Windows Media Video (WMV) is a compressed video file format developed by Microsoft.
Windows Media Video (WMV) is a format developed by Microsoft for Internet streaming and watching videos on a PC. This is a type of video that can be played on your computer and portable media players. The most important feature of a WMV file is that its format allows large video files to be compressed, retaining the rich quality of the video. It is a file format developed to store video content in a compressed format, so that movies and other video programs can be viewed on a personal computer. These videos can be watched from the hard drive of your computer, or other media players. To play a WMV file, a set of codecs are required. A codec is a program that can easily read a file, creating video and audio formats from the provided data. WMV files may be played on Microsoft Windows Media Player and other media players as well. The latest version of WMV is WMV10.
Playing WMV files in Windows
WMV files play best on Windows Media Player (the latest version WMP10 is recommended to be used with Windows XP and newer versions, and ideally requires a RAM of 512 MB or higher, a 24-bit sound card and a Video card with 256 MB of RAM or higher for optimum playback). The latest versions of Windows ship with the updated version of Windows Media Player. It can also be downloaded from the Microsoft website.
Playing files via Windows is an easy process - open WMP and select the file you wish to watch. When it comes to Windows XP and later versions, WMP should automatically download the required codecs as it plays the video. If not, they can be downloaded manually as well. Other Windows compatible media players that support the WMV format are DivX, Winamp, VLC (VideoLan Client), and Power DVD.
Playing WMV files on Linux
To play WMV files in Linux, you need to have a media player supporting the WMV format. Linux usually has a VLC player installed with the help of which WMV files can be played. Linux also supports media players such as Miro, Boxee, RealPlayer, Mplayer and Helix Player which are all WMV compatible.
Playing WMV files on Mac
The Macintosh OS also does not natively support the WMV format, but there exists the “Mac Version” of Windows Media Player. It is interesting to know that Mac's default media player, Apple Quicktime can be made to play WMV files by installing a free plugin named “Filp4mac”, which is available for free download from Microsoft's website. Again VLC player is an option to play WMV files on the Mac as well.
This guide will explain how to easily convert .wmv video files to .avi files legally.
Find the WMV file you want to convert to AVI file.
Download Windows Movie Maker if your computer is not installed with it. Microsoft Windows XP and Vista come with the Movie Maker. Check you system before you download the software.
Open your file with Windows Movie Maker. Import the .wmv file rather than try to open it with Movie Maker. The file will be displayed in the middle part of the window.
Drag it to the timeline.
On the left pane, under 3. Finish Movie, select Save to my computer.
Click Next. A dialogue box should pop up. (This does not happen with Version 5.1) Click Show more choices and choose other setting. In the dropdown list, choose DV-AVI. Click Next. Wait for Windows Movie Maker to finish converting the movie.
Click Finish to complete the conversion.
You now have converted your .wmv file to .avi.
Windows Movie Maker is a very convenient tool for creating WMV files. Open Windows Movie Maker. A window is shown as follows.
Three steps are presented.
Step 1: Capture Video
With different options, you can choose different kinds of media. Select and import the media that you would like to use to create your WMV file. The media can be a video, pictures, audio or music. Movie Maker can read a variety of video, audio and image files, including AVI, WAV and JPEG.
Step 2: Edit Movie
Click Show Collections, and the media you have selected are presented in the middle window.
You can also choose and view video effects, view video transitions, make titles or credits or make an AutoMovie. To arrange your files, simply drag and drop them on the storyboard below. Click Show Storyboard in the bottom part, it will switch to the timeline editing. By this way, you can edit the storyboard and the timeline.
Step 3: Finish Movie
By clicking different options, you can save the movie you have created just now in different places. You can save it to the computer or to CD, or send it in e-mail, to the Web or to a DV camera.
If you want to save the movie to your computer, click Save to my computer. An interface below is presented.
Type in a name for your WMV file in the first box. If you do not type in a new name, your file will default to the name "Movie". Click on the Browse button and search for the folder where you would like to save the file. When you find the folder, click OK. Click Next to proceed to the next screen.
In the bottom of the interface, there is the information of the setting details and the movie file size. After finishing the setting, click Next to save the movie.
Click Finish to save the file in the directory you have chosen.