after a while, the functionality of these apps may start to feel a bit limiting.

Elmedia Mac music player brings an element of luxury into mundane audio playback. The strictly-practical features combine to give you an unmatched level of control and comfort. Elmedia competes tooth and nail with the latest and the greatest among media players.

M4A Player: Perfect Playback with Complete Safety

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Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+. 59.66MB free space. Version 7.17(2353). (6 Dec, 2020). 4.8 Reviews(131)
Category: MultimediaApplication
Even though it’s free, Elmedia Player can play M4A files without any quality loss. When compared to prevalent M4A options - iTunes and Quicktime - Elmedia delivers superior performance for lossless audio formats.
M4A music player
The essential functions of this M4A player are shockingly simple to use, despite offering deep customization. For example, the playlist function works with any formats, editing and creating all lists according to your specifications. And it’s worth mentioning the 10-Band Equalizer, which comes with 10 presets. If these aren’t enough, you can make your own preset manually!

Playing M4A on Mac with Elmedia Player

1. Download the app - you can get the installer on this webpage or on the App Store.


2. Add your music file

You can add M4A files to Elmedia in several ways:

  • Drop M4A files on the player window or onto its icon in the dock.
  • Right-click an M4A file in Finder and choose the "Open With" option. Select Elmedia Player from the list.
  • In the player, go to Main menu, choose "File" and then "Open".

Playing m4a

3. And there is much more!

It’s not just for M4A - in addition, Elmedia Player can open FLV, SWF, MP4, MKV, MOV, AVI, WMV, etc.


What is M4A?

M4A is a file extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 (or, in short, MP4) files. MP4 is a multimedia container format for compressed audio and video data. M4A files can contain audio encoded in AAC or Apple Lossless. Unlike normal MP4 files, they can’t contain any video data. Notably, M4A is the format of choice for the iTunes Store.

Apple has an entire lineup of specialized filetypes that are based on M4A. For example, M4B, an audiobook format, supports bookmark metadata. This specialized form of metadata makes .m4b incompatible with many modern media players.

M4R files, on the other hand, are no different from M4A, save for the extension. These are supposed to be specialized "Apple ringtone files". Why was the format change necessary? None may know.

 What is M4A

M4A vs MP3: What’s the Best Format?

M4A is technically superior to MP3. A 192kbps .m4a is roughly equivalent to a 256kbps .mp3, quality-wise. In layman’s terms, at the same quality level, .m4a files are about 25% smaller! This has led to M4A files having higher bitrate standards. With M4A, you’re more likely to encounter high-quality music (although nothing stops you from encoding horrible, deep-fried 32kbps tracks).

The only reason for MP3’s continued popularity lies in its past. It was one of the first lossy codecs to hit the market, and, subsequently, the codec spread like wildfire. Even now, at the point of its obsolescence, the tech world can’t rid itself of MP3. It’s everywhere, and it’ll stay like that for a long time.

Setting Elmedia as Your Default M4A Music Player on Mac

  1. Find an M4A file in Finder. Right-click it, select "Open with", then "Other".
  2. You will see a list. Select Elmedia Player and make sure to check the box on "Always Open With".
  3. All M4A files will be opened with Elmedia Player from now on.
Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 59.66MB free space
Version 7.17(2353) (6 Dec, 2020) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication