m4a audio files

edited November -1 in General Discussion

Hi all,

i've downloaded some songs from itunes the are m4a format, the media manager will load them but if link them to a file they won't play.  How ever if i send the media live it will play.  It seem the linked audio only accepts mp3 format files.  I'm using  the lattest VLC media player.


many thanks



  • edited July 2012

    If you mean you're linking audio to a song, this currently uses a different system for playing songs (i.e. it doesn't use VLC even if you select it as the only player). The system it uses doesn't accept all types of media files.

    Hopefully at some point in the future we'll attempt to address this inconsistency, but I'm afraid for now there isn't much that can be done except use file types that do work. This varies from system to system so I can't give you a list.

  • edited July 2012

    Yep that makes sense.  good luck with getting sorted :)

  • edited July 2012

    If you are on Windows, a codec pack would probably help.

  • edited July 2012
  • edited September 2012

    This has been puzzling me for many months because I've never had trouble with m4a files on my windows 7 machines but a friend with 3 windows 7 machines available can never get m4a files to work, despite loading VLC. So we have to convert to mp3 which always work for her.

    My question is, would the audio editor Audacity, which is installed on all my machines but none of hers, explain this difference? It hadn't occured to me until reading this thread, particularly the remark made later about codec packs, that OpenLP might be able to pick and use something that Audacity installs but I have been stumped for a long time trying to think of differences between her machines and mine. Would the FFmpeg import library, which Audacity needs for WMA files, be necessary as well, or is it just Audacity? (I'm not lazy, but would prefer not to appear to be just 'trying things out at random' on someone else's machine.)

    Many thanks

  • edited September 2012

    The simple question (but I have seen it overlooked before in similar, though not identical, situations) is whether iTunes or QuickTime is installed on your friend's machines - as far as I know, m4a files won't run unless one of those is installed (I will admit that I haven't looked too deep into it though!)

    Codec-wise, downloading the K-lite pack is probably a good idea anyway, that way if - for instance - a visiting speaker comes with some really odd video or audio files they will generally be able to be played (particularly if you have VLC as well). I did link to it here, but it triggered the spam filter, so just google for the K-lite Codec Pack and it'll come up :)

  • I'd like to request that we add .m4a to the list of extensions supported by VLC in OpenLP. I was recently given some M4A files to play and although they would play perfectly in VLC, they would not play in OpenLP, even though OpenLP is configured to use VLC as its primary media player. If I rename the file to .mp3 it will play in OpenLP (note that I only rename it, I don't convert it to a different format). I suspect the issue is similar to the one raised for .mp4 videos. OpenLP assumes that VLC can only play files with specific extensions and m4a is not one of them. It may be the case that some m4a files can't be played by VLC due to DRM restrictions but in my case, VLC was quite able to play them.
  • m4a files are Apple's DRM audio format. Sometimes they don't contain DRM, but most of the time they do. If they are encrypted, you won't be able to decrypt them outside of iTunes.
  • As a side note, see if you can extract them from iTunes as mp3s?
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