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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: http://www.apple.com/
Related Applications: Apple iTunes, QuickTime, Media Player
Common Path: C:/ Program Files/

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Do you have errors with .M4A files?

What Causes .M4A files Errors?

When you encounter errors with .M4A files you are likely having a critical Windows file error - the error could be the result of damage to your registry and you should move to fix it right away to avert further corruption to your program registry. Risks include device failure, blue screen errors and fatal software crashes.

.M4A files Errors - Common Symptoms:

Typical symptoms with .M4A files errors include slower system performance, extended program start up speed, problems accessing files, excessive pauses in application routines, applications closes without showing an indication of error, screen freezes and software lock up.

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