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Before You Learn M4R Converter: Some Things You Should Know

Liza Brown
Liza Brown
Originally published Jan 05, 22, updated Feb 29, 24
Before You Learn M4R Converter: Some Things You Should Know

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M4R is an audio file extension that was created by Apple to separate regular songs and audio from ringtones

As for methods of converting from your more general file extension formats to M4R, we’ve prepared a whole guide below — where we’ve outlined some of the more important things that you should know about M4R converters and how to use them.

Part 1 Why Convert MP3 to M4R?

Let's start with a bit of an overview of M4R and M4R Converters first! We touched upon this subject in the introduction, but we thought it would be best to expand on the subject here for better understanding. First, let's talk about what an M4R converter is usually like. Then, let's talk about why someone might convert from MP3 to M4R.

01M4R Converter Key Features

Here's a list of some key features that you should look for in an M4R Converter:

Your average M4R Converter should allow you to convert to M4R from general audio files. That includes the following: MP3, WAV, WMA, AIFF, AMR, FLAC, MKA, WMV, and so much more.

It should also allow you to 'extract' audio from videos (whether it is a MPEG-4, MOV, AVI, etc.)

The M4R converter would prove even more useful if it allowed you to trim small segments of audio or video (with exact start and end time) so that you can specify which part should play as a ringtone.

A method of previewing trimmed content prior to conversion would also be helpful so that you won't have to undergo the process again and again.

Its settings should also be adjustable or the interface intuitive, allowing you to easily choose or discover the output folder, adjust audio bitrate, and so on.

02Best Three Reasons Why Convert MP3 to M4R

There are several reasons why you might want to use an M4R converter to change from MP3 to M4R, these reasons include:

Creating iPhone Ringtone: The main purpose of converting to M4R is, of course, to create iPhone ringtones. This file extension was created by Apple specifically to differentiate between songs and ringtones. And, if you're a regular iOS user but are not a fan of the basic iOS ringtones, learning how to create M4R files would be beneficial in opening your horizons.

Transfer Ringtones to iPhone: Of course, once the M4R is created for use, it would need to be transferred. This is much easier if it stays in this format!

Making General M4R Audio: Although not as common, some users see the benefit of using M4R audio for other reasons (i.e., content creators sometimes use M4R audio as a sound-effect for videos). Thus, knowing how to convert from MP3 to MP4 usually proves to be useful for them.

Part 2 How to Convert Mp3 to M4R?

Now, let's start with a more in-depth tutorial on how to actually convert MP3 to M4R! In this case, specifically, we'll be providing three different examples. Starting with an online solution and then following it up with the general iTunes conversion and the more involved software conversion!

01How to Convert MP3 to M4R Online?

As mentioned, the first M4R Converter on this list is an online one! There are plenty of these kinds of online converter tools available, and they all pretty much work the same way, so the example we'll be showing below is more of an all-purpose kind of affair. However, just in case you're curious, the tool we'll be using for our examples is the Converter from Audio Tool Set!

Step 1: Visit Online Converter Website!

First! Open the M4R Converter online tool that you want to use! If you want to follow along with our examples, a URL has been provided for you below:

Open M4R Converter

Step 2: Upload MP3 File

Next, it's time to upload the MP3 file that you want to convert to M4R!

Usually, all you have to do for this is click the 'Upload' button or drag-and-drop the file onto the specified area. But, in some cases, the M4R converter may also allow you to upload via a link or from cloud-based storage (i.e., Dropbox.)

Upload MP3 File for Conversion

Step 3: Select M4R as Output Format!

Once your MP3 file has been uploaded, select the format that you want it to be converted into. This may have defaulted to M4R or you may be given the chance to choose yourself (as is shown in the image below.)

Select M4R as Output Format

Step 4: Select Convert!

The next thing you need to do is to simply select the 'CONVERT' option to begin processing the change from MP3 to M4R!

Select Convert Option

Step 5: Download Converter M4R!

Once the conversion is done, you should now have been given the option to download the finished M4R. Click 'DOWNLOAD' and you're done!

Download Converted File

012. How to convert MP3 to M4R on iTunes?

Of course, as an Apple File Extension, it only makes sense that Apple provides its users an easy way to convert general audio to M4R! In this case, we'll be showing you another method to convert from MP3 to M4R with Apple's own iTunes! Of course, if you want to follow along with this next example, you'll have to download and install the software (for Windows users) before proceeding.

Step 1: Add File or Folder to Library!

Once you have iTunes installed, launch the program and go to 'File' > 'Add File to Library' or 'Add Folder to Library' to upload the MP3 file(s) that you want to convert to M4R!

Add MP3 file(s) to iTunes Library

Step 2: Select MP3 and Adjust Timing!

Since M4R ringtones are limited to 40 seconds only, you'll need to adjust timing prior to conversion if you want the ringtone to start and end at a specific time.

This is possible to do by selecting the song from your library and right clicking so you can access the 'OPTIONS' tab (shown below)! Under the Options tab, you'll be able to specify the start and stop time for your chosen MP3!

Click 'OK' when done in order to save any changes!

Adjust Ringtone Timing

Step 3: Convert to Version!

Next, with the MP3 file still selected, go to the 'FILE' tab (shown in the image below) and then click 'CONVERT' > 'Create Version'!

Create Version of MP3

Step 4: Go to the Destination Folder!

After the conversion has been finished, locate the file's destination folder. You'll notice that the file extension of the file is .M4A but this is easy enough to change.

Just rename the file extension to .M4R (example shown below) and click 'YES' to confirm the change! In this way, you've managed to convert MP3 to M4R with iTunes!

Change from M4A to M4R

013. How to Convert MP3 to M4R Online Free with Ringtone Maker?

For this last example of converting MP3 to M4R, we've decided to show-off the ringtone maker, Wondershare TunesGo! This program is, of course, more than just a ringtone maker, but the function that we'll be exploring will be the process of making an iPhone Ringtone from an MP3 file to an M4R (start to finish!)

Step 1: Launch Program and Connect iPhone to Computer!

First, launch the M4R converter software on your desktop and connect your iPhone to your computer! If you want to use the program that we're showing off in this example, the URL has been provided below:

Launch Program and Connect iPhone

Step 2: Select Ringtone Maker

Once the program has been launched, go to the 'MUSIC' tab and select “Ringtone Maker” (pointed out in the image below.)

Select ‘Ringtone Maker’ Option

Step 3: Select Music File!

A secondary window should appear after you select the 'Ringtone Maker' option. Here, the first thing you have to do is upload the music file that you want to convert.

For the software that we're using as an example, you can choose to upload 'Local Music' from your computer or 'Device Music' from the music that you have stored in your connected iPhone. We'll be explaining the different methods to select a music file in the three following steps!

Upload Locally or Through Device

Step 4: Local Upload - Open!

If you select 'Local Music' a system window will appear asking you to select the music file that you want to convert to M4R. Do so and click 'OPEN!'

Browse Music File Locally

Step 5: Device Music - SELECT!

For the 'Device Music' option, another program window will appear. This time, with all the music on your device. You can select the music file you want to convert from here! Click 'Select' when done!

Browse Music on Device

Step 6: TunesGo Library!

For the last method of selecting a music file, all you have to do is select a file from the 'MUSIC' tab of TunesGo, right-click on said file, and then select 'Ringtone Maker' on the pop-up that appears (shown below).

Software Library Upload

Step 7: Trim and Save!

Once you've chosen the music file you want to convert, you can now:

Trim the file to specify which part of the file you want to convert (40 seconds only for a proper Ringtone!)

Use the 'Ringtone Audition' option to preview your trimmed audio.

And, finally, you can save the finished ringtone directly to your PC or Device!

In this way, not only have you managed to convert from MP3 to M4R cleanly, but you can also use it right away on either your PC or iPhone!

Trim Audio and Save

Part 3 How to Convert M4A to M4R?

Another Apple extension file that you might recognize is M4A! This was mentioned briefly in a previous tutorial, but it might be more familiar to others as 'compressed' Apple Music. This is what your audio becomes when processed through iTunes. It's also known as MPEG-4 Audio, and its main purpose is to compress the size of an audio file (compared to MP3) without compromising the quality.

01How to convert M4A to M4R on Windows?

This process was mentioned briefly in Part 2, Section 3 of this article, but we'll be going through the easiest method of converting M4A to M4R on Windows below! This method is possible only because the formats are pretty much the same. The only difference lies in how they are categorized.

Step 1: View File Extensions!

The first step to convert M4A to M4R is to open the folder in which your M4A audio is stored. There, make sure that you have 'File Name Extensions' selected under the 'VIEW' tab (pointed out in the image below).

This will allow you to view and edit the file extension of a given file.

View File Extensions on Windows

Step 2: Rename M4A to M4R!

Next, select the M4A that you want to convert and right-click so that you can choose the 'Rename' option on the pop-up that appears.

Rename M4A to M4R

Step 3: Change M4A to M4R

With 'File Name Extensions' on, you can edit the file extension as well! Of course, this is not possible for all conversions. But, as mentioned, since M4A and M4R files are pretty much the same, you can do so without damaging the file!

Meaning, you can change M4A to M4R without worrying about it being unusable!

Change M4A to M4R

012. How to Convert M4A to M4R with iTunes

This process was already explained in Part 2, Section 2 of this article. But, since it's important to provide this perspective we'll be going through the process again. This time, with the intention of converting an M4A music file to an M4R!

Step 1: Add File to iTunes Library!

First, add the M4A file to your iTunes library! (You can use the drag-and-drop feature or select 'Add File' or 'Add folder' under the 'FILE' tab).

Add File to iTunes Library

Step 2: Create to M4R!

Once your M4A audio file has been uploaded, make sure that it's selected and then select 'Create Version' for it (the option can be found under the 'FILE' tab > 'Convert'!)

Create version of M4A

Step 3: Convert M4A to M4R

Once the version of the file has been created (which comes out as M4A), you can use the method we showed in Section 3, Part 1 of this article to change the M4A to M4R simply by rewriting the file extension name.

Convert M4A to M4R

03How to Convert M4A to M4R Online

For this next part, we'll be echoing another one of our earlier tutorials! Only, this time, we'll be focusing on converting M4A to M4R online with an M4R converter online! Specifically, the one we introduced previously — Audio Tool Set!

Step 1: Online M4R Converter

Audio Tool Set offers an M4A to M4R converter that you can select under the 'CONVERT AUDIO' tab!

Audio Tool Set - M4A to M4R Converter

Step 2: Upload M4A File!

Once you've been moved to the free M4A to M4R converter, select the 'UPLOAD M4A' option to browse your PC for the M4A file that you want to convert.

Upload M4A file for Conversion

Step 3: Confirm M4R Conversion Format!

If you're using the M4A to M4R Converter you can skip this step. But, if not, make sure that you have chosen 'M4R' as your desired conversion format!

Confirm M4R as Output Format

Step 4: Convert M4A to M4R!

With all of that in order, select 'CONVERT' to move forward.

Convert M4A to M4R

Step 5: Download Converted M4R!

Finally, with the conversion done, you can now download the converted file to use as you will! This can be done by selecting the 'DOWNLOAD' option!

Download Converted File

04How to Create and How to Open an M4A File?

If you want detailed instructions on how to create an M4A file, please refer to Part 2, Section 2 of this article, or Part 3, Section 2. In both sections, we demonstrated how one can create an M4A file by using the 'Create Version' feature that iTunes offers.

In that same vein, if you want to be able to open an M4A file, iTunes is your best bet! Although, it should also be said that some of the more advanced media players (and audio players), like QuickTime or Media Player, can open M4A files as well!

iTunes Software

05Which Other Formats M4A Can Be Converted into and Why?

There are numerous file formats that you can convert M4A into. If you want examples: you can convert M4A to M4R, MP3 to M4A, WAV to M4A, FLAC to M4A, OGG to M4A, WMA to M4A, and so much more! Of course, if you want more advanced M4A conversions, you might want to consider using a more advanced tool. One such M4A converter that we recommend is Filmora Pro!

Wondershare Filmora Video Editor is an all-in-one video editing software that will allow you to convert M4A to M4R (and all sorts of other audio and video file formats) so that you can make use of the file for all your projects! The best part of using a video editor like Filmora, of course, is that once you've converted the file, you can use it immediately — there's no need to wait, you can finish your project right then and there, making it unnecessary for you to go searching for any other solution.

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Key Takeaways from This Episode

What's the point of M4R Converters? Well, it's most relevant to iOS users! Especially those who are tired of listening to the same boring tones on their phone over and over again!

The M4R file format was created by Apple to differentiate music from ringtones. And, by becoming familiar with the process (which we've illustrated in many details in the article above), you can flex your creativity a bit and control just what tones are coming out of your phone!

It's not all that difficult to create M4Rs either! There are several methods that you can try — online, iTunes, third-party software, and so much more!

And, you can make these ringtones from pretty much any format — whether you're converting from MP3, MOV, WAV, FLAC, WMA, etc.

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