Windows 10: Convert m4a audio files

Converting m4a files in Windows 10

Recently I had to work with an audio file that was formatted as an m4a, which is normally fine in Windows 10, but the particular software I was using had other ideas. The simplest solution seemed to be converting it to a wav. After a quick web search, I found a great free tool - foobar2000. The website describes the software as advanced freeware audio player for the Windows platform.. It certainly saved me that day I struggled with the m4a, so let’s check it out.

Download the installer and encoders

  1. Go ahead and download the latest stable version of foobar2000: http://www.foobar2000.org/download

  2. Now, depending what format you want to convert your audio to, you may need some additional encoders. wav is usually supported without anything additional, but for mp3, or converting back to m4a (for example) from another format, you may require some extra tools. The easiest way is to get the free foobar2000 encoder pack. Download it from here: http://www.foobar2000.org/encoderpack

Install foobar2000

  1. Run the foobar2000 installation by launching the double clicking on the first file, for example foobar2000_v1.3.15.exe.

    Windows settings: Background

  2. Now we have an option of a full installation, or a portable installation. As the wizard describes, this does not write to the registry. I went with the portable installation.

    Windows settings: Background

  3. Follow the wizard prompts to complete the installation.

  4. Next, we’ll install some encoders. Double-click the second file downloaded, for example Free_Encoder_Pack_2017-05-15.exe.

  5. If you selected a portable installation in the previous steps, or if you altered the installation directory, then you’ll need to select the correct path here:

    Windows settings: Background

  6. Now we can choose which encoders to install. By default all are selected, but you can pick just a couple depending on your needs.

    Windows settings: Background

  7. Click Install

Convert that m4a to a wav

Finally, the easy part. We’ll convert that m4a to a wav.

  1. Open foobar2000

  2. From the menu select File > Open, or hit Ctrl + O on the keyboard, to open a file in foobar2000

  3. Browse to the m4a file and click Open

  4. Right-click on the file in foobar2000 and select Convert > Quick convert

    Windows settings: Background

  5. The wav format may be selected by default. Click Convert

    Windows settings: Background