Difference Between mp3 and m4a
Mp3 vs M4a
If you like listening to digital music, then you are most likely familiar with various types of audio files. For now, let’s talk about and try to differentiate two of the more popular audio files of today ‘“ the mp3 and m4a.
M4A is an audio file which is compressed using MPEG-4 technology which is an algorithm with lossy compression. It is primarily associated with “MPEG-4 Audio Layer” and files in this extension are the audio layer of MPEG-4 movies (non-video). It aims to overtake mp3 and become the new standard in audio compression. It is very similar to mp3 in many ways but developed to have better quality in a same or even lesser file size. M4a format was first introduced by Apple. The format type is also known as the Apple lossless Encoder (ALE).
MPEG-4 files with both video and audio normally use .mp4 file extension but when it is intended for audio only, the file will generally have a .m4a extension. On Windows, m4a format can be opened via the following applications: Quicktime player, Roxio creator, Winamp, MS Windows Media Player, KSP Sound Player, and Apple itunes. On Mac, Apple iTunes, QuickTime Player, and Roxio Toast 10 Titanium.
However, as of now, m4a has not yet mp3’s mainstream success as the audio format is not yet universally playable. It is somehow limited only to PC, iPod, and other Apple products.
Mp3, on the other hand, is the most well known digital audio format. It was also one of first compression formats on the scene and became hugely popular among music lovers/collectors. Its mainstream success is so tremendous that the file type is capable of being played anywhere and with almost anything ‘“ hardware or software. In theory, m4a will produce better sound quality but many would argue that, whether it’s true or not, the sound difference is not distinguishable and it would be a waste of time trying to convert mp3 files into m4a files. After all, the conversion will just make you lose the original sound quality, therefore, not a good idea unless necessary.
Most enthusiasts would recommend that in choosing your format, you should mainly consider your player and ears. If you have an iPod and mostly listen to your music through it, then go for the m4a. Portability and convenience are actually the main issues at hand as the difference in the quality of sound is almost negligible unless you are really working on some highly technical stuff.
1. Obviously, mp3 remains to become more popular of audio formats including the lesser known m4a.
2. M4a is developed to have better audio quality in a lesser space than the mp3.
3. Mp3 had reached the distinction that it can be played anywhere, with almost any playback device while m4a has not reached that point just yet.
4. Mp3 was the first to come out and m4a was partly developed to actually take away mp3’s throne as the most popular audio format.
5. M4a is actually an audio-only Mpeg-4 compression file.
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