Browse Definitions:
File Extension

M4P File Format

MPEG-4 Video File

M4A file format icon

M4P is a file extension for a protected audio file encoded with advanced audio codec (AAC), which is a lossy compression generally intended as the successor to MP3, which had not been originally designed for audio only but was Layer III in an MPEG 1 or 2 video files.

M4P stands for MPEG 4 Protected (audio). The M4P file extension is seen in an Apple iTunes purchased song which uses Apples “Fairplay” DRM (digital rights management). Unprotected AAC  files have an M4A extension.

Both M4P and M4A file extensions are used for audio-only files. Audio-only MPEG 4 container files usually have an M4A file extension.

AAC or M4P file quality is better and file sizes smaller compared to MP3 files. M4A files sound better than MP3 files when encoded at the same bit rate due to some of the enhancements made to the format such as:

  • Compression based on perception -- if it is not within human perception, that sound data may be lost without notable effect to quality.
  • Smaller sample block size of 120 or 128 samples rather than 192 for changing (or transient) signals, allowing for more precise details where they are needed.
  • Larger block sizes in stationary signals, 1024 or 960 vs MP3's 576 sample blocks, allowing for less data to represent a portion of the music that does not have the same complexity.

M4P files can usually only be opened with iTunes and the computer must be authorized prior to playing transferring from an iPod or burning the file. An iTunes account can be authorized on five computers and an iPod may contain the content from a maximum of five accounts.

 

Learn more about M4P-related files:

Andoni Oconchubhair defines MPEG standards at Search SOA

Look for answers to M4P-related questions on IT Knowledge Exchange.

See the iTunes webpage.

Visit the MPEG webpage.

This was last updated in August 2010
Browse File Extensions Alphabetically:

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.

Ask your peers a question about this file extension.

Ask a Question

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

  • NVMe (non-volatile memory express)

    NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is a host controller interface and storage protocol to enable a solid-state drive to use the ...

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close