How do I convert a wma file to wav or mp3?
June 12, 2008 1:27 PM   Subscribe

How do I convert a wma file to wav or mp3?

I'm running Windows XP. I have a tiny file (30 seconds) that needs to be converted, so I'd like to avoid purchasing software if possible.

Based on a prior metafilter conversation, I downloaded a trial version of something called DMC, but it won't convert the wma file, I get error messages.

Thank you metafilterites.
posted by HarryS to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Actually, the software I downloaded is called "db poweramp music converter"
posted by HarryS at 1:32 PM on June 12, 2008

I'm pretty sure audacity will do that for you. (free) It might require a plug-in since WMA is MS's format...not sure.
posted by TomMelee at 1:32 PM on June 12, 2008

I'm pretty sure that iTunes will, if you attempt to import a WMA file, automatically convert it to MP3.
posted by kbanas at 1:34 PM on June 12, 2008

Audacity can't do it. WinAMP used to be able to do it, and when coupled with out_lame could even re-encode to MP3. I haven't tried that in a while since I use commercial software for that stuff anymore.

Anyway it depends. If the WMA is protected with DRM you'll need to unprotect it before converting it (I'm assuming of course you have full rights to the audio).

If it's unprotected you can give AviSynth / VirtualDub (both free) a shot. I just tried it on an unprotected WMA file and it worked for me...

AVS script:
a=DirectShowSource("MyAudioFile.wma")t=(a.Audiolength / a.AudioRate) * 30AudioDub(a,BlankClip(length=t,fps=30))
Open the script in VirtualDub and select File / Save WAV. Now you have a raw PCM file that can be encoded into whatever.

(By the way AviSynth's DirectShowSource works on WMV files, in case you didn't already know that.)
posted by ostranenie at 1:51 PM on June 12, 2008

Neither of those work outright if the WMA is protected.

Audacity cannot import WMA files, however you can get audacity for free at and then go into your audio options (Control Panel, sounds and audio devices), under Volume click Advanced, then in the audio mixer click "Options, Properties". Select the "Recording" radio button and click OK. You may have there the ability to record WAV sounds or System, etc. Then you hit Record in Audacity and play the file in Windows Media Player, and audacity will record all audio your system makes.
posted by arniec at 1:52 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Itunes does this.
posted by herbaliser at 1:58 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

iTunes does it, but he might not want to install that bloated Apple-cation just for converting a 30-second file. Avisynth and Virtualdub are fast, free and work immediately and very well for this specific purpose. Also, they edit video pretty well.
posted by ostranenie at 2:02 PM on June 12, 2008

Switch if you want to download a program.

Zamzar or Media Converter if you don't.
posted by moonshine at 2:11 PM on June 12, 2008

For dbPowerAmp , did you make sure to grab the WMA codec for it as well? That's a great program and the one I'd recommend first and foremost.

Bear in mind that unless it's a WMA Lossless file, converting to another lossy format such as mp3 will result in a loss of quality. But I'm guessing that with a 30 second file that won't be a major concern.
posted by anazgnos at 2:51 PM on June 12, 2008

when i need to do this, i convert in itunes, burn to a cd, and then read the cd using windows cd player...
posted by melodykramer at 3:02 PM on June 12, 2008

Along the lines of melodykramer, I'd use Media Player to burn the file to a CD, then rip the audio track from the CD using Audiograbber or something similar.
posted by greatgefilte at 3:06 PM on June 12, 2008

I use Free WMA to MP3 Converter.
posted by davcoo at 5:55 PM on June 12, 2008

melodykramer and greatgefilte's methods will work but you'll lose out on audio fidelity.
posted by dance at 11:33 AM on February 1, 2009

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