3 Ways to Convert YouTube to M4A on Mac and Windows

Peter William
time August 05, 2021 Preview 11.0K
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Undoubtedly, YouTube is the most popular online site for viewing videos. You can find all kinds of videos there, including music, anime, TV show, education videos and so on.

Most of us would like to download and share videos from YouTube. However, the downloaded YouTube files are not compatible with all playback devices. To play YouTube audio on iTunes, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, VLC, etc., you can convert YouTube to M4A audio.

What's M4A and how to convert YouTube to M4A on Mac and Windows? Now, we will resolve your doubts.


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. 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. M4A file is unprotected, you can feel free to convert and edit the file on your device.

Convert YouTube to M4A on Mac and Windows with Apps

1) 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.

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

Free Download

Steps to Download YouTube Videos 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 youtube.com 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.

Step 3. Download YouTube videos

Click on download icon button to start the appropriate file download. You can repeat the copy & paste steps or click "File > Imput URLs..." at the top menu to add multiple YouTube videos to the download list.

download youtube mac

After the download is finished, click tick icon button to open the folder where the downloaded videos are stored.

Steps to Convert YouTube to M4A on Mac:

Step 1. Add downloaded YouTube videos

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

convert tab

Step 2. Choose M4A as 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”.

convert youtube to m4a mac cisdem

Step 3. 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 4. Convert YouTube to M4A 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.

1) BestVideoConverter.net

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, or the tool will fail to fetch your video.

But the site is slow and prone to crashes. You may still not be able to get YouTube M4A audio correctly after many operations. And even though it offers a “Volume setting” option, it doesn't really work.

  1. Find a video you wish to download on YouTube and get its link from the address line.
  2. Visit bestvideoconverter.net, and insert your copied link into the specified field.
  3. Select the output audio format as .m4a.
  4. Click “CONVERT IT”.
  5. When the analysis process is over, click “Download converted file”.convert youtube to m4a online 01

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 https://www.clipconverter.cc/2/ 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 url.download 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


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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