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Mass convert m4a files to mp3 on OSX

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Let me start by saying that I recently switched from an iPhone to Android. When I wanted to put my music on my new phone I discovered that my new phones’ music player didn’t recognise the m4a  in which many of my audio files were encoded. So I needed to find a way to convert my m4a  files to mp3  without too much hassle. Being the developer that I am, I wanted to do this automatically without too much hassle.
I quickly found out how to do this and in this article I’ll share this information with you.

Step 1: Install ffmpeg

On OSX, you can use a simple tool called ffmpeg. Make sure you have homebrew installed on your Mac, and enter the following command in your terminal:

Step 2: Convert it all!

And now for the magic. Enter your terminal, navigate to the folder from which you recursively want to convert all your m4a  files, and execute the following command (please note that this can take a while, depending on how many songs you have):

And if you want to delete the original m4a  file in the process, add a simple rm command:


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One thought on “Mass convert m4a files to mp3 on OSX”

  1. chrisX says:

    Thanks for this. Anyone coming across this: I had to add quotes ‘ ‘ around *.m4a to get it to work in macos.

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