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Yes. You found the answer yourself.
Thanks Harm, But last night after I posted my initial message I found on Adobe livedocs that PrProCS3 does in fact support M4A files.
Supported audio file formats
Audio Interchange File Format, AIFF (AIF)
Audio Video Interleaved Audio (AVI)
Audio Waveform (WAV)
That's a copy - paste from the Adobe livedocs page
A simple 'workaround' if you can call it that, has been found - convert to WAV, but I'm still curious. Any thoughts?
The IDEA of Premiere editing any type of compressed file (be it video or audio) has been discussed, literaly, hundreds of times here
The bottom line is that the actual FACT of editing this type of file, in spite of what Adobe says in their marketing materials, is that some people have success... and other people do NOT
Some of this is attributed to whatever else (ie-codecs) is installed on the computer... and in what order (each time a codec is installed it puts an entry into the Registry to say that IT is "most important" and should be "seen first" in the list of codecs) and that can cause problems for Premiere, even with files that "should" work
So... as you have found... convert to WAV