Importing creating clipping?

I’m editing a song for a performance. In its original .m4a format, the song is loud overall but does not have any clipping. When I import the song into Audacity, the peaks get clipped – and because this song is pretty loud, that means much of the song contains clipping in Audacity. I have tried quitting Audacity and re-importing the song, but no luck. Any thoughts?

I’m using macOS 12.5.1 and Audacity 2.3.1.

How do you know that it doesn’t have any clipping?

Do you just see that via the red clipping indicators, or can you actually hear that it is clipped?

Compressed formats such as MP3 / M4A produce an approximation of the original audio, and peak levels may be a bit higher or lower than the original.

Note also that the vertical red clipping indicators are a warning that the audio “may” be clipped. They appear if the waveform is at, or above 0 dB. Clipping occurs when the waveform goes above 0 dB (it is clipped to 0 dB). Very slight clipping may not be audible, though it is still best practice to avoid clipping.