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WMA File Extension


WMA is another file format developed by Microsoft. The acronym stands for Windows Media Audio and it works in competition to MP3, WAV, and RealAudio. WMA is a container file that may include both digital audio and video.

  • WMA Format

Developed by Microsoft, the WMA format is closely associated to another format that is developed by the same company, the ASF. Being a direct competitor of the MP3, WMA tries to do whatever that the now de-facto digital audio file MP3 can do. WMA is easily the second most popular video format today. It works in a lower bitrate and doesn't require too much storage space.

  • WMA Codec

There are four codecs associated with the WMA and these are WMA, WMA Professional, WMA Lossless, and WMA Voice. Of the four, the WMA codec is the most popular. This codec is based on the modified discrete cosine transform, a format that is similar to OGG and AAC.

WMA Professional is the improved version of the WMA standard codec. This is a lossy codec with an improved bitrate. The WMA Lossless codec, on the other hand, is its opposite. This codec is the direct competitor of Dolby TrueHD and the others of the same level. The WMA Voice is also a lossy audio codec that works like Speex in the Xbox Live service.

  • Compatibility Issues and How to Play WMA

Being a file format that is created by software giant Microsoft, this file format is mostly intended for Windows computers and Windows-based devices. It is not easily recognized by Apple’s QuickTime and its associated editing software. However, many of today’s popular media players can handle WMA. Some of them are compatible with a Mac so the most recommended workaround is to install these other players. Converting WMA into a file format compatible with the iPod or the iTunes is recommended as well.

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As for WMA player, Macgo Mac Blu-ray player is the best one. Apart from Mac Blu-ray Player, most of the WMA compression formats can be played using ALLPlayer, VLC media player, MPlayer, RealPlayer, Winamp, Zune Software (with certain limitations-DSP plugin support and DirectSound output is disabled using the default WMA plugin), and many other software media players. The Microsoft Zune media management software supports most WMA codecs, but uses a variation of Windows Media DRM which is used by PlaysForSure.
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