I wanted to use ffmpeg

ffmpeg -i file.cda file.m4a

but I get the error

Invalid data found when processing input

So how can I convert lots of cda files on macOS?

  • If e.g. file.cda is a file you have on your HDD/SSD, then you can not convert as CDA files do not contain any audio data, they are just shortcuts to the tracks on an audio disc. Jun 8, 2019 at 12:37
  • @user3439894 I realised this, annoying. Thanks.
    – minseong
    Jun 8, 2019 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


I can't because a .CDA (CD Audio) file is a Windows file, created as a shortcut to a file located on a CD.

The file doesn't contain any Audio data.

I had to rip the CD on my Windows machine, then copy the ripped (located in the Music folder) files onto my Mac.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .