What Is an M4P File?

How to open, edit, & convert M4P files

Screenshot of several M4P files in Windows 10 that open with PotPlayer
M4P Files.

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.

M4P files are seen when downloading music from the iTunes Store. Similar to this format is M4A, which is also an iTunes Audio file, but one that is not copy protected.

M4P files hold audio data, so don't confuse them with the MP4 video format. Some other similar-sounding file extensions include M4U, which is for MPEG-4 Playlist files, and M4 text files, which are Macro Processor Library files.

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 M4P file, which is done by logging into iTunes under the same account that was used to download the audio file. See Apple's instructions on 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. You can read a bit more about this on Apple's "About iTunes Plus" article.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the M4P file but it's the wrong application, or if you would rather have another installed program open M4P files, you can change the default program for a specific file extension.

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 M4P 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 M4P file.