Best Solution to Convert M4P to MP3 for Playback & Backup

Updated by Adam Gorden on Feb 14, 2023 2:26 PM.

m4p to mp3

Before we talk about convert M4P to MP3, we should talk about the differences between protected M4P and unprotected M4P format. The songs in your Music Library look the same and they both play smoothly the same until you decide to stop paying for Apple Music. The downloaded Apple Music songs suddenly become inoperable after you cancel the subscription and you may also realize some of your iTunes songs can't be played in your MP3 player. This has something to do with the history of Apple's music service.

In this post, we'd like to show you how easy it is for you to convert the M4P file to MP3 for both playback and backup. Go ahead.

Part 1. Apple's M4P Files - What You Need to Know
Part 2. How to Convert a Protected M4P File to MP3
Part 3. How to Upload MP3 Files to iTunes for Backup
Part 4. More about Apple Music & M4P File Format

Part 1. Apple's M4P Files - What You Need to Know

What is an M4P file?

A file with the M4P file extension is an iTunes audio, and is called iTunes Store audio in some cases. Entering the millennium, Apple released iTunes and began selling music. This is an unprecedented reform in the music industry. If you've ever purchased songs from the iTunes store before 2009, the digital music you bought is in protected M4P format. After 2009, Apple cancels the protection on iTunes songs and ever since you can get unprotected M4P songs from the iTunes store. When Apple Music was launched as the music streaming service in 2015, the protected M4P format was, once again, applied to Apple Music songs.

How to open an M4P file?

If you have M4P files in your own music collection, you'll want to open them. And those M4P files can be opened with Apple's iTunes. However, to do this your computer will be required to be authorized in the iTunes app with your Apple ID that you use to complete your iTunes purchases.

Here's how to authorize your computer in iTunes in order to play your M4P files:

itunes authorizations authorize this computer

Step 1. Open the iTunes app, and choose Account > Authorizations > Authorize This Computer.

Step 2. When prompted, sign in with your Apple ID and password.

Step 3. Click Authorize to continue.

Step 4. Now you authorize your computer successfully to play your iTunes Store purchases. In your library, locate the MP4 file and play it in iTunes.

You must find this work for your playback with the M4P files on your computer running macOS 10.14 Mojave (or earlier) or Windows OS. But what if you're using the Music app for Mac launched with macOS Catalina where iTunes has been replaced? You'll want to convert both those protected and unprotected M4P file to the lossy MP3, which is convenient for storing music on all your devices. Let's move on to how to convert the protected M4P files to MP3, which is done by using iTunes.

Part 2. How to Convert a Protected M4P File to MP3

Best M4P to MP3 Converter - ViWizard Audio Converter

ViWizard Audio Converter is a designated program for all iTunes users to convert most of your iTunes library to the file format you want. To convert the protected M4P files, namely iTunes Store audio, you must add them to your iTunes both for playback and conversation. Then with this powerful ViWizard software, you can crack the protection of the M4P files easily by adjusting the output format as MP3.

In addition to MP3, we also support output audio file format including M4A, M4B, WAV, AAC (iTunes Purchases) and the lossless FLAC. Within one click you can click the conversion at a 30x speed. And after then the files are stored on your computer for you to play with ease.

If you have other contents such as Apple Music, iTunes files, iTunes audiobooks and even Audible audiobooks that you have the access in your iTunes library, don't hesitate to convert them at any time with ViWizard! ViWizard Audio Converter works fine on both Windows and Mac and you can get it from the download box below. We'll let you through the process to have some free MP3 files from M4P.

audio converter

ViWizard DRM Audio Converter Key Features

  • Convert Apple Music songs to MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC, M4A, M4B
  • Losslessly remove DRM from Audible audiobook & iTunes audiobooks
  • Convert DRM M4P to MP3 and other common formats
  • Retain 100% original quality and ID3 tags
  • Convert between DRM-free audio file formats
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Converting an M4P file to a MP3 file by using ViWizard Audio Converter:

Step 1Import Protected M4P Songs to ViWizard

add drm itune m4p songs

Install and launch ViWizard Audio Converter, and then iTunes/Apple Music will be launched automatically. Before the conversion, you need to authorize iTunes to play your songs. After that, you can click the Music Note button (on the center top) to import the songs from your Music Library to the converter. You can also add the songs by drag-and-drop. It supports batch conversion so that you can import multiple tracks to ViWizard to convert once.

Step 2Select MP3 as output format

set output format as mp3

Currently ViWizard Audio Converter supports several output formats, including MP3, AAC, WAV, M4A, M4B, and FLAC. You can simply click the "Format" option and then choose output format as MP3 from the popup window. If you want to customize the music quality, you can change the codec, channel, sample rate, etc. according to your needs.

Step 3Start converting Protected M4P to MP3

convert drm m4p to mp3

Once the output format is set, you can begin converting the DRM-ed M4P to MP3 by clicking the "Convert" button. And when the conversion finishes, you will get the MP3 songs with which you can freely share with others on different devices and platforms.

Part 3. How to Upload MP3 Files to iTunes for Backup

iTunes is one of the most flexible options for most listeners to store their own music files. Since now you get the MP3 files from the previous M4P files, you can still choose to upload them to the iTunes app for a backup. Of course, now the files are yours to transfer to all your devices.

Here's how to add your MP3 files to the iTunes app:

Step 1. For starters, open the iTunes app and choose File > Add File to Library or Add Folder to Library.

Step 2. Navigate your computer to find the MP3 files or the folder that contain them to select and open.

Step 3. Now the music items extracted from the MP3 files are added to your iTunes library.

Extra Tip: How to create an Apple song to a different file format (AIFF/WAV)

Apple says both Music and iTunes app let you create unprotected M4P files to the AIFF or WAV version. If you also wish to get these 2 different file format, just launch the Apple Music app or iTunes and we'd like to show you how.

Converting Songs in your music library on your PC or Mac:

itunes file convert aac version

Step 1. Open iTunes for Windows. On Mac, open the Apple Music app instead.

Step 2. In the menu bar, choose Edit (Windows) / Music (Mac) > Preferences.

Step 3. Click the General (Windows) / Files (Mac) tab, then click Import Settings.

Step 4. Click the menu next to Import Using, then choose the encoding format that you want to convert the song to.

Step 5. Click OK.

Step 6. Select the songs in your library that you want to convert.

Step 7. Choose File > Convert, then Create [format] Version.

New song files appear in your library next to the original files.

Part 4. More about Apple Music & M4P File Format

M4P is a file extension for a protected audio file encoded with advanced audio codec (AAC). It stands for MPEG 4 Protected audio and could be widely seen in an iTunes and Apple Music purchased song which uses "Fairplay" DRM (also known as digital rights management).

When compared with MP3, M4P is always smaller in file size but better in audio quality. Because of DRM, M4P files on iTunes and Apple Music service can only be opened with iTunes app and the computer which is authorized with iTunes or Apple account. Generally, an iTunes account can be authorized on up to five computers only in order to play the M4P songs normally. Apple Music, as one of the largest music-streaming services in the world, has more than 56 million subscribers so far.

Combined with three major parts, including Music, Beats 1 Radio, and Connect, Apple Music brings users a vast library of music, provides music recommendations based on users' own taste, and allows artists and fans to communicate easily. It comes with a 3-month free trial and subscriptions start at $10.99/month or $16.99/month for family plan. However, due to DRM, subscribers don't own the Apple Music streams at all. Once cancel the subscription, users will lose access to the music files previously downloaded. See how to get Apple Music free or cheaper on multiple devices >>

The Bottom Line

Actually, you can also use ViWizard Audio Converter to convert unprotected M4P songs to MP3. ViWizard can handle kinds of iTunes audio files, protected and unprotected. For example, Apple Music songs, iTunes M4A and M4B audiobooks. Besides that, it can also work with Audible AA and AAX audiobooks. You don't need to worry about the output quality as it will preserve the CD quality and original ID3 tags as well.

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is an experienced writer of ViWizard who is obsessed about tech, movie and software.

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