What Is an M4P File?

iTunes is the best way to play M4P audio files on your computer

What to Know

  • An M4P file is an iTunes audio file.
  • Open one with iTunes or PotPlayer.
  • Convert one to MP3, M4A, WAV, FLAC, etc., with FileZigZag.

This article explains what an M4P file is and how to play one on your computer or convert one to a different audio format.

What Is an M4P File?

A file with the M4P file extension is an iTunes audio file, or sometimes called an iTunes Music Store audio file. It's really just an AAC file that's copy-protected using a proprietary DRM technology created by Apple.

This format is seen when downloading music from the iTunes Store. A similar file is M4A, which is also an iTunes audio file, but one that isn't copy protected.

M4P files in Windows 10 that open with PotPlayer

M4P files hold audio data, so don't confuse them with the MP4 video format. See the bottom of this page for some other file extensions that could be confused for this one.

How to Open an M4P File

M4P files can be opened with Apple's iTunes. However, the computer you're using iTunes on must be authorized in order to play the file, which is done by logging into iTunes under the same account that was used to download the file.

See these steps for authorizing your computer in iTunes if you need help.

Apple's QuickTime might be able to play M4P files, too. Another option is the free PotPlayer.

An iTunes Match subscription may let you download DRM-free versions of the songs you've already downloaded through the iTunes Store.

How to Convert an M4P File

FileZigZag is a free file converter that converts M4P files to MP3 online, meaning you just have to upload the file to that website to convert it to MP3, M4A, M4R, WAV, and other audio formats.

TuneClone M4P Converter is another way to convert M4P files to MP3 and is more useful than FileZigZag in that you don't have to upload the files to convert them—the program works from your computer instead of through your browser. However, the trial version only supports converting the first three minutes of each file.

Still Can't Open It?

If your file still isn't opening after trying the programs mentioned above, and you're sure it's not really an MP4 video file, check the file extension again. It's really easy to mix up file extensions when they look similar.

For example, M4 is used for Macro Processor Library files. These are simply text files, so they can't play in iTunes or any media player.

M4U is another one you might confuse for an M4P file. They're MPEG-4 playlist files, so instead of being an audio or video file, they are references to video clips that a video player can use to play those files.

Even though it uses a simple file extension, M files could be confused for this one, too.

  • How do I play M4P files on Android?

    With an Apple Music subscription, eligible iTunes files in your music library upgrade to the rights-free versions, which you can play across devices with your Apple ID. That includes the Apple Music app on an Android smartphone. Alternatively, you could use a free audio converter to turn your M4Ps into a compatible audio format and upload them manually to your Android phone.

  • How do I convert M4P to M4A?

    If you sign up for and use iTunes Match, the service converts protected M4P files to unprotected AAC/M4A if they're still available in the iTunes Store. To convert M4P files directly to M4A, use the online converter FileZigZag. Select Audio > M4P to M4A Converter > Browse files to upload and convert your M4P file.

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