Convert WMA from Windows Media Player into MP3 files?
I'm definitely going crazy here. I have a ton of CDs that I've ripped with Windows Media Player 10, but they're all apparently in WMA format, not the MP3 format that my new Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) needs for me to listen to them. I checked and there's no "save as" capability in WMP, so how the heck do I fix this problem?
This is an astonishingly common question for Sony PSP owners, a question sufficiently common that even Sony's heard your complaints: the latest version of the PSP firmware (version 2.6) includes the ability to play WMA (Windows Media, Audio) files directly on the PSP. I haven't tried it, and I have heard that some people are anxious that you have to be online when you accept the terms of the player upgrade, so your preference can be registered with The Man, but that's certainly one solution.
But there's another way to fix your audio files, a solution that works with all MP3-compatible players and will even let you then import your previously ripped CDs into Apple's iTunes. That's to use an audio conversion program, and whether you're a Mac or Windows person, there are oodles of 'em available.
For this article, I picked out the freeware application Switch for Windows, developed by a crack team of Australian programmers. (don't like that? Try the 24/7 supported application Smart Audio Converter instead)
The first thing I did was to rip a new music CD, Dave Grusin's The Gershwin Collection, with Windows Media Player. It looked like this as it was being ripped by WMP:
Click for fullsize image
Now, with that album ripped, I start up the Switch program and get, well, a blank window:
Click on "Add Folder" and I can select the newly ripped CD by looking in My Documents\My Music:
Almost ready to go. The last step, one that's not obvious when you first start working with Switch, is to pick the output format of your choice, as shown here:
I've chosen MP3, but you can see the program supports a wide range of options!
With the audio input files selected, the output format selected, and the destination disk specified, all that's left to do is select all the files to convert and click on the "Convert" button on the top right. You'll get a progress window like this:
When it indicates that the conversion is complete, voila, you now have MP3 audio files from your WMA format files. Quickly and easily done.
There are also Mac utilities for converting audio file formats, as I write about here: Converting WMA to MP3 on Mac OS X
Disclaimer: The Switch link is an affiliate link. You get the software at a discount and I get a few pennies commission on the sale. A win:win. FYI.
More Useful Windows PC Help Articles:
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Reader Comments To Date: 448
when I go to "music" on my psp the screen says no tracks and when I try to sync my music from WMP it says already on device meaning already on psp what is going on and how do I solve it?
Oh My God, i have been looking for something like switch for about 3 months now, ridiculous(i Know - trust me) but thank you sooooo much you are a great help
Hi. I read the above and downloaded switch, and it still won't convert from wma to mp3. My wma files are protected, and unfortunately, the files aren't from a CD I could just borrow off a friend or anything, because they're my band's demos and I'm the only one who has them! Is there ANY way to get round this, because they're stuck as wma files.
Can you change WMA files to mp3's to use on ipods? Is it the same way as doing it for a psp?
i turned my wma music into mp3 but my psp says that file is corrupted,i dont know how or why :(
I think iTunes will do it?
this was a TON of help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, this kinda has nothing to do with this but i have ogg files that i can play perfectly fine onto my windows media player but i can't put it onto my library. What's up with that?
I have windows media player and itunes. when i hit export in itunes, i save it under my music. I go to the media player and i select the song (there are only 2 types of files i can save it from, XML and TXT) and it says that the media player can't play it because of the XML, and something that says something about the way it was compressed. What can i do to get an itunes song on my windows media player???!?!?!?!?!!!?!?
Dave, I am having a problem with downloading songs into my phone. I ripped cd,, downloaded from limewire etc. Then used a converter program to get them to mp3 format. I made sure after this that all songs in my WMP library were now in mp3 format. When I hook the cable and select the songs to sync into my new motorola rokr phone, here is where the trouble begins. They start syncing and all of the sudden WMP says on each song status line "needs to be converted" and it converts them all right back to wma format. So after going through all the time to get them all out of wma, WMP just converts them right back as it put them in my phone. How do i correct this one??? Thanks
thank you so much for making this page. i was beginning to get frustrated that my comp would only play certain songs on windows media player that it wouldnt play on itunes! thanks thanks thanks!
i cant seem to find the swith folder or the garchwin conithon on my pc
There are a lot of converters now and I like TuneCab, it has many features such as audio conversion, video conversion, extract sound from video, remove DRM, download and convert video from YouTube etc. Easy to use all in one software! http://www.tunecab.com
Thank you for the advice :p you have put music back to my ears. I thought I bought my psp fpr nothing. I almost lost hope on my psp and almost sold it.
This was all just a plug for NCH software. They are doing this all over the internet. Switch is not free, only a trial. WMP can rip to .mp3 check your options.
I posted a question last night about trying to convert napster downloaded wma files to mp3 for my new ipod, and then I went back and read more of the comments. Media Audio Capture sounded like the right solution, so I just tried it. But, I tried it on 3 songs and all three cut off before the end of the song. Then I got a message stating that protected wma files could only be recorded up to 75% of the file. Is there any way to get around this, or a different program that won't have this same problem?
licences on downloaded songs, what a joke! Even the tunes i've ripped from CD's won't go onto my psp! After reading all of your tips am i being completely stupid or is there no way of doing it?!?!?!?!
i have uploaded the program that you recommended,
however when i added my music to convert from
wma to mp3, it said that i couldnt because the file was protected by DRM ( Digital Rights Management). i have no idea why this hasnt worked for me and have you got any solutions for me?
I need this e-mail sent to me no later than tommorrow b4 i leave for austria.
thanks very much
dave, thank you for this wonderful public service that you provide.
here is my dillema. I am a public lecturer. All my lectures are recorded with a olympus voice recorder. They record with WMA. I have switch, so I am able to convert to MP3. However, whenever I convert, the file stays the same size. I NEED the files to become smaller, as I email the lectures to a number of people. Any suggestions????
thank you, martin,
dave when i try to convert it has a red X on the left side of the files on the right side it says
File is protected by DRM (digital rights management) is it because i downloaded the free version?
Thanks so much. This explanation made it soooo easy.
SO i've done everything you suggested up top but my dilemma now is trying not to lose all the info like the # of songs which the original WMA files hold. It would take me a couple of days to number every song that I convert. any suggestions? also is converting to mp3 my best bet? what about bitrate?? can you convert a 128 to 256? what does that do?
How do you convert WMA files already on your computer to mp3. I think I need them to be mp3 files in order to put them on an audio cd. Thanks
ermm hi dave... do u have any site to recommand for downloading free mp3 songs?i nid to put it into my psp and ive been looking for a site for quite some time and im realli fed up coz all i could find r juz websites which nids to pay to download music or pay to become a member to download.... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASEEEEEEEEE help me, IM TRULY AND DESPERATELY IN NID OF HELPP!!!!!! i would realli be grateful to u..=)
Thanks for helping us out with this whole converting mess!! It works great execpt it wont let me convert certain songs even though I own them it says that they are protected by the DRM (digital rights management)?? and won't let me convert them! Can you tell me why this may be or how to fix this problem?? Who knows mybe others are having the same messages? Thanks a bunch!!
Jessie aka GizmoGirl
A trillion tanx to you Dave, spent last 3 hours feck arsing round tryin to convert wavs/mp3z etc myself & then decided to use my trusty old friend goole & discovered yer wise tips, keep up the great work, will be recommending you to all....
Use "notecable",it will strip any itunes drm off of any music and convert to mp3.I use it all the time.
this was awesome advice. i'm using moviemaker to make a video for my mom and this was perfect for adding background music. thanks so much.
Thanks a lot, Dave. That was just what I wanted, so helpful and really easy to understand. That one has been bugging me for ages.
A much quicker method of ripping CD's is to use Musicmatch Jukebox, which will rip directly to MP3 format. No intermediate step required.
I used the switch converter but it only let me do one file. When I tried to do the next song is said it already existed but still converte it. Now the first song has a red x through it and the other song is fine. I want to convert an entire album at a time. Is that possible? And if not what am I doing wrong with the switch program. I also need to know how to be able to rip the converted files to an mp3 disk.
Please help I have been on so many other sights and I am getting way frustrated!
It seems like you could take a basic audio conversion program and encode the DRM WMA files directly to mp3 which are unprotected. Am I missing something here? Mark
the best advice i ever got on the net!!thanks a lot!
Dave, thanks for this. It was just the answer that I needed.
Cheers mate! That was just what I was looking for :)
how can i convert my i tunes songs into windows media songs and or files??
Please help me. I'm having trouble viewing windows media files on my motorolla razr. It starts to look at the file but says that it doesn't recognize the file. i'm really tired of not being able to see some of the videos that my dad sends. thank you for box help in this matter
what software do i download for my mz3 and how do i do it?
HELP PLEASE!!!!!! I JUST BOUGHT A 2 GB GPX MP3 PLAYER . THE PROBLEM IS I HAVE GOOD O VISTA WARE . I NEED TO DOWNLOAD WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER 9 OR 10 AND I CANT GET EITHER BECAUSE I HAVE VISTA !! ANY SUGG.??
I tried this, but it doesn't work for DRM protected .wma files. How can I get around this?
Just wanted to say that I rip my music into mp3 in windows media player. I just click the arrow under the rip tab and selected more options then undeer the rip music tab went to rip settings and format and chose mp3 in the drop down box. I don't beleive you can convert ones that have already been rip as wma though by using windows media.
i have music in mobile but not read to music
This works great for recording client readings in Vista which end up as WMA'S. Often these end up at a size too large for an Audio CD. When converted to MP3, they fit no pablum.
I've tried to use the Switch program on my Mac to convert a WMA file into a MP3 file, but it just says "the specified source format could not be read" when I press the convert button?? Please help me??
whats the switch program and where do i get it from
thanks a looooooot
it really solved my problem for convertin wma to mp3 format and now it will run on my cd player
thanks a lot once again
I got my twins a mp3/mp4 player for christmas and I am unable to download music from the web site 360 and is unable to download music from this site. are you able to help me
I found the following app at www.tunecopy.net very helpful. It converted my Napster WMA files into MP3 files by just selecting them. Converting 300 files took only about 3 minutes.
hi i just wanted to know that how do u put music that u have in your computer to your mp3?
Very useful tips! I also use eufony from http://www.softe.net which is so nice for wma to mp3 conversion.
Just used the free version of switch to try and convert about 5gb of music. It took it into its head to only convert every other track on the albums and I think I had it set to delete source files when converted. now have half an album in MP3 and half in WMA in 2 different places on my computer! its all backed up but before I go through it all again is the problem that Im being a cheapskate ie. do I need to PAY for the full version??
This question comes from someone with limited techie skills! :-)
I created literally thousands of wma files on another laptop from my CDs, and then copied the files to CDs and years later and trying to upload and play them on another laptop.
I only copied the files to CDs - I did nothing special via MS Media Player.
After copying the files to my new laptop, when I try to play the file, MS Media Player gives me an error - "Unable to contact the server for the requested operation".
Confused in SF!
I have used the conversion software to convert a Real Player audio file to mp3. The problem I'm having is the Real Player file is a pod cast that has segments with commericals in between. The conversion to MP3 only picks up the first segment. What can I do??
Hey Dave, great advice thank you I tried to convert music files to my partners psp via windows media player - ripped the disc- into the libary and clicked on the tracks i wanted, send to sync list! Being rather "a late starter" in the pc world I followed the inructions and succesforly syncronised the psp to the pc aqnd then the tracks to psp.... WOW that was easy ish, or so i thought,until i started looking for the music!!! Argh Wot a nightmare!!
Is there an easier way to search for all .wma files on a computer, and get a program that can convert them all in one go instead of having to go through your entire music collection album by album? Please contact me if you have any ideas on this one! thanks!
I downloaded the Switch program but I couldnt find the crack, and using the freeware it only allows to convert about 1 minute per song.
where can I find the crack
Hey Ed, a kind of radical idea: why don't you *pay* for this shareware application so you can get a full license? That'll help the company make more great software for all of us...
just following your radical Idea at the beginning of the post
this is a scam it dosent work it put loads of virouses on my lap top
I would like to burn a published C.D. onto a blank C.D.
i googled "how to convert wma to mp3" and your website was at the top, so i decided to see what's what. i read a lot of other resources that mention and describe various conversion programs, some of which are probably just as good and just as free as "switch". but i decided to go with "switch" and i am not disappointed. i have well over 4000 wma files on my computer, categorized in folders by artist name. "switch" allowed me to select the one folder all my music is stored in (as opposed to having to open each one and select the songs) which was a huge relief! now, it is busy converting all 4000+ wma files into mp3 files into a designated folder at about 15-18 seconds per song. this is awesome! i am randomly testing songs as they download and so far so good. even if i find some bumps in the process, this is still a great solution. thanks Dave!!!
I have replay AV to record talk radio. Their converter didn't work and I have been trying to put these radio shows on my creative zen for a week. I was lucky enough to find your site and downloaded Switch and now I finally have them!!
Thank you sooo much. You really speak normal and even a "Geek Wanna Be" like me could do it.
Again, thank you !!!
How do I convert iTunes music to Windows Media player??????PLEASE HELP
hello i keep on having a problem connecting my muvo v100mp3 and my ipod shuffle to my windows 98 computer it keeps on sayinng WINDOWS CANNOT FIND A DRIVER FOR THIS DEVICE... so wat do i do
Thanks worked great for both my iTunes files and .wma
Buy a 40$ philips DVD player with a USB port to create MPS, they create upto 320Kbps , best in market.
thank you for your advise.i have ripped a couple of music cds to my laptop on windows media player into .WMA files and also downloaded the licenses to play the files off the micrsoft website. the tracks play just fine on the laptop .
however when i tried to transfer the wma files my mp3 player, it comes up with an error msg saying license required. would converting wma to mp3 solve the problem ?
I was wanting to know if the quality of the music is sacrificed in doing this. I have a external hard drive that has about 135gb of music not converted to mp3 format. Can I convert this to mp3 without sacrificing the quality thanks
Why not use CDex? It's freeware and converts your cd tracks directly to mp3. In the settings you can specify the bit rate.
Ok dave I have a psp and I converted (via swith as you recomended) my WMPs to MP3. The psp recognises the album name but says there aren't any tracks. Then I tried to drag the files to the psp music folder in my F:drive and it wont allow me to. Then maraculusly the tracks showed up in the psp music file F:drive in MP3 format and my psp still wouldn't recognise that I have any songs. It does take up memory like they are there but it says zero tracks. PLEASE HELP I JUST GOT IT!!!!
Thank you so so much for this information! I have been trying for about three hours trying to convert a CD so it would go onto my phone then stumbled across your page and it worked first time! Lots and lots of love and thanks xx
Switch seems a very easy to use software, but I prefer FreeRIP MP3. It is as easy to use as Switch but it also supports many advanced features, such like CD-Text (= reads tracks info from the CD itslef if available) and FLAC encoding.
If you want to try simply Google for FreeRIP or go here http://www.freerip.com
Hi Dave, thanks for the time and effort! Great site. I notice that alot of people are trying to convert protected files to other formats. I've never tried this, but I know there are programs that can capture the output of streaming media (eg youtube) in various formats to save to your computer. Could these programs be configured to capture the output of a protected file, then saved as mp3 or other format? just a thought...
Thank you for making what I considered a complicated problem solvable.
Thanks a lot! You saved me from searching the whole net for all my tracks in mp3!
Is there any songs which aren't protected by drm?
I tried Avril Lavigne and it says it is but what isn't?
useful tips for wma to mp3 conversion.
If you have Windows Media Player version 11, you can convert WMA files to MP3.
Just go to Tools/Plug-ins/Windoes Audio Converter and follow instructions.
Simple and easy.
I found a simple, small, FREE WMA to mp3 file conversion program just like I found this webpage; Googling. Its called "free mp3/wma/ogg converter" by CyberPower.
I didn't do anything with DRM, and it installed and worked as smooth, easy, and well as anybody could ask for. I run XP Pro (SP3), and I just converted some stuff that I'd accidentally ripped to WMA. It did great using it's automatic defaults, as well as when I did some of my own fixed and variable bitrate conversion settings. It makes you select your destination (it uses good defaults) that you have to click, so I'd say that even that is covered.
I don't think I'll use it much, but I think it's a good ad for it's maker.
As far as the WindowsMedia Player 11 converter plug-in goes, I'd have to go online and find a plugin and install it first. I didn't bother. For all I know this Cyberpower program can be used as a plugin, but I'm not gonna mess with it.
I just installed the video and audio converters from here and my AVG virus says they are infected! What is in these files I just installed onto my comp Dave?
Thank you so much for this!
Now I'll be able to put a music file onto audacity, while previously all i got was a 2 second long squeak, when it was wma.
I don't know why that was the case, but I'm happy that now everything works fine!
Very simple and easy to use.
Bless your heart for posting this!! Very helpful. Thanks.
ok u lot. if u have vista the easiest way to convert any file to any other file you want is like this:
1. click on the song you want and right click it
2. click on properties which should be right at the bottom.
3.then you will be on the tab 'general' and on this tab you should be able to see your song and then it will have a '.' next to it then the file extension.
4. in your case the file extension should be .wma so it would say
e.g. poker face.wma
5. all you do is change the 'wma to 'mp3' and press ok.
the song will now be in mp3 format.
sorry only works for vista but it is soo easy i do it all the time.
I have a music library of 20Gb in size/wma format and play via Zen Vision / dock. I want to play some tunes via an I pod connection in a car I have just bought. This means converting some or all of the library. I have tested converting with a handful of tunes but end up with duplicate tracks and the icon for the MP3 tunes is just that, no album covers. I think I would like to convert the full library in one go but do not have enough free disk space for a duplicate library. How can I convert in one go and be sure I also get the album art at the same time?
Dennis, you might well be out of luck: if you want to convert your 20Gb music library en masse, then you'll need disk space to have each and every music file in the MP3 format too, e.g. an additional 20Gb.
How can I take the mp3 files that are in media player, and burn them to a disk? My car has a mp3 cd player, So I can fit a lot of music on one cd, if I can just figure out how to burn them. Media player wants to make more then one disk, as if it was still wma format. I went to a lot of trouble to convert to mp3, and now its just a waist of time.
I have a mp3 player but it only holds 14 hours. I hate to use it in my car too, cause its distracting. Any help please?
i downloaded switch then when i press convert it says"your hard drive is running low on space.would you like to abort the remaining coversions?" and i dont know either to press yes or no.ps.please help!!!!
when I converted my music from WPA to MP3 the songs are interrupted by a voice that say "AVS media demo" every 15 seconds. What can I do to stop that from happening?
how do yhou write an mp3 disc from windows media player
I truly cannot thank you enough!
You explained exactly what I needed to do step by step and it worked perfectly.
I needed to transfer the music within my Windows Media Player library via .WMA files to an MP3 format, so that I can copy them onto an SD card that is slipped into a Harley Davidson module that is plugged into my USB. WHEW!!!
Downloading the Switch software that you recommended was imperative.
Thank u sooo much!
I am trying to get live audio from a streaming site, www.sportsfrequency.com, to play on my iphone. I can't convert the file because it is live, and it is a windows media services file, http://mms:xxxxxx.com/, so it won't play on the iphone.
This worked beautifully. THANKS!
I have got a MP3 player today! I was REALLY excited! But I don't knoq how to downlod songs - I'm thick. Please help me!!!
Thank you Dave. Easy to use program I was looking for it for a long time.
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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