Cannot Import MP4a Files

Working on a theatrical sound editing project and have ripped some audio from video files on YouTube. I have done this without problems for years and now am unable to import MP4a without first converting the file to .WAV or MP3 (otherwise MP4a file plays back as just a 3-second screech). Do I really need to convert every file to MP3 or .WAV??? I’ve already scrubbed my original audacity program and re-downloaded it. The libraries are all connected and everything should be working…but it’s not.


Thank you :slight_smile:

FFMpeg software is required to open up advanced filetypes. If you upgraded to the latest Audacity—2.3.2—it takes a different FFMpeg.

Scroll down for FFMpeg and other plugins.


Thank you so much for your response! I have downloaded the 64 bit FFmpeg and still cannot import the files. I’ve tried restarting the program.

Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 8.21.29 AM.jpg

So it looks like FFmpeg is correctly installed.

Upload one of the problem files to this page:
What does that page say about the file?

These are ripped using from YouTube.
Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 8.29.56 AM.png

Try changing the name of the file to “test.m4a” (without quotes) and see if that makes any difference.

Still garbled. I’m wondering why it’s a .mp3? It has mp4a in the file name but not after the .
Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 8.50.18 AM.jpg

So you’re saying that Audacity does import the file, but it sounds like garbage?
Do any other applications play the file correctly?
How big is the file?