Windows Media Audio (WMA) is a compressed audio file format developed by Microsoft.
WMA file is an audio file compressed with Windows Media compression. It is a proprietary format developed by Microsoft and similar to the MP3 format. WMA file can be converted to other more standardized formats. It is often used for playing music from the Web.
Windows Media Audio is also known as WMA Standard. Microsoft created it to compete against MP3, that was quickly becoming the de-facto standard format for lossy compression.
WMA is a file format based in ASF (Advanced Systems Format) that wraps an audio bitstream. It is usually a final state format for enduser delivery. Sometimes, it is also a middle-state format, e.g., a high-quality audio representation for archiving or as a source when producing lower-resolution streaming versions.
WMA stands for Windows Media Audio. It is a proprietary audio format owned by Microsoft, part of Microsoft's Windows Media technology.
Initially intended to combat the increasingly popular MP3 format, WMA was supposed to be Microsoft's answer to digital music. With the massive influx of constant bitrate, high quality, low file size MP3s flooding the Internet, it soon became clear to Microsoft that they would not be a direct competition for the format.
When you are more acquainted with what the format is, you can get started on how to play it back on your PC.
Windows Media Player
The easiest method is of course to use Microsoft's proprietary media player, Windows Media Player. Windows Media Player comes pre-installed on every Windows machine and will play WMA right out of the gate. Because many Windows users already use WMP as their de-facto media player, it may be smart just to use WMP to playback your WMA files. However, there are many other options if you do not like to use Windows Media Player or prefer another player.
Download the latest WMP here: Download Windows Media Player here.
The second most popular media player must be Apple's iTunes, especially with the spectacular popularity of the Apple iPod line of devices. iTunes plays WMA files, but first it will transcode them on the fly to its own proprietary AAC codec. This is a nifty feature if you sync to your iPod on a regular basis as the iPod will not read WMA files if they have not been transcoded. iTunes is just as popular if not more than WMP and will play WMA files after they are transcoded (very quick process) making it a viable alternative.
Download the latest iTunes here: Download iTunes here.
WinAmp is a lighter, more open media player that plays mostly all types of music formats, and WMA is no different. No transcoding or plug-ins necessary. Just add to the media library or double click and play away.
Download the latest WinAmp: Download WinAmp here.
Foobar is open source, extremely light and will play any audio codec you throw at it. It was an excellent range of plugins as well, but WMA playback is native, as of version 0.9. Foobar is another great alternative to the "big boys" of media players if you don't like all the bloat.
You can download the latest version of Foobar here: Download Foobar 0.9 and above here.
There are also a few video players that playback WMA files without a hitch, via drag and drop or through opening the file. These players are VLC, MPlayer and RealPlayer. You can download each of these as well.
Many kinds of audio files can be used to play music or sound effects, but not all of them work with the same audio playback programs. The WMA "Lossless" file type is the same as any standard WMA file, except that it has been compressed even further into a smaller file size with a codec called "Lossless." If you have a program that will play MP3s but not WMA Lossless files, you can use an audio-conversion tool to convert the file into the MP3 format.
Convert using Switch
Download Swith from the Link here.
Install it on your computer and launch it. You will see:
If you have a folder full of music, click on Add Folder, then select the individual files that are in the appropriate input format. Then click on Browse Folder... to pick the output directory, specify the audio output format from the long list, and click on Convert:
That's all there is to it.
Convert using All2MP3
Step 1-Download All 2 MP3
Step 2-Install All 2 MP3
Double-click the All 2 MP3 zip file to get a .mpkg installer file.
Unlike normal applications, you cannot just drag-drop the app to Applications folder to install it.
Double click it to begin the installation. You will have to click continue a couple of times, then click Agree.
Then click Install and enter your Mac OS X login password. Once setup is done, you will be presented with a confirmation like below:
Step 3-WMA to MP3 conversion
Double click the All 2 MP3 icon from Applications to start it.
Drag and drop your WMA files (it can convert multiple files at once) to the All 2 MP3 window.
Step 4-Settings for WMA conversion
Choose bit rate for your song – depending on the quality you require and also the original file bit rate. If your original file is, say, 256 Kbps, do not select a higher bit rate than that.
Hit All2MP3 button to begin the conversion. Once conversion is done, a confirmation will be shown. The converted .mp3 files will be in the same location as the original .wma files.
Nero Express is a new and innovative wizard based recording application based on the main application Nero. With the main essentials included such as data, audio, copy, and video, it will also work with the DVD-RW, and DVD+RW drives.
If you want to create an WMA Audio DVD, you can try NeroExpress to do it. Download NeroExpress HERE.
Launch Nero Express, click All Programs, Nero, Nero OEM, NeroExpress.
This will bring up the Nero Express main window. Click Music, WMA Disc.
This will bring up the My WMA disc window, Click the Add button.
This brings up the Select Files and Folders window. Highlight those WMA files to be added and click Add. Repeat this step till you have all the files you want added to the compilation.
Once all the files have been added, click Finished in the picture above.
This brings back the My WMA disc window. Click Next to move to the final step.
Nero now shows the Final Burn Settings window. Nero needs some final configuration information prior to burning the Audio disc.
Select the recording device
Give the WMA disc a name
Set the Write Speed
Set number of copies
Verify data on disc after burn
Click More for a drop down area with more added control of the write method used, see the picture below.
Write Method: If you have the option for Allow files to be added later enabled, this feature defaults to Track-At-Once mode.
Finalize Disc: Only select this feature if you do not plan on writing to the disc anymore. Used to close disc.
Determine maximum speed: The speed test determines how quickly the compiled files can be accessed. If the access speed is slower than the burning speed, the burning speed is reduced so as to avoid a buffer underrun.
Simulation: The simulation runs all the steps involved in burning a medium apart from activating the laser beam, so that you can assume that if the simulation is successful, the burning process will also be successful.
Write: This checkbox enables the actual physical burning process.
1 - Recording device field
2 - Disc name
3 - Write speed field
4 - Number of copies field
5 - Verify data checkbox
6 - More button
7 - Burn button
8 - Write Method field
9 - Determine maximum speed checkbox
10 - Simulation checkbox
11 - Write checkbox
Selecting the Burn button brings up the a window requesting a blank DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, or DVD+RW media to be inserted in Recorder. Insert a blank disc and Nero will detect it and begin burning automatically.
The Burning Process window is now shown on the PC. If any error messages are received during the write and/or the write fails, be sure to Save the Nero log file to the desktop. This file will have critical information about the system, as well as a very detailed description of the write process that was attempted. And it will provide exact error codes that will help the Technical Support team to trouble-shoot the issue. Without this file, we may not be able to properly assist in resolving the issues.
Used read buffer: This is an indicator of your temporary buffer level on your Hard Drive, being used by Nero during the burn.
Status: This is the progress bar of the actual write process.
Buffer Level: This is an indicator of your buffer level on the Recorder.
1 - Used read buffer
2 - Status
3 - Buffer Level
If the write process was a success. Click Next to continue.
This brings you to the completion of the Audio write process. Here you can choose to Burn the same project again; start a New project; launch the Cover Designer to create a label; Save project;or Exit the Nero Express program.
1 - Burn the same project again
2 - New project
3 - Cover Designer
4 - Save project
5 - Exit button
If you select the Exit option, you will get the window as shown below, asking if you wish to save your project? Only select Yes if you plan on doing this exact same write operation in the future, as this will create an NRI image file that will allow you to do this same write operation without needing to select the format, the files, the write method, etc. It will do the exact same write operation without any input needed from you. In most cases, select No for this window.