MP4 files are used to store and view video, whereas MP3 files are used to store and view audio. Both the MP4 and MP3 file formats have the same lineage – they both come from the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) format of file compression. In addition, both the MP4 file format and the MP3 file format are quite similar when it comes to their properties, with the only major difference between the two being the fact that the MP4 format is for video and the MP3 format is for audio.
Conversion between the two formats works in a pretty simple manner. The MP4 file format contains both video and audio, whereas the MP3 file format only contains audio. That being the case, an MP4 file can be converted into an MP3 file by simply stripping away its video contents. Converting an MP3 file into an MP4 file doesn’t go as smoothly, however, as it is not generally possible to add video to an audio file and turn it into an MP4 file. There are a boat load of different applications and programs designed for the Windows Operating System that are capable of converting MP4 files into MP3 files. In fact, even Microsoft’s native media player for the Windows Operating System – Windows Media Player – is capable of converting MP4 files into MP3 files.
If you have any version of Windows Media Player on your Windows computer and would like to use it to convert an MP4 file into an MP3 file, here’s what you need to do:
- Launch Windows Media Player.
- Click on File > Open…. In the Open dialog that appears, navigate to the location on your computer the MP4 file you want to convert into an MP3 file is located in, locate the MP4 file and click on it to select it, and click on Open to have it opened in Windows Media Player.
- Once the target MP4 file has been opened in Windows Media Player, click on File > Save as…. In the Save as dialog that appears, click on the File name: field, move your mouse pointer to the very end of the file’s name (the extension), and change the 4 in the extension of the file to a 3, changing the extension from .mp4 to .mp3.
- Navigate to the directory on your computer where you want the converted MP3 file to be saved, and click on Save. As soon as you do so, Windows Media Player will begin converting the MP4 file into an MP3 file, and once the file has been converted it will be saved to the designated location on your computer. This process does not usually take a lot of time and is fairly quick.
Once you have completed all of the steps listed and described above, an exact copy of the MP4 file (minus the video part of the file, of course) you chose to convert into an MP3 file is saved to the directory on your computer you specified during the process as an MP3 file.