M4A vs. M4B: Which One is Better for You

Are you a fan of music and interested to know the kind of file you're using; Or sometimes you find it hard to play some files on your device? Thankfully, this article explores the definition, uses, and differences.

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Jane Zhou

Updated on May 22, 2024

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Between M4A and M4B, which is your favorite? As a music fan, you need the best quality audio for your songs. Therefore, it's highly significant to have a clear insight between M4A and M4B, their differences, compatibility, conversion of file format like MP3 to M4A or M4B, and the best video converter to sort all these. Thankfully, this article solves these questions 100% for a better experience. Ready? 

Part 1. What is M4A/M4B

1. What is M4A?

M4A is an audio file extension encoded using AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), a lossy compression. iPhone users commonly know M4A as downloaded audio from Apple iTunes Store that possesses this extension format. The m4a file format stands for MPEG-4 audio file, which is identical to MP4s because it uses MPEG-4 format. However, m4a can only hold audio data. On the other hand, m4a is a successor of MP3, used for audio design and the third layer of MPEG 1 or 2 video files.

2. What is M4B?

Similar to M4A, M4B is also a file extension; however, a file extension with M4B is a MPEG-4 Audio Book file. It's also compressed by AAC encoding almost identical to M4A only, expressed as an audiobook, and can support an audio player. iTunes uses them to store audiobooks. Downloaded audiobooks from Apple iTunes Store use the M4B extension and only play on authorized computers and iPods. M4B format stores digital bookmarks and audio; this feature lets you pause, playback, and resume later.

Part 2. What's the Difference Between M4A and M4B

M4A and M4B are slightly different from each other. Having a clear insight helps you to know is which is better. 

M4A vs. M4B

1. File Size

M4A format files typically have a stereo bitrate of 128kbps or 256 kbps; for instance, an MP3 song encoded around 192kbps can be encoded with an M4A song at 128kbps, meaning M4A encodes a smaller file size.

On the other hand, M4B boasts of a more significant bit rate, which translates to greater file size thus better sound quality; it idyllically doesn't alter the audio quality. 

2. Compression

M4A files are encoded with a lossy Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec; this provides the same bitrate as MP3 yet achieves tighter compression, resulting in a smaller file size giving audio quality.

In contrast, M4B stores files are stored in MPE-G format and compressed by AAC encoding like M4A. However, it supports the audiobook related, e.g., chapter breaks and bookmarking.

3. Sound Quality

The M4A file with ALAC compression has the best quality sound since no original sound quality is lost. Besides, M4A audio encoded with ACC lossy compression still gives a better quality sound than MP3 files coded at the same bitrate categorically, if it is below128kbps.

For M4B also keep the original sound quality; however, it's limited to storing audio file; it's almost the same as M4A, only that it carries information such as chapter markers, images, and hyperlinks. 

4. Compatibility

M4A files can play with various audio players such as Microsoft Groove Music if bundled with Windows, Apple Music if bundled with MacOs, VideoLAN, VLC player, and MS Windows Media Player.

On the other hand, M4B files play with Windows such as MS Windows Media Player, iTunes, MS Zune. For Mac devices, you can play using QuickTime Player, 5K Player, and other media players to play Audiobooks.

Part 3. Best Video Converter for M4A and M4B Conversion

Are you looking for the best video converter to convert M4A or M4B? But first, you need to have a clear insight into the video converter that will maintain your file formats and quality. In addition, it is a super-fast software in conversion and doesn't alter the original sound of the files. 

EaseUS Video Converter

EaseUS Video Converter can convert your files to M4A and M4B formats and offers you the outstanding quality you need. As a professional, this program provides an excellent final design for the market. 

Key Features

  • Compatible with many devices such as Windows 11, 10, 8, 7
  • Convert multiple files at the same time
  • Support a 30x faster speed in video conversion, and most importantly, it preserves its quality
  • After converting the video to the required format, you can merge them with a click of a button to achieve the desired goal

The Bottom Line

Finally, the article explores all the details you need about M4A and M4B; you know what they are, right? On the other hand, the differences illustrated are also crucial for choosing the suitable file format that effectively meets your needs. Interestingly, the EaseUS Video Converter is all you need for your work; it offers a wide range of compatibility speed conversion and is user-friendly.   

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