How to Free Convert YouTube to M4A with High Quality

Peter William
time October 09, 2022 Preview 15.0K
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There are many YouTube to MP3 downloaders on the market. However, the downloaded MP3 is not ideal for some situations. For example, you are caring with the output video quality. Or, you need to play the YouTube music on iTunes, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, VLC, etc.

In this case, converting YouTube to M4A audio will be a better option as M4A will provide high quality audio files at a much smaller size. If you are wondering what's M4A and how to convert YouTube to M4A on Mac, Windows, and Android? Follow us to resolve your doubts now.


What’s M4A and Benefits to Convert YouTube Video to M4A?

M4A is the extension of the MPEG-4 audio standard file. It’s encoded with the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) and Apple Lossless (ALAC) formats. M4A is often found in Apple iTunes store as the default format for audio download. You might want to convert YouTube to M4A due to following reasons:

  1. Since Apple began using M4A in iTunes and iPods to distinguish the video and audio files from MPEG4. the M4A format has become widely applicable. So far, almost all programs that supporting MPEG4 audio also supports M4A.
  2. Although the M4A file is compressed, it still in high quality. In this case, you can enjoy the lossless audios offline after converting YouTube to M4A file.
  3. The MP3 you get from YouTube may failed to add to iTunes. Since Mac Big Sur many people find that the MP3 files get from online YouTube conversion tools always failed to add to Apple Music.
  4. M4A file is unprotected, you can feel free to convert and edit the file on your device.
  5. M4A is the default format for some audiobooks and podcasts. Convert YouTube to M4A can have a better ebook reading experience.

Convert YouTube to M4A on Mac and Windows with Apps

For Mac

Cisdem Video Converter is an excellent YouTube to M4A converter that comes with a suite of superior features. This software can easily help you convert videos and audio from one format to another, like MP4 to MP3, FLV to MP4, MOV to WMV, WMA to MP3, FLV to M4A, H264 to MP4, etc. There is no quality loss and extra enhancement for the converted file. Moreover, it works at a faster speed than other converters.

Cisdem Video Converter can be also worked as a superior downloader, which can directly download videos in M4A format from YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and 1000+ websites only by URL. It is pretty safe to use it to download online videos or music in a few clicks without installing any third-party tools.

Additional functions that make Cisdem Video Converter an ultimate video tool include batch processing, DVD ripping, video editing, and more.

Free Download

Steps to Directly Download YouTube to M4A on Mac:

Step 1. Run Cisdem Video Converter

Launch the software. The main interface appears immediately and the “Convert” tab is selected by default. You should click download interface tab at the top.

download interface

Step 2. Copy Video URL from YouTube

Visit the and find out the video that you intend to download from YouTube. Copy the URL and paste it into the download box of the Cisdem Video Converter.

paste the copied youtube videos

tips: If you want to download multiple YouTube videos at once, you can repeat the copy & paste steps or click "File > Input URLs..." at the top menu to add multiple YouTube videos to the download list.

Step 3. Choose M4A as the Output Format

Click the drop-down icon of the format box on each video thumbnail to select M4A as the downloaded audio format.

select m4a

Step 4. Download YouTube Videos

After selecting the output format, click on download icon button to start to downloading YouTube videos to M4A by default. When finished, click tick icon button to open the folder where the downloaded videos are stored.

download youtube mac

Tips: Convert YouTube Playlist to M4A

Cisdem Video Converter also supports downloading a whole YouTube Playlist in one go. To download and convert YouTube playlist to M4A. Just find the url of the YouTube playlist, copy and paste the url to Cisdem Video Converter. Then follow the same steps above.

Steps to Convert YouTube to M4A or Other Formats on Mac:

This way is a little different from the above way. But it can not only convert YouTube to M4A, but also convert YouTube to many other formats you like.

Step 1. Download the Videos Directly

Copy the URL of the video you want to download, switch to Cisdem download interface and paste the URL into the bottom box for parsing. After finishing, do nothing and just download video from YouTube directly.

download videos from youtube

Step 2. Add Downloaded YouTube Videos

Switch to the first tab, and drag the downloaded videos to the converting panel.

convert tab

Step 3. Choose Target Format

Click on the format icon to get a list of output file formats. Proceed to “General Audio” > “M4A Audio”. To select all output formats as M4A at once, just choose the format from “Convert all tasks to”. Or you can choose any other format you want in the list.

convert youtube to m4a mac cisdem

Step 4. Customize “Advanced Settings”

The software supports more conversion settings that include the ability to change the audio quality, bitrate, sample rate, audio channel, and codec. Click icon to open the “Advanced Settings” window and adjust the audio parameters.

advanced settings

Step 5. Convert YouTube Videos on Mac

Hit conversion icon button at the bottom to start video conversions on Mac. The time required for the entire process mainly depends on the size of all imported YouTube videos and the performance of your Mac.

Free Download

2) For Windows

HD Video Converter Factory Pro is a sophisticated YouTube to M4A converter for Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and lower. Not only be it able to download videos from YouTube and other 300+ sites in bulk, but also convert videos to 150+ hot formats and devices, M4A included. Besides, it delivers basic editing options, allowing you to merge multiple clips, split a screen, trim a video, etc.

Steps to Download YouTube Videos on Windows:

  1. Download, install, and run HD Video Converter Factory Pro on your PC.
  2. Go to the YouTube website and copy the URL of the video you like.
  3. Return to HD Video Converter Factory Pro and go to the “Downloader” section.
  4. Hit the “New Download” button to create a download task, then paste the YouTube video URL into the box and click “Analyze”.download youtube videos windows
  5. Click on the “Ok” > “Download All” button.

Steps to Convert YouTube to M4A on Windows:

  1. Go to the “Converter” section, and click the “Add Files” button to load the downloaded YouTube videos into the program.
  2. Click “Output Format” at the top right corner to open the drop-down menu.
  3. From the new pop-up window, choose the “M4A” profile under the “Audio” tab.
  4. Hit the “Run” button to change YouTube videos to M4A audio format.convert youtube to m4a windows

Use the Best Online YouTube to M4A Converters

If you don’t use video converters very often, then you can give a try on free online tools. It also assists us to convert YT to M4A with fast speed. Check out the best YouTube converters online below.


It's a free online YouTube to M4A converter, letting you download and convert YouTube videos to M4A, AAC, MP3, 3GP, MP4, MKV, F4V, and WebM. It doesn’t require an account or install extra software. Make sure to enter a valid URL, it allows you to fetch audio, video and muted video source.

However, sometimes, it may fail to analyze the entered URL for uncertain reason. In this case, you need to ask help for another useful tool for downloading.

1. Find a video you wish to download on YouTube and get its link from the address line.

2. Visit, and input your copied link into the specified field.

3. Click  or tap on “enter” on your keyboard to parse the URL.

convert youtube to m4a online

4. When done, it shows you 3 options to download: extract audio (m4a), extract video (mp4) and extract muted video (mp4).

5. Click “extract audio (m4a)” to download YouTube to M4A immediately.

2) ClipConverter.CC

It's a steady web-based YouTube to M4A converter that supports converting online videos or local files to 8 different formats, including M4A, MP3, AAC, MP4, MOV, 3GP, AVI, and MKV. It also ensures that you download videos in various SD, HD, and UHD resolutions, except for music videos.

However, this online tool sets some limits. It only allows 25 conversion minutes each day and 25 minutes of maximum conversion time per file. Plus, the maximum file to convert can’t exceed 1GB.

  1. Open in your browser.
  2. Copy a video URL from YouTube, and paste it into the “Video URL to Download” bar.
  3. Click the “Continue” button.
  4. Select the video quality from “Detected Media”.
  5. Choose M4A as the conversion format.
  6. Edit the “Conversion Options” and click “Start”.convert youtube to m4a online 02

Get M4A from YouTube through youtube-dl

M4A is the default YouTube audio format of youtube-dl. Even if you input the --audio-format mp3 command, the format won't be changed. But it can only be DASH M4A, which hasn't been widely recognized by audio players such as VLC. To make it more regular, you can demux DASH M4A to M4A (AAC DL) via FFmpeg or afconvert.

Not much to say, let's see how to download YouTube to Dash M4A with commands.

  1. Install youtube-dl to your computer, and initiate Command Prompt on Windows or Terminal on Mac.
  2. Enter a command: youtube-dl -x url or youtube-dl -f m4a youtube to m4a youtubedl
    Note: To obtain M4A in a higher quality, you can use the command: youtube-dl -f bestaudio url or youtube-dl -f bestaudio --audio-quality 0 url. You can set the value of --audio quality from 0 (best) to 9 (worst) for VBR. By default, it’s 5.get m4a from youtube with the best quality youtubedl
  3. Finally, press the “Enter on keyboard.

But youtube-dl can download YouTube playlist to M4A. When you try the command: youtube-dl -x playlist, it will merely download the first video in playlist to WebM. When use youtube-dl -f bestaudio playlist, it will download all playlist videos to WebM.

save youtube playlist youtubedl

Convert YouTube to M4A on Android

Video MP3 Converter is a simple and free tool that can convert the downloaded YouTube videos to some popular video and audio formats such as MP4, 3GP, FLV, MP3, AAC, and so on. It helps users attain high-quality sound easily and allows users to reset the converted file name and location for a better storage.

Besides, it offers a built-in video editor for users to do some editing tasks without quality loss such as trimming, cropping, merging the files. However, one of its shortcomings is that it contains ads in the app, which may affect your viewing experience.

Steps to convert YouTube to M4A on Android:

  1. Download and install Video converter to MP3 from play market.
  2. Open it, enter the copied URL from YouTube for parsing.
  3. Choose audio icon in the convert type and choose AAC as the output format. Plus, you can choose the bit as your need, like 245, 192 and 128 kb/s (VBR).
  4. Besides, you can click the information button to edit the details of the file like title, and click save as button to choose a suitable storage destination.
  5. Once done, click the red “convert” at the bottom and you will get a M4A file.
    convert youtube to m4a on Android

Frequently Asked Questions

Is M4A better than MP3?

Both M4A and MP3 are lossy formats. Compared with lossless format like FLAC, M4A and MP3 use compression to lower file size while sacrificing the audio quality. M4A was designed as the successor of MP3, which adopted more advanced lossless codecs than MP3. Hence, under the same file, the M4A format file is usually smaller and of better quality.

Can I Convert MP3 to M4A with iTunes (or the new Music app)

Most of the online YouTube rippers and downloaders download music in MP3 format. How can we convert those MP3 files to M4A? if you want to convert MP3 to M4A format, the easiest and quickest way to do so is to use video converter software. You will also find plenty of online platforms that will allow you to convert the format in no time. And for Mac users, iTunes can also convert MP3 to MP4, Here is How:

1. Open iTunes or the Music App >> Go Preferences and navifate to files >> import settings.

2. Change it to M4A Encoder and click OK. 

3. Add MP3 files and in the menu click file >> convert >> create M4A.

4. You can then find the M4A file in your Music library and don't worry that you old MP3 file will still be there.

Can I Merge M4A files togerther as One large file?

You can use Cisdem Video Converter to merge M4A files into one. Add M4A files to the app, arrange the order of the files, and click the merge button in the lower right corner of the interface to complete the merge.


Admittedly, online YouTube to M4A converters brought great convenience to us. But I still won’t highly recommend them to all of you due to the limitation of Internet connection, converting quality and other issues. From my aspect, picking a piece of fabulous third-party software is a way of doing it once and for all.

Peter William
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Peter has always had great enthusiasm for writing, programming and web development. He likes writing about software and technology, his works are featured on some tech blogs or forums like Tom's Hardware, CNET, etc.

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