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Thread: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

  1. #1

    converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    I have an m4a file (it originally had the extension m3u, but i saved it in a way to where the extention is now m4a), and tried to use my dbpowerAMP Music Converter to convert it to mp3. When I got to the point where it asked me to enter the file, when I did, a box saying "Support for the audio type '.m4a' might be obtained at 'Codec Central', vist codec central now?" with Yes/No box choices. I clicked "yes," went to codec central and downloaded all the ones that seemed to support m4a files. But when I try to use the dbpowerAMP Music Converter again to convert the file, I still get the same message that I got above. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm very new to this stuff (and just computer stupid), so please be gentle with me!

  2. #2
    dBpowerAMP Moderator ChristinaS's Avatar
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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by elphillips
    I have an m4a file (it originally had the extension m3u, but i saved it in a way to where the extention is now m4a), and tried to use my dbpowerAMP Music Converter to convert it to mp3. When I got to the point where it asked me to enter the file, when I did, a box saying "Support for the audio type '.m4a' might be obtained at 'Codec Central', vist codec central now?" with Yes/No box choices. I clicked "yes," went to codec central and downloaded all the ones that seemed to support m4a files. But when I try to use the dbpowerAMP Music Converter again to convert the file, I still get the same message that I got above. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm very new to this stuff (and just computer stupid), so please be gentle with me!
    A file that has the extension .m3u is simply a text file which contains the actual name(s) of the mp3 file(s) to be streamed. It is really just a playlist for mp3's.

    Saving it with a different extension does not change its contents. You should rename it back to the m3u extension and then open it in Notepad and see the name of the actual file(s) contained within. The file(s) you see there need to be downloaded and perhaps converted.

    As a matter of curiosity, why did you even opt to rename such a file to m4a? Most people would have opted for mp3 which is no better anyway.

    Please refer to the FAQ section of the forum on meta-files http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?t=4992 .

  3. #3
    Avid Avocationalist xoas's Avatar
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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    M3u files, as Christina's post above and her infomative FAQ on meta-files further explains, are playlist files. Essentially the contain information about the name of the playlist, what tracks are in the playlist, what order they are to be played in and where these files are located. The m3u file does not actually contain the audio information for the tracks it contains. So if I copied an m3u playlist file from my computer at home and took it to my computer at work it would be pretty much useless unless I had the same tracks available on my computer at work and they were in exactly the same spot as they are in my computer at home.

    Further, although m3u was originally developed as a playlist file for mp3 files, an m3u file may contain files of tracks in other formats than mp3. So if you do have all the music available to convert the tracks in your m3u file (and they are right where the m3u file thinks they are) you may need to know what file format those tracks are encoded in (to find out if they are mp3, ogg, musepack, aac, m4a, mp4, whatever) so that you can make sure that you have the right codecs for reading (decoding) the tracks in the m3u file, and writing (or encoding) these files to the format you desire them to be in. If you are unsure about what format these files are in, you can open your playlist file in Notepad. You will see each track listed in order with their file extensions. The file extensions are located at the end of the information on each track. So in this example (of an m3u playlist file opened in notepad):
    *EXTM3U
    *EXTINF:467,Muddy Waters - Floyd's Guitar Blues
    \Documents and Settings\Owner\My Documents\My Music\Muddy Waters\muddy waters - floyd's guitar blues.mp3
    *EXTINF:169,Dead Can Dance - The Wind that Shakes the Barley
    Dead Can Dance\Dead Can Dance - The Wind that Shakes the Barley.ogg
    *EXTINF:135,Green Day - Geek Stink Breath
    Green Day\Green Day - Geek Stink Breath.mpc
    *EXTINF:194,Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos - Carmela Dame La Llave
    Marc Ribot\Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos - Carmela Dame La Llave.aac
    the four tracks in the playlist are in mp3, ogg, mpc (musepack), and aac formats. Most likely all of the tracks in your playlist will have the same file extension,

    The first step in trying to convert your playlist file (assuming again you have all the tracks and they are where the playlist file thinks they are at) is to change the extension of that file back to m3u from m4a (as Christina pointed out).

    If you can convert the playlist file, you will NOT end up with a new playlist. If I were to convert the playlist above to Flac, I would instead end up 4 separate Flac files.

    If the tracks in your playlist are copy-protected (say they are encrypted wma files, m4p files, oma (Atrac) files, or copy-protected Real Audio files, you will find that you cannot convert these files in the regular way. This may well turn out to be the case if your tracks are m4a files from iTunes. If this is a problem, please let us know what type of file you are dealing with. We do have FAQ's on m4p and iTunes files as well as threads on many other protected file types. You can use this Forums Search function to help locate these threads. Say your files are in m4a format enter .m4a as your search criteria. You must have the dot because the search function will not search 1,2 or 3 character terms (the dot will count as the 4th character).

    Good luck and best wishes,
    Bill Mikkelsen

  4. #4

    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristinaS
    A file that has the extension .m3u is simply a text file which contains the actual name(s) of the mp3 file(s) to be streamed. It is really just a playlist for mp3's.

    Saving it with a different extension does not change its contents. You should rename it back to the m3u extension and then open it in Notepad and see the name of the actual file(s) contained within. The file(s) you see there need to be downloaded and perhaps converted.

    As a matter of curiosity, why did you even opt to rename such a file to m4a? Most people would have opted for mp3 which is no better anyway.

    Please refer to the FAQ section of the forum on meta-files http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?t=4992 .
    Actually, when I open the file, it says that it's an .m4a, I guess when I got it it said m3u, even though it was an .m4a. Whenever I try to open it, it says it's an .m4a, and the dbPowerAmp Converte keeps saying I need the codecs that will support .m4a. I keep trying to downloading them, but then when I try to use the converter again, it just redirects me to the site to doenload the codecs. I wonder if I'm not downloading them right. And I guess the Convertor and my computer wouldn't be recognizing the file as an .m4a if it was something else, would it? I'm sorry that I'm so slow with this computer stuff, but I really am that bad at it. Thanks for any help

  5. #5
    dBpowerAMP Moderator ChristinaS's Avatar
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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by elphillips
    Actually, when I open the file, it says that it's an .m4a, I guess when I got it it said m3u, even though it was an .m4a. Whenever I try to open it, it says it's an .m4a, and the dbPowerAmp Converte keeps saying I need the codecs that will support .m4a. I keep trying to downloading them, but then when I try to use the converter again, it just redirects me to the site to doenload the codecs. I wonder if I'm not downloading them right. And I guess the Convertor and my computer wouldn't be recognizing the file as an .m4a if it was something else, would it? I'm sorry that I'm so slow with this computer stuff, but I really am that bad at it. Thanks for any help
    What tells you it's an .m4a? What do you use to open it? How big is this file?
    If it's small, say 1k or so, did you use Notepad to open it instead and see if it's readable?

  6. #6

    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristinaS
    What tells you it's an .m4a? What do you use to open it? How big is this file?
    If it's small, say 1k or so, did you use Notepad to open it instead and see if it's readable?
    When I even just click on the attachment to the email it was sent in, it lists it as an .m4a, its 3.8KB.

  7. #7
    dBpowerAMP Moderator ChristinaS's Avatar
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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by elphillips
    When I even just click on the attachment to the email it was sent in, it lists it as an .m4a, its 3.8KB.
    Ok, so .m4a it is then.

    No time right now to go back and see the thread, but go and download and install the codecs from Codec Central or just get this http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codecs/dBp...aac-decode.exe and install it to the same folder as all of dMC.

    Then run dMC again for that file and it should work. Actually try a test conversion first to make sure it can read it and understand it.

  8. #8
    Avid Avocationalist xoas's Avatar
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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    When I even just click on the attachment to the email it was sent in, it lists it as an .m4a, its 3.8KB.
    Assuming this is a 3.8 kb file (rather than a 3.8 mb file), how long is it supposed to play for? Can you play it at all?
    Can you tell us what the bitsetting, frequency, number of channels, and /or bitrate for this file?
    Can you try to open this file in notepad and tell us whether you see something akin to the example I provided above or something more resembling alien gibberish? (You shouldn't need to try this last if your file is 3.8 mb rather than 3.8 kb).

    Best wishes,
    Bill Mikkelsen

  9. #9

    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristinaS
    Ok, so .m4a it is then.

    No time right now to go back and see the thread, but go and download and install the codecs from Codec Central or just get this http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codecs/dBp...aac-decode.exe and install it to the same folder as all of dMC.

    Then run dMC again for that file and it should work. Actually try a test conversion first to make sure it can read it and understand it.
    I did what you said above and had to re-register. Then it worked great! Thank you!

  10. #10
    dBpowerAMP Moderator ChristinaS's Avatar
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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by elphillips
    I did what you said above and had to re-register. Then it worked great! Thank you!
    Great! Glad it worked.

  11. #11

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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Hey, I'm new to this, so there might be an obvious answer, so please don't laugh at me if there is!

    Anyway, I'm trying to use dbpowerAMP to convert .m4a files to .mp3 so that they'll play on my mp3 player. However, when I run the program, and it asks me what files to convert, it only lists my .mp3 files, and not my .m4a files!

    Please help me, thanks!

  12. #12

    Exclamation Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    ok i have had songs on my computer that i download and/or burn from a disc. last night i downloaded a song then suddenly majority of my songs turned to m4a from mp3 and now the songs will not play on my computer or iPod (i have a dell) can someone help me convert them back so i can play them again!!!!!
    my email is TheGame33866@aol.com (you have a better way of getting me there)

  13. #13
    dBpowerAMP Moderator ChristinaS's Avatar
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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Hults
    Hey, I'm new to this, so there might be an obvious answer, so please don't laugh at me if there is!

    Anyway, I'm trying to use dbpowerAMP to convert .m4a files to .mp3 so that they'll play on my mp3 player. However, when I run the program, and it asks me what files to convert, it only lists my .mp3 files, and not my .m4a files!

    Please help me, thanks!
    You have to install the decoding codec for .m4a - get that from Codec Central.
    Last edited by ChristinaS; 04-07-2006 at 03:06 PM.

  14. #14
    dBpowerAMP Moderator ChristinaS's Avatar
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    Re: converting m4a to mp3 trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Devon Stickane
    ok i have had songs on my computer that i download and/or burn from a disc. last night i downloaded a song then suddenly majority of my songs turned to m4a from mp3 and now the songs will not play on my computer or iPod (i have a dell) can someone help me convert them back so i can play them again!!!!!
    my email is TheGame33866@aol.com (you have a better way of getting me there)
    That makes no sense, sorry.

    Things don't just convert by themselves.

    Unless you picked up some virus from whatever you downloaded, which is always a big danger of course. You'd better runs a comprehensive virus scan.

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