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What is the .M4A File Extension?

.M4A File Extension Description:

The audio file extension .m4a is associated with the MPEG-4 audio compression similar to the MP4 video file, except that it does not contain any video tracks. The .m4a file extensions are the same formats as the audio layers contained in MPEG-4 movies, and are being positioned as the new audio compression standard of the computing world. Other common references for the file extension .m4a are Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), or Apple Lossless, because it is a codec that is designed to output lossless encoding within a smaller storage area.

The MPEG-4 is classified as a multimedia container that is used in storing digital audio and video streams (as defined by MPEG), and can also act as storage for still images and text used in subtitles. The MPEG-4 format supported by the .m4a file extension can be streamed on the Internet, and is more commonly known as MP4 standard. Since the MPEG-4 container format was based on the Apple QuickTime, it is reasonable to use it as the building block for the file extension .m4a audio layer.

Although commonly confused, the MP4 and the file extension .m4a have no real distinction, since any player capable of playing MP4 format files can easily decode .m4a file extensions. Probably the only difference that exists between the two is that the file extension .m4a is more identified with the audio layer, while the MP4 can be associated with various media.

Being a relatively new audio format, the file extension .m4a can hold its own against the better known MP3 standard with better quality and more compressed file size. Another vital advantage of the .m4a file extension against the MP3 is that it is associated with free music, and can be freely distributed or streamed over the Internet without the need to pay for licenses. The .m4a file extension is also associated with the M4P for protected MP4 audio (equivalent of DRM protected MP3), and M4B used with MP4 audiobook. The M4P and the M4A are commonly used formats for music available on the iTunes Store.

Author: Apple Inc.
Author URL:
Related Applications: Apple iTunes, QuickTime, Media Player
Common Path: C:/ Program Files/


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The Cause for .M4A files Errors:

A common and likely cause for .M4A files errors is damage in the Windows registry - fixing is necessary to protect against more harm in other software and/or devices. Having these errors puts your PC at risk for fatal crashes, blue screen errors as well as hardware failure.

.M4A files Errors - Common Symptoms:

.M4A files errors bring forth numerous symptoms, including: computer freezes while shutting down or starting up, applications lock up, diminished computer speed, case speaker beeping, trouble accessing documents, slow system behaviour and application installation failure.

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