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How to Convert Apple Music Tracks to Unprotected AAC (.m4a)

Updated on: April 28, 2024
Category: Apple Music Tips

Is there any way to convert Apple Music files to unprotected AAC?

Nowadays, streaming audio is receiving more and more popularity. Last year, Apple unveiled Apple Music to follow this mainstream and earn a place in music streaming service market. Today, in less than one year, Apple Music is considered to be one of the most popular online music streaming services available in the market. And just like other streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music also adds technical protection on the streaming music, which brings much inconvenience. Here this article will teach you how to record Apple Music streaming songs and convert them to AAC format.

record apple music

What is AAC and What are the Differences Between M4P and M4A?

Many people have trouble in telling the difference from AAC, M4P and M4A. From what Wikipedia said, AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) is an audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression, which is designed to be the successor of the MP3 format. However, unlike MP3, which has a unified .mp3 extension, AAC encoded audio files can have a variety of extensions that include .aac, .m4p and .m4a. So, M4P and M4A are just file extensions for an audio file encoded with advanced audio codec (AAC). All in all, AAC is an audio encoding scheme, while M4A and M4P are only file extensions.

In 2003, Apple announced that its iTunes and iPod products support songs in AAC format and the music downloaded by customers from iTunes are in restricted form of AAC. But since 2009, nearly all music on the iTunes Store became free to play. However, things changed with the release of Apple Music, protection returned back. The "free" music you download from iTunes are in m4a format, while the music with protection are in m4p format. So, is there any way to convert protected M4P music to M4A format?

Related: How to Record Apple Music M4P Streams as MP3

Apple Music Converter - Convert Apple Music Streams to AAC/MP3

NoteBurner Apple Music Converter can perfectly help you convert Apple Music M4P songs to plain AAC or MP3. With a leading-industry record technology, it can record Apple Music songs in the background at super fast speed with zero loss quality. You can record a 4-minute song within 30 seconds. Both Windows version and Mac version are available to download.

Apart from recording Apple Music songs, NoteBurner Apple Music Recorder is also able to record iTunes audiobooks, Audible audiobooks and other iTunes purchased M4P music. You can download this powerful Apple Music Recorder to have a try.

streaming music recorder

Guide: How to Convert Apple Music Streams to AAC (.m4a)

Step 1: Add Music to Apple Music Converter

After downloading, installing and opening the Apple Music converter, double click the program icon to launch the program and choose to download songs from the "iTunes App". Click "Add" button, then you will see a pop-up window which will show you all the iTunes folders. You can add Apple Music files as you want.

Add files

Step 2: Set Output Format and Output Path

Click the "Setting" button on the main interface, and then there will be a pop-up window which allows you to set output path and output audio format. If you do not change output path, the output audio will save in the default folder.


Step 3: Start Convert the Apple Music M4P Streams to AAC

Click the "Convert" button to start conversion. After conversion, click the "Output" button in the main interface or right click the filelist and click "Show in Finder" to find the output m4a audio.


With three simple steps, you can record Apple Music files and convert Apple Music streams to unprotected AAC format. After converting, your music files are free from any restriction.

YouTube Video: How to Use NoteBurner Apple Music Converter

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