I have a mac without a disc drive on it, I also have some CDA files on my computer that need to be interpreted into an audio format that is more compatible with modern music programs so that I'm actually able to use them

music files

iTunes is an amazing program to do this with, but it's not letting me import the files into it.

I've tried:

  1. Double-clicking on the files
  2. Right-clicking on the files and choosing iTunes to open them with
  3. Dragging and dropping the files into iTunes (Even though I was pretty sure that wouldn't work because of the way drag and drop works)
  4. Importing the CDA files into Audacity

Also, I'm having some trouble finding another converter online, and since I love the simple design of iTunes, I would much rather prefer to convert the files on there.

1 Answer 1


CDA files are not song files, it's just a shortcut. It doesn't contain any song information, so you can't convert it to other formats. You need to import cd into a usable format using iTunes on the computer that owns the disc drive.


Note that macOS sees them as "exec" files just because it does not recognize the file type and does not know what else to do with it.

  • Also Audacity is a freeware/open source audio editing tool that will open a number of different audio formats and save them in something more usable. I believe that Handbrake might also be able to convert audio files, haven't tried that but it is free also. May 31, 2019 at 14:37
  • Nope, I guarantee you they are encrypted audio files. (encrypted as in something that can't be read by other programs)
    – Yusamac205
    May 31, 2019 at 19:21
  • @SteveChambers Audacity is unable to convert CDA files. When I tried, I got the error: "Audacity cannot open audio CDs directly". Meaning that 1. The files are directly from a CD and 2. That files are a form of audio. The problem I'm having is that I can't put the physical CD into my computer and therefore am unable to convert the files.
    – Yusamac205
    May 31, 2019 at 19:29
  • Did you miss the answer that said CDA files are not song files? I provided my comment as an addendum to your question in case you needed something to convert audio files. But first they have to be audio files and not a Windows shortcut to the audio files on the original CD they were on. May 31, 2019 at 19:49
  • @Yusamac205 Usually the bitrate of a 44.1khz 16bit stereo song is 176.4kb/s. one minute song usually takes up 10MB of hard disk, You can check your file size.
    – maP1E bluE
    May 31, 2019 at 20:00

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