Want to convert iTunes M4V videos to MP4 for playing on non-Apple devices? Have some DRM-protected M4V files that you want to remove DRM? In this article, you will learn how to convert M4V to MP4 on Mac with 3 different solutions! Let's dive right in...
M4V file format is a video container that Apple developed to encode videos, movies, and other content in its iTunes store. It is very close to the MP4 file format, but is occasionally protected by FairPlay DRM copy protection and thus accessible to only Apple devices.
How do I know if a file is DRM protected on Mac? Right click the M4V file, choose “Get Info”, and look at the “More Info” area. DRM content will indicate "Codecs: AAC (protected)" or something similar.
MP4 stands for MPEG-4 and is one of the most widely used container formats that allow a combination of audio, video, subtitles, and images to be held in one single file. and it can be played on the most popular devices.
M4V videos encrypted by FairPlay DRM can only be played on authorized Apple products. That means you can't do anything with these files outside the Apple ecosystem. Even DRM-free M4V may have poor compatibility with some non-Apple devices and software.
MP4, on the other hand, is absolutely the most widely used video format. Almost all TVs, computers, portable players, and devices can recognize MP4. It is also the default format for streaming and broadcast as it loads faster.
As .m4v and .mp4 files use the same video (H.264) and audio (AAC) codecs, they are all technically mp4 files anyways. When you manually rename DRM-free M4V video from “XXX.m4v" to “XXX.mp4”, it can be played on many MP4 devices and software.
However, the video format is too complicated to just rename the file. Even if you rename the .m4v to .mp4, its file structure is still unchanged. To get an actual MP4 file, you need a video transcoder to convert M4V to MP4 on Mac.
Cisdem Video Converter is always worth mentioning. It’s able to make video and audio conversions between over 600 formats, including M4V to MP4, MP4 to M4V, MP4 to iTunes, or M4V to iPhone.
There is no limit on input file size and file number. You can load 100MB, 500MB, or 1GB M4V files and batch convert them to MP4 simultaneously. It performs at an incredible rate without half crashing or freezing. You can also edit the video by cropping, watermarking, and trimming, as you like before conversion.
To convert video from M4V to MP4, first, download and install Cisdem Video Converter on Mac.
Import M4V videos to the software by clicking the "File" > “Add File(s)” button or by dragging and dropping them.
Besides, feel free to modify files before M4V to MP4 conversion, if necessary. Press the pen icon in the top right corner of the file name to crop, trim, deinterlace, watermark, or add subtitles to the video.
Click the “Output Format” option, and then select “MP4 Video” (higher compatibility), or “MP4 HEVC Video” (Higher compression rate and quality).
If needed, you can click the settings icon next to the selected MP4 format to bring up the customization window. And then adjust video and audio settings for optimal viewing.
Whereas for newbies, it's best to keep the default values.
Press “Convert” to start the batch conversion task. When done, click the “checkmark” icon to open the folder containing the converted files.
Convertfiles.com is a convenient way to convert M4V to MP4 online for free without having to install any software. Besides video files, it’s also an all-in-one online converter to handle audio, presentation, e-book, drawing, image, archive, and document files. Although Convertfiles.com makes things simple, it is slow when converting a 4k M4V video and it can only process one video at a time. Additionally, the security of an online converter can't be guaranteed.
Using the above method, many people can easily change DRM-free M4v to MP4. However, when it comes to iTunes DRM-protected M4V files, things get a lot more difficult even though we have already purchased them. If the video is DRM-protected it should stay as m4v, and you can’t change its extension to play it. In this case, we’ll need to strip the video of its DRM.
ViWizard is the app that can losslessly remove DRM encryption from rented and purchased iTunes movies, and convert it from M4V to MP4, MOV, MKV, and other formats at very fast speed and high quality. And is available for macOS 10.8 - macOS 10.12.
Note: Movies and TV shows in iTunes get enhanced protection since 2020. ViWizard M4V Converter can't crack this DRM encryption, so it's incompatible with iTunes 12.10.1 or later.
Regardless of protected or unprotected M4V video, iTunes can't export it to MP4 or other video formats on Mac. The same goes for the Windows version of iTunes. Only a few output audio formats are supported, including AAC, MP3, and WAV.
Requiem is the no.1 talked free app that can remove DRM from songs, and videos on iTunes. However, Requiem hasn’t been updated since 2012 Version 4.1, and can only support iTunes 10.7 or earlier, also, it can not work with Mac OS X 10.8 or above. which is a very old-fashioned way, and most of the tutorials on the web are all using the Windows version of Requiem to convert DRM-protected files to MP4, which is very complicated so we advised you don’t use Requiem to convert M4V to MP4 on Mac.
Why does Handbrake default to M4V instead of MP4? Apple's software prefers to use .m4v when it detects chapters, soft subtitles, AC3 audio, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to force HandBrake to use the extension .mp4: head to Handbrake’s preferences and choose MP4 as the default format.
VLC is a very popular Mac video player that also has the ability to convert videos, Though VLC works perfectly to convert M4V files to other formats. But when it comes to copy-protected iTunes movies, that's a totally different story, as it is unable to remove DRM (eg: convert m4v to mp4). If you add an iTunes M4V video to VLC, it will not recognize it, let alone convert it.
If, again, the files don’t have DRM, QuickTime Pro can convert M4V files to MP4. But unfortunately, QuickTime Pro stopped being maintained and updated in 2016. The current QuickTime X or QuickTime 10 can convert M4V to 4k/1080p/20p/480p MOV and M4A audio.
The above three methods are tested by us and can help you convert M4V to MP4 on Mac. Each of them has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, Regardless of which method you ended up following, I hope one of the methods above will help you turn M4V movies into MP4 If you have other methods that work please leave them in the comment below.
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.