Share article What's M4A AND M4P Files?: Many people may don't know the difference between the M4A and the M4P format, since some devices support the M4A ...
Many people may don't know the difference between the M4A and the M4P format, since some devices support the M4A fomrat, while some others support M4P, and let's have learn more the details from www.m4a.com about the M4A and M4P Files.
There are so many different audio file formats out there these days that understanding the differences between them can get confusing. Some of the latest audio file extensions have been brought out by Apple Inc. and have seen growing popularity. We look at the differences between m4a and m4p files in today’s guide.
Differences between m4a and m4p
Although m4a and m4p are different they do have many similarities. Both file formats are audio versions of the M-PEG 4 (mp4) codec. Standard mp4 files are able to contain both video and audio, which is unnecessary if you simply want audio; the mp4 format can also confuse many media players that can not differentiate between video and audio, just video and just audio files.
The m4a and m4p file types have both been adopted by Apple and are used in their iTunes Music Store. All music downloads from the store are in the m4a or m4p format, which is largely what has led to both m4a and m4p being so widely recognized.
So what is the difference between m4a and m4p? Essentially the quality of both file types are exactly the same, however m4p is Apple’s version of the m4a format that includes DRM (digital rights management) protection – known as FairPlay. Any music you download from the Apple iTunes Music Store will be in m4p format as it has been protected to prevent illegal downloads and sharing.
Both m4a and m4p are very versatile formats that can be embedded with information from AAC, mp2 and mp3 formats.
Playback of m4a and m4p
We’ve established that the only difference between the m4a and m4p formats are that m4p files are protected, so the question is, are they both as compatible as each other?
M4a files will only play on media players that are compatible with the m4a format, and m4p files will only play on players that can support DRM protected versions of songs. The most popular choice of music player that supports both m4a and m4p files is iTunes, which is available as a free download (http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/).
You can also download other players that are compatible with both m4a and m4p files – however it is most common to find players that are compatible with just m4a files. Some of the m4a and m4p compatible players available for download can be found here http://www.brothersoft.com/downloads/m4p-player.html.
One of the most commonly used media players in the world is Windows Media Player. There has been a lot of annoyance by users in recent years as most versions of Windows Media Player are not compatible with m4a and m4p files – which are becoming increasingly common for music downloads. However, the most recent version of Windows Media Player (version 12) is compatible with both those file types – and more. The new player is not available for download though, only as part of the Windows 7 package with a new computer.
If your media player is not compatible with m4p files, there are ways to get around this. Many people who download music from the iTunes music store are frustrated by the fact that they cannot play their music on all players.
Within iTunes itself you can remove the DRM protection from your m4p files. To do this, simply create a playlist and the m4p files you want to convert into m4a files. Then just burn those tracks to a CD. After doing this, put the CD back into the drive and after it appears on iTunes, click on import CD settings where you have the option of choosing AAC as an output format. Rip the CD and iTunes will automatically convert the m4p files into m4a files.
However, if you have a lot of music to convert this can cost you a lot of time and money in CD’s. There are m4p to m4a converters available online for download that will be much quicker (try http://www.noteburner.com/noteburner-audio-converter.html).
Summary of m4a and m4p
Both m4a and m4p are very commonly used file formats that look set to succeed the mp3 format. There is only one difference between the two – that m4p has file protection attached to it and is used by Apple in their iTunes store. This protection however, can be removed as we demonstrated above.