M4A to MP3 conversion

For Christmas, my son got an MP3 player that does not appear to support mpeg4 audio files. Unfortunately, all his music is stored on his PC in iTunes format - which is mpeg4 (.m4a). I know there is software out there to convert the files, but is there any freeware that will do the job? This is a one time deal and I would prefer not to lay out $30 bucks to convert his music.

iTunes will do the job too, unless the music has Apple’s DRM in it. Go to your “Preferences” menu, then “Advanced”, then choose the “Importing” tag and change “Import type” to “MP3 encoder”. Then go back to the iTunes library, right-click the track/s you want to convert, and choose “Convert selection to MP3”. It takes a while to do, mind.

Thanks, jjimm, I’ll give that a shot tonight,

If I may piggyback:

Is there one piece of software that will do all of the format conversions: MP3, MP4, WMA, CDA, etc.?

I don’t mind paying for the software. But, I’m like the lines from the movies about paying off cops or mafia, I just want to pay one guy. I don’t want pay for software that will do two of the four possible conversions and then have to buy more to do two more, etc.

I just installed iTunes on my wife’s laptop to use with the iPod that I bought her for Christmas. I’ve not played with it yet; so I don’t know if it answers my question.

Yep, combo converters are a dime-a-dozen. Not really, they’re more like $30 bucks apiece if you want MPEG4 or M4A capability. Go to Tucows.com and search for “MP3 converter”. Lots of shareware out here that will do what you want to do. I just want to do it for free!

Thanks, jjimm! I gave your instructions to my son last night and he was able to convert all of his music to MP3 format. It didn’t even take all that long - certainly faster than ripping CD’s.

Excellent. Glad it worked. He might now have lots of duplicates, but iTunes has a “show duplicates” option in the “View” menu. If he does this, then turns on “File type” in “View options…” (also in the “View” menu), he should be able to isolate the old format for deletion. Alternatively, he might want to use Windows to find the old format files and back them up for archival instead.