As one of the world's most popular music streaming platforms, Apple Music offers a vast library of songs enhanced by Dolby Atmos for immersive listening. Even better, it supports music imports, making it versatile for offline management of your own music library. The same goes for iTunes. However, you might wonder what file formats Apple Music and iTunes support. In this post, your questions will be answered. And Apple Music format conversion tips will also be shown to optimize your music organization and listening experience. Now, scroll down to learn more!

CONTENTS

Overview of Apple Music Formats

Apple Music supports various audio formats, broadly categorized into compressed and uncompressed options. These include AAC, MP3, ALAC, AIFF, and WAV, each with unique characteristics and file extensions. Here's a detailed breakdown:

Note:

  • Songs purchased from iTunes before 2010 are in AAC format with the .m4p extension, featuring a lower bitrate of 128 kbps. And they also include Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions;
  • Now all iTunes songs are free from protected AAC format with the extension .m4a. Their bitrate is 256kpbs and can be played on different music players.
  • You can convert protected AAC to MP3 for flexible offline listening.

Tip:

All of the above formats can be imported into Apple Music or iTunes. If you run across format incompatibility, learn solutions from Apple Music Format Not Supported? How to Fix?

Many of you may ask which format is best for iTunes and Apple Music. In reality, there is no single "best" audio format. The choice will depend on your needs and preferences. However, if you're unsure of your priorities or want to enjoy different Apple Music formats, you can easily convert them within iTunes or the Apple Music app. Let's delve into more details in the next section.

How to Convert Song Formats in Apple Music/iTunes

iTunes and Apple Music not only manage and play music but can also convert different song formats. Normally, added music is converted to AAC format with simple settings. To meet various needs, options like AIFF, ALAC, MP3, and WAV are also available for output now. Follow the process below and try to convert song formats in iTunes and Apple Music for Windows and Mac.

Please Be Aware:

1. Songs protected by DRM cannot be converted to different formats. If you persist, turn to TuneFab Apple Music Converter for help.
2. ALAC to MP3 conversion will reduce file size and increase compatibility but at cost of quality. Conversely, MP3 already offers a lower bitrate. Further conversion won't enhance its quality.

Convert Music Format with Apple Music on Mac

Step 1. Open the Apple Music app, and go to "Music" > "Settings" in the menu bar;

Step 2. Find "Files" to select "Import Settings". Then click the menu next to "Import Using", where you can choose the format you want to convert;

Step 3. Confirm your settings. Now you can select the song in your library to convert;

Step 4. Head to "File" > "Convert" > "Create [format] Version". After the conversion is done, the new file will be listed near the original one.

Convert Music Format with Apple Music

Convert Song Format via iTunes on Windows

Step 1. Import the song you want to convert to iTunes and choose "Edit" > "Preferences";

Step 2. Locate "Import Settings" by clicking the "General" tab;

Step 3. Select and confirm the format you want to output in the menu next to "Import Using";

Step 4. Choose the song you plan to convert from your added list or library;

Step 5. Head to "File" > "Convert" > "Create [format] Version" similarly. Then you can check the new version next to the original one.

Convert Music Format with iTunes

Tip:

The Windows version of the Apple Music app came out of beta in February 2024. Therefore, you can also use Apple Music on Windows to convert song formats now, with steps similar to those on the Mac version.

How to Convert Apple Music Formats Using TuneFab

As noted, format conversion cannot improve audio quality and may even degrade it. Worse still, not all Apple Music tracks can be converted. In such cases, if you want to balance high-res quality and a comprehensive music library, the best option is to use an Apple Music downloader.

Similarly working on Windows and Mac, and compatible with formats like MP3, WAV, and FLAC, TuneFab Apple Music Converter is such an option you can count on. But unlike iTunes and Apple Music, it can strip DRM restrictions from Apple Music tracks. It also features a built-in web player, allowing your account data to sync and enabling you to convert all your like music with up to 256kpbs quality. Even better, this top-rated program is free from regional restrictions. You can customize its regional proxy to enjoy and convert Apple Music from around the world.

Top Features of TuneFab Apple Music Converter

  • The familiar Apple Music interface makes it easy to use;
  • Removes DRM from Apple Music sources and offers multiple output formats;
  • Supports batch conversion with download speeds up to 20X faster;
  • Retains all ID3 tag information for easy offline access;
  • Allows customization of bitrate and sample rate to your liking.

Now, let's take a look at how TuneFab Apple Music Converter works to convert Apple Music formats without quality compression.

Step 1. Log in to Apple Music Account

Install TuneFab Apple Music Converter first with the buttons below. Enter the software and click the "Sign in" button to log in to your account.

Log in to Apple Music Account

Step 2. Select Music to Convert

Tracks, albums, and playlists all can be converted in TuneFab. Just search and select some you want and drag them to the right conversion list. Then the software will automatically parse and add them to the download queue.

Select Music to Convert

Step 3. Set up Conversion Format

Now you can select the output format from MP3, WAV, MA4, and FLAC in the conversion interface. If you want to change the bitrate and sample rate, just click the dropdown menu next to one song to finish it.

Set up Conversion Format

Step 4. Convert Apple Music Format

When all settings are ready, click the "Convert All" button in the bottom right corner. Then all selected music will be converted in batches. Wait until the process completes, you can go to the "Finished" section to locate the destination folder on your computer by hitting "View Output Files".

Convert Apple Music Format

FAQs About Apple Music Formats

Should I convert MP3 to AAC?

Whether to convert AAC to MP3 depends on your priorities. If your device or playback platform supports AAC and you have higher audio quality requirements, you may want to keep the AAC format as usual. However, if you need broad compatibility or want to save storage space, AAC to MP3 conversion can be a good option. It's important to note that it would be better to choose high-quality tools like TuneFab Apple Music Converter to minimize audio quality loss when converting.

Which is better, AAC or Apple lossless?

AAC and Apple Lossless (ALAC) are both music formats developed by Apple. AAC utilizes lossy audio compression technology, resulting in smaller file sizes while achieving a quality of up to 256 kbps. On the other hand, Apple Lossless is a lossless audio encoding format (up to 24-bit/192 kHz), offering a CD-quality experience. But it comes with larger file sizes due to retaining all audio data.

Therefore, both formats have their advantages and suitable scenarios. The choice between them depends on your specific needs. If you want less storage space, AAC is recommended. If audio quality is your priority, then ALAC is preferable.

Conclusion

To wrap up, Apple Music formats can be divided into AAC, MP3, ALAC, AIFF, and WAV. Each has its features and can and can be converted between each other using iTunes or Apple Music. However, for DRM-protected songs, the two tools fall short. Here's where TuneFab Apple Music Converter comes in - it removes DRM and lets you convert directly from the Apple Music web player without audio quality compression. If you're not satisfied with iTunes or Apple Music's conversion features, just download and give TuneFab a try.

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