If you bought audiobooks from iTunes in the past but now want to transfer them to another device such as an Android phone, you will most likely need to convert them from M4B format to MP3. We show you how to achieve this so you can listen to your books anywhere and on whatever hardware you’re using.
Convert to MP3 with iTunes
Since there is a good chance that you already have iTunes installed on your Mac or PC, you should start with this method. iTunes has an easy-to-use built-in converter and, in most cases, gets the job done.
To use the converter, open iTunes and click iTunes> Preferences, then find the Import Settings button near the bottom of the window.
Click here, and in the new window, select the Import Using menu. A list will open with different formats iTunes can use.
Select MP3 Encoder and then set the quality to the level you require. High Quality (160 kbps) is perfectly acceptable and has to keep the file size down to a manageable level. When you’re done, click OK.
With that set, it’s time to start transforming the audiobook itself. On the main iTunes page, click the Music button in the upper left corner. This will open another drop-down menu from where you can choose the Audiobook.
Now select the Library option, which you will find at the top and center of the page, which will take you to your current book collection.
Select the book you want to convert, then mark the track. If there are multiple tracks, as is often the case with longer books, you can take them one at a time or hold the Shift key and select them all together.
Now, go to the menu bar at the top of the page and choose File> Convert> Create MP3 Version. iTunes will now be busy making MP3 tracks for the book.
If you see an error message saying ‘ protected file cannot be converted to other formats ‘, the audiobook with DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection blocks the process. To fix this requires the use of alternative methods, which we will mention below.
Try online conversion
Several web-based converters can be used to create versions of your MP3 files. One of our favorites is media.io, which is free and allows you to convert two tracks simultaneously.
To use the service, visit https://www.media.io/, and you will see a box at the bottom left of the screen with the option to add your files. Click here and select the track you want to upload.
Next, go to the section below called Convert to, choose MP3 from the dropdown menu, then click the Convert button. Now the file will be uploaded, changed to MP3, and finally available for download again.
If this method doesn’t work, then more drastic measures will need to be taken.
Use dedicated third-party applications.
If you want to remove DRM, then there are dedicated apps with this feature as a feature. Please note that this can be a complicated legal area. DRM is present to protect the author of pirated media and convert files for personal use as valid arguments. You would be well served to read about applicable law to ensure you remain on the right side of the law.