Convert WMA to MP3
Windows Media Player has significant market penetration throughout the world. When audio files are imported from CD or DVD, the software defaults to storing the music in the Windows Media Audio (WMA) format on the target computer. Unfortunately, the WMA format is not supported by all digital music players available on the market due to being a proprietary Microsoft format. To successfully play or import on alternative music players, end-users must convert WMA to MP3 format.
How to Convert WMA to MP3 with Windows Media Player
An inexpensive method to convert WMA to MP3 format is to use the burn feature of Windows Media Player. The software is available as a free download from Microsoft for owners of newer Windows computers. Legacy PC’s came with the software pre-installed. The software does not support a direct conversion to the MP3 format, but can accomplish the task by burning one or many WMA files to disk which will allow the file format for the burn to be toggled to MP3 by the user.
Step 1 – Download and install Windows Media Player on the target computer. Administrator permissions may be required depending on security settings on the PC. Launch the application after install.
Step 2 – Choose the “Library” menu tab and choose the “Playlists” menu option located on the left-hand side of the screen.
Step 3– Select the “Create Playlist” menu option.
Step 4 – Enter a name for the new playlist and click the “Enter” button on the computer.
Step 5 – Use the program’s file chooser to locate WMA files to rip to CD. Depress the “Shift” key and keep pressed to select multiple files by left-clicking on the file name.
Step 6 – Release the shift key and drag all files selected on the panel to the right on the screen to add to the new playlist. To remove a song from the list, right click the title and then left click the “Remove from list” menu option.
Step 7 – Insert the blank CD-R/RW into the computer’s CD/DVD drive.
Step 8 – Ensure “Audio CD” under the “Burn Options Tab” is selected in Windows Media Player and then click the “Burn” menu tab. Click the “Burn, [playlist name here]” menu option to the DVD drive.
Step 9 – After the CD burn is complete, the drive will automatically open.
Step 10 – Close the CD/DVD drive and stop the disk from automatically playing by clicking the “Stop” menu icon on the Windows Media Player.
Step 11 – Click the “Organize” and “Options” menu choices and then select the “Rip Music” menu tab.
Step 12 – Change the location for “Ripped” music under the “Rip music to this location” menu option. Then, change the file format to “MP3.”
Step 13 – Switch back to the “Now Playing Screen” in Windows Media Player and select the “Rip CD” menu option. If you don’t know how to return to this screen, scroll to the Music menu and select “Music Library” and “Album” menu buttons.
Step 14 – Windows Media Player will display a notification dialogue when the conversion to MP3 (or CD Rip) is complete.
*Note: The specific menu options may change slightly based on the specific version of Windows Media Player installed on the target computer.
Convert WMA to MP3 Using Switch
Switch is a commercial audio software conversion application that is available as freeware for a 14 day timeframe. After the initial two weeks, some of the software features are turned off; however, for end-users who have a short-term requirement to convert batches of WMA files to MP3 the software application is rated at or above average when compared to other audio conversion software packages. The software package is supported on both Windows and Mac computers.
Step 1 – Download and install the Switch application on the target computer. Launch the application after install.
Step 2 – Copy or move all WMA files to a single folder that requires conversion to MP3. Note, if the WMA files are associated with a playlist in Windows Media Player they should be copied vice moved to the folder.
Step 3 – Select the option to either “Add File” or “Add Folder” depending on if one or multiple files are being converted to MP3 format from WMA.
Step 4 – Select the output file type on the drop down menu located on the bottom of the Switch software window and select MP3.
Step 5 – Click the “Convert” menu button and the WMA files will be converted to MP3 format.