[Review] M4A vs M4B: What's the Difference

Both M4A and M4B use the same MP4 codec. They’re both encoded by the Advanced Audio Coding or AAC. When it comes to citing a difference between M4A vs M4B, the former is usually for audio files. The latter is usually for audiobooks.

While it’s good to know the file formats of your audio files in iTunes, should you really care about it? Maybe you should because there’s something that you need to know about M4B. Continue reading to learn more about these two file formats.

Contents Guide Part 1. M4A Vs M4B: The Similarities and DifferencesPart 2. Which is the Better File Format?Part 3. Use the AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter to Remove DRM from Audiobooks Part 4: Use a Free M4B to MP3 Converter on FreeConvert.comPart 5: Conclusion

Part 1. M4A Vs M4B: The Similarities and Differences

As an Apple user, you’re used to seeing the two file formats, M4A and M4B. At a glance, you might think that they’re alike but if you look closely, they’re not. There are similarities and differences between the two.

The Similarities

The similarities between the two formats are that they’re both audio files contained in the MP4 or MPEG. They’ve been both compressed using the Advanced Audio Coding or the AAC. That means they have undergone lossy compression. It’s for that reason that they are of better audio quality.

The Differences

The fact is, there are more differences than similarities when it comes to M4A vs M4B. While both file formats are used for audio files, one of the major differences between the two files is that M4A is DRM-free.

The M4B file format is used for audiobooks purchased from the iTunes Store. The good thing about these audiobooks in the M4B format is that the chapters and pages are retained. That means it’s easy for you to continue from where you had left off. Audiobooks in the M4A file format do not provide this convenience.

While some M4B files are DRM-free, audiobooks in the said file are protected by Apple’s FairPlay. FairPlay is Apple’s own technology to protect their audiobooks. Hence, is the reason why the audiobooks you purchased from the iTunes Store cannot be transferred or played on just any media player. Apple’s FairPlay limits the use of your audiobooks.

When it comes to their encoding methods, M4A can also be compressed in the ALAC format. It’s not like M4B that only uses the lossy compression, AAC. Given all those differences between M4A and M4B, it’s easy to surmise that compatibility of the latter is limited as compared to the former.
M4A Vs M4B

Part 2. Which is the Better File Format?

Now that you’re aware of the similarities and differences between the two files, you might wonder which one is good the better file format? Both the M4A and M4B file formats are pretty good. Each file has its own advantages and disadvantages but in terms of audio quality, they’re both good.

No matter how much you compare the two files, everything would have to depend on your preference. Do you want to play the audiobook in other media players? If you’re looking for wider compatibility, then you would have to go for the M4A.

Audiobooks in the M4B file format cannot be played or transferred to just any device. You would need to convert it first. Hence, you would need to remove the DRM first to be able to play your audiobook on other devices. So, if your preference is to listen to your M4B audiobooks on more media players, then you would have to convert them first to M4A.

Part 3. Use the AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter to Remove DRM from Audiobooks

There’s no need to worry if your audiobook is in the protected M4B file format. There are ways for you to convert it. Read on to learn more about it.

The best way to convert your DRM-protected audiobook is by using the AMusciSoft Apple Music Converter. Now, you might be wondering how an Apple Music converter can convert your audiobooks. Well, it can. The AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter is a multifunctional program that converts songs and audiobooks. Despite it being multifunctional, it provides the same window.

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That means the navigation of this program is pretty easy. Whether you’re converting a song or an audiobook, the process is the same. That is how powerful and easy the AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter is. The steps below will show you how you can navigate the program.

  1. Download the AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter on your Computer
  2. Add the Audiobook
  3. Convert from M4B to MP3
  4. Download Audiobook

The steps below are explained in a more detailed manner. Make sure to read them.

Step 1. Download the AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter on your Computer

Go to the AMusicSoft website and download its Apple Music converter. It will only take a couple of seconds to download. Wait for it to install. Then launch it on your computer.

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Step 2. Add the Audiobook

Once the AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter is on your computer, it’s automatically configured to your iTunes. That means there’s no need for you to open iTunes to add your audiobook. You just need to click on Audiobooks on the left side of the program to prompt the list of your audiobooks to appear on your screen. Choose the audiobook you want to convert and download.
Add the Audiobook

Step 3. Convert from M4B to MP3

Go to the output settings area and choose the MP3 file format for your output. Soon as you change the file format of your audiobook to MP3, the DRM is removed automatically.
Convert from M4B to MP3

Step 4. Download Audiobook

The nice thing about using the AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter is that your chapters remain intact. You can bookmark the part where you left off. You won’t need to start all over again.
Download Audiobook

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Part 4: Use a Free M4B to MP3 Converter on FreeConvert.com

This is a free converter and you can find it on the website called FreeConvert.com. The steps below will show you how you can use it.

  1. Go to its website and add m4b-to-mp3 to the end of the URL. That way, you get the exact converter that you need.
  2. Click on the blue Choose M4B Files tab to add your audiobook from your computer.
  3. You can click on the Advanced Settings to enhance audio. Then you’re all set to convert your audiobook and remove the DRM.

Part 5: Conclusion

There’s no need to choose between M4A vs M4B. It’s really not a matter of choosing but converting since the latter could be protected by DRM. To convert M4B, the easiest way to go about it is by using the AMusicSoft Apple Music Converter. It just takes a couple of clicks to get it done and all the chapters are retained. How do you convert M4B files that are protected? Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving some comments below.

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