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.
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Reader Comments To Date: 448
Can you do this on a normal pc as well?
I can't see why not. Depends, I suppose, on what you mean by "normal", but isn't that always the way? :-)
tx alot for the help this helped alot and i am greatful that you took the time to make this page =)
Thanks for this page and info on downloading WMA music onto a PSP. You are way more informed than the SonyPSP help line, who did not even know they had an updated version available online. After reading your suggestions, the version 2.6 was downloaded to my PSP & mins later, is playing my WMA music! THANKS
I've downloaded "Switch" to convert WMA files to MP3s so i can transfer them to my mobile and play them on its mp3 player, but after trying ot convert some of the WMA files to MP3s, they still appear as WMA files in "My Music"...so I dont know if its worked???
Thanks for the wb page i was getting verry mad that my music and photos did not play or show up. your pg helped a great deal. i would like to know how to use the wireless wb and how to log on to a wireless site.
Hi Dave, You helped me with a problem recently so I am now always on your site!! Correct me if I am wrong but I had this problem getting songs off CD to my phone because of the WMA/MP3 problem. In WMP 10, If you go to options and then select tools > Options. On the Rip Music tab you can choose for music to be ripped as MP3. Saving time and the use of free ware. Hope this helps.
i downloaded all my songs on pilot 1.05 and all my songs are mp3's. what software can i download to transfer songs to my psp?
umm dave..i thought i would add.. windows media player will rip to mp3 instead of wma.. just go into the options drop down, click the rip tab, and change the format to mp3, i suggest 192 bitrate. Theres a ton of programs that will convert after the fact.. but of your ripping your own cds you might as well save yourself a step and just rip to mp3 in the first place.
BTW... this does not take into account if you have lost the license files from the originaly ripped music.
If you have the license option enabled in WMP, and loose your license directory, you are screwed!!!
You're absolutely correct, and that's just one of the many concerns I have with current digital rights management systems. At least the Apple iTunes Music Store lets you have five devices enabled for a song AND you can 'decommission' any device through the store itself, as far as I know.
This is great, except for files with any kind of DRM attached.. it stops this program cold...any ideas?
Thanks for the light. I'm trying to help my cuz' with dumping the WMA files "already" on his pc vice taking them from disks to reformat the files for transfer to his mp3 device.
I've never used a stand-alone mp3 player, so I can only guess that ya hafta backdoor the process to get to the same nd. Seems Ichanged all of my files once upon a time before Media 10 somehow by doing a select all (of the audiophile) then saving as mp3. I'm going to hack at it a bit and hit cha back. If I'm on the right track, give us a shout.
DRM, what a nightmare. But we have had format problems before, have we not. Vinyl to CD, CD to MP3. Each change is meant to get us, the end user to shell out for the same work we had already purchased. As i see it, if the track is encoded with DRM it WAS downloaded to you at your terminal, at your address (eg Home) and you paid for it in full. If we are to be encouraged to hold tightly on to being mobile, then the powers that be should by now have the software to allow the freedom of movement between all our mobile devices that we own. Copyright belongs to the artist/publisher, how we chose to listen is up to us, the cash end user(CER) Sites like yours Dave do me proud to see. Keep up the good work. MUSIC IS FOR EVERYONE
I merely want to convert temporarily convert my Windows Media stuff to P3 and back it all up in MP3 on CD RW. I have an hp.
Do I follow the above method that you describe?
I'm afraid I can't answer that, TK, because I don't know what "p3" format is, but generally, why can't you just backup using the WMP format?
Jeff, you need to download the program first. You can do that from their site in Australia:
Note that the company now has both Mac and PC versions of the software too.
Hey Dave, well I want to transfer music from my PC to my PSP. I tried my USB cable but my computer said it doesn't recognize it. How do I make it recognize the USB cable?
William, first off, you need to ensure you're running Windows XP since the PSP basically isn't supported by other versions of Windows, and also make sure your PSP's in "USB Connection" mode when you go to use it too.
what if you have itunes??
Have you found an application that converts an Mac WAV file into an MP3 file?
Okay - I know I have burn my WMA to CD and then rip them to MP3, but this is a painful manual process.
Instead, I'm wondering if there is a way to have Media Player "burn" the WMAs to a virtual CD drive, then "rip" them from the virtual CD drive to MP3. Such a process could remove the need for physical media, and allow for automated scripts that can convert an entire library of WMAs without human interaction.
Is this possible?
Ok, I have downloaded the 2.6 firmware version for PSP. I have also downloaded Media Player 10.0. The PSP player will not play the music because it is protected. I have purchased the music from Walmart.com. What can I do to get the PSP to play songs that I actually purchased?
Matt, Joe, as far as I know, there's no magic elixir that makes this conversion easy or, in terms of online music purchased from Walmart.com, even possible. Sorry!
All my music is already in iTunes, I did everything that is said to do, so I went to my PSP music folder on my Windows XP and there are my songs with the little icon of the iTunes symbol, so i thought i did everythig right . so i look to find them on my PSP and is says there are no tracks!!! arg please help as soon as you can!!!
ive done the switch program dave but all of my files r still come ing up as wma instead of mp3
hello dave i am tired of trying to get music on psp i have used Switch also xiilsoft cd ripper and still can't get it to work. Please please please please please help me i am begging you on my hands and knees please dave HELP ME!!
If they're still coming up as WMA, Daniel, then you're not looking in the folder where Switch is *saving* your output files, but the folder where the input files are found. Start up Switch again and double-check where the output's being saved.
I have downloaded music from MSN but they are automatically saved as WMA files and encrypted. How do I transfer them to my sony walkman phone (W800i) as the software that transfers the files doesn't recognise them.
As far as I am aware, Chris, there's no way to circumvent the digital rights management system on these sort of downloads. It's like buying a video from the iTunes Music Store: because of the DRM associated with it, you can't convert it to a generic MP4 and put it on any random ole' device.
I just bought a new phone, and to my surprise it won't play MP3 files anymore, but only WMA files. I would like to convert some of my MP3 music to WMA files, but I'm not sure how to or what to use. Oh... I'm on a Mac... iBook G4, OSX.
Dave, your sight is great and very informative. I am trying to switch my itunes from MP4 (what you get when you download from itunes) to MP3 or WMV so I can put songs into Windows Media Player. I have tried "switch" but it doesn't seem to work. Any help would be great.
hey how do you put songs on your mp3 player?
I have an old media player...like the one being used on an IBM thinkpad with windows 98. My music wont play on there.Any music files that i burn on cd as downloaded files wont play...
Thanks for the info and link to Switch. I have windows 2000 and WMP9 (10 doesn't work with 2000) My RealJukebox refused to rip my Kelly Clarkson CD but WMP 9 did, but only into a wma format. Switch did the conversion to MP3 easily. Didn't want to upgrade RealJukebox to their latest player, I've gotten used to it and really like it.
I cant get music on my mp3 but i no its got something to do with synchronizing please help
I dont care I'm not going to lie, I know nothing about downloading. I have been sitting here for 3 hours I am heated I thought using pspblender would be easy but all my downloads keep turning red I dont know what I'm doing wrong
i tried downloading them and it downloads them but when i go to my music it says there are no tracks but they have to be there because it takes up my memory.!!
('_>')- You are cool... without you I would be bored at school ALL day... THANKS!!! \(^o^)/
I have a Dell DJ (1st generation 20 MB) and I have songs on it that I purchased from an online store... so of course they are protected and in wma format. I just bought a new mp3 player however b/c this one is about to die (according to dell support) and I'm trying to get those songs off my old mp3 player and onto the new one. There is an explorer program offered by dell but it won't let me transfer any wma files back to my computer from my mp3 player and I downloaded some of these song through a different computer. Any suggestions?
I have a psp i did everthing you said and it worked except when it downloaded it only downloaded part of the song. What do I do?
I too have purchased music from Wal-Mart in WMA format. I have 3 different MP3 players and none of them will play WMA’s. What a bunch of @#$%.
I have been looking every were on the net to find out how I can use the music that I have purchased.
“Eureka��? Last night I had an idea and I think this may work for every one.
The WMA digital right allows you to copy to a CD, which I did. I then used Windows Media Player to rip the music from the CD that I had just made and save it in MP3 format.
(Jumping for Joy)
I now have the music in a format I can use.
This is a Bull#$%^ way to have to work around, If you purchase music legally online you should be able to convert it to your player
(how many different formats are out there? As many as there are different players)
Have a great day
I did what you said to do at the top of this page but when I try to play the music on my psp it says corrputed data. What did i do wrong?
tx alot for adding the link to the 'switch' its helped me alot when downloading the files onto my psp!?!
I just bought a New Verizon wireless Razor that has the mp3 player feature, I origanally downloaded 67 songs to a 512 mb card, only 37 showd up, my friend told me that it was beacause it couldnt play WMA format, now I use Realplayer, and when u transfer songs on Realplayer, in the settings it will convert WMA's to mp3 when need be, now I checkd that, and NO songs show up on my phone, but they show up on my computer, im so confused please help?
Thank you so much!
I was so confused about this until I saw this
and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be...You are my hero
Hello. a long time ago i transferred some wma files from a computer to another via sync cable, and for some reason the licenses did not transfer over, and that old computers memory was wiped, and now the songs will not play because of no license, how can i retrieve or convert these files to a playable format?
I found switch after upgrading to a new pc and having lost all my old file converter programs. Try to find freeware to do file converting in 2006, not so easy. I was so lucky to find Switch and I am extremely happy with it. Switch does what it is supposed to do and it's simple, what else could you ask for. This is one of those freeware programs you actually feel like paying for, rare in this day and age.
I tried this and it worked for a couple of weeks. But then the trial ended and my parents dont want to buy it..."it's a waste of money!" they say. Is there some sort of other program I can use?
can anyone walk me through how to rip itune purchased songs to mp3 for use with photoshow. i'm not sure where you find the songs once converted either.
appreciate any help.
hi i have a psp and im trying to download music to it but its really hard!!!!!!!!and right now im tyring to rip music from a cd but my windows media player doesnt say rip!!!!so can you please help me
I followed your steps and does not let me convert the wma to mp3 and sais theres an error that sais that the file is protected with digital rights management which limits the recording to limited players. thank you and I really need your help
hi im having a major problem with my dell dj, i dont have the software disc and downloads for it dont seem to be working on my computer.
is there any possible way i can get my windows media player to read my mp3 player?
thnx for the info but i really need to know how to get the switch window running but other wise great info
I LOVE your web site. I bought a new MP4 player with No information at all and was ready to toss it. But after 4 days and finding your web site I can now enjoy my new toy.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !!!!!
You are the man! Thank you so much dave. Frustrated mother with a nine year old who has no patience!
Thank you! And may God bless you, you really helped me! :)
thank you for making this awesome help page!
Hey i have got the music onto mp3 format but when i dounload it to my psp it makes a file but dosent have any items in it why?? please wright me back
that might help me... but i have some music that i put into folders organized by artist and just SOME songs dont transfer to my PSP but when im in USB mode it says its there but on my PSP it says 0 tracks when theres 10 songs off of i tunes ive pasted into my folder by artist.
Wow! Thanks for your great site Dave. I have been straining on this exact problem for a couple days and then found the perfect solution (Switch!) with you help. Much appreciated!
i used switch and it worked but when i sync it to the music file it goes to the MP Root file. how do i make it go to the music file?
Thank you for the help! However... I used Switch, almost quite successfully. It cut off the first couple of seconds of each converted song. I went to the Switch Discussion Forum, and it's apparently a known bug. Sigh. Any other suggestions of another WMA to MP3 file converter I can use?
how do I save my converted mp3 formated songs into my My Computer: PSP: Music file? please answer, I can't listen to my music without knowing how to do this! plz help me I need help.
oh, how do i change the output folder from:
C:\Documents and Settings\ADMIN\My Documents\My Music,
C:\Documents and Settings\ADMIN\My Computer\PSP\Music
you need to save the ripped songs to the latter file (the My Computer file) beacuse that is where all the PSP files are and in order to download music to your PSP, the ripped songs need to be saved into the My Computer file (at least, that's how it is for downloading wallpaper). You also need your PSP to be hooked to your computer via your 5-pin USB cord, and in USB Connection Mode, found on the PSP's home page under settings.
Dave------I work with computers all day, but trying to put music on my son's PSP is extremely frustrating. I have all the music options I need (limewire), but everytime I think I've actually dragged and dropped music to Windows Media Player, it states that there are no tracks on my PSP. When I get to Library, Rip, Sync what do I do from there? Please take me step by step. I will be forever greatful. Thank you,
Can someone tell me how to convert i-tune files to mp3 files for my mp3 player?
On WMP10, I have my songs in my playing list already. I have a cell phone by cingular "sync" almost like the motorola razor. In order to use my songs as ringtones. The song needs to be shorted to at least 20 secs. How do I accomplish this within Window Media Player 10? Please Help.
I request information about the following:
1 - NYPL(www.NYPL.ORG or see URL below) has ebooks.
To download to listen, you need to first download:
**** Click to download OverDrive Media Console™ that is WINDOWS only software.
2 - I want to convert to MP3 files to load and
listen to the audio on a MP3 player.
Please advise about the simplist and fastest way to make this happen.
+tks - Russ
New York, NY 10003
To convert protected music files to MP3 format, there is a software named "NoteBurner" from http://www.noteburner.com can help to convert protected music to MP3 File by using a virtual CD-RW burning method. It works as a virtual CD-RW burner, after selecting "NoteBurner" as default CD burner, then the software will convert all the music files in playlist easily.
Switch is a great tool except am I right in that it doesnt transfer tags (ID3) etc including track numbers? I got quite a bunch of wma files I want to transfer to a HDD dukebox (which needs mp3 format), but I dont fancy typing out all the tags again (especially given the rubbish I listen to!)
hi when i use that program switch it always says cannot read disk. Does my cd have some sort of protection or am i doing it wrong??
This was really a huge help, and saved me from downloading virus-ridden "free-ware." Totally easy, and your screen-capture guide helped much. Thank you!
thanx this was fab information now even my mum knows how to do it
Switch doesn't work on my computer it say's that it can't find the folder is it because I have windows Vista
dave, i just got the cingular sync phone and i bought a usb cable and a 512 memory card for music but when i connect it to my computer the phone says connected but it doesnt show up on the media player. pleassseee help. thanx
im gettin angry because i converted the songs to a mp3 and when i try and put them onto my psp it says no tracks even though the it takes up the mega byites i also have the charger plugged in so i dont know what the problem is please help me!!
BRILLIANT! worked perfectly for me....thanks a lot :)
How do you get to the switch menu on the window media?
I just got a new computer with the new Vista operating system (includes Window Media Player 11) and I'm trying to convert protected WMA files to MP3 files. Now, I searched online and found converting software; however, none were compatible with Vista. I did find a WMA converter that enabled one to convert a protected WMA files, but when I installed the trial on my computer it said "this product requires Windows XP or later". So, I'm assuming that this was not compatible with Vista. Do you know any converters out there that will convert protected WMA files to MP3 files that work with Vista? I already have a converter installed that works with my Vista; however, it only convertes non-protected files. Please Help!
I had believed that converting from wma to mp3 would make the file size a lot smaller, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Any thoughts?
im thinking of buying a i pod.i just want it for music and audio books.ive been reading alot of reviews and thay say the sound quality of the apple 80 gig i pods sucks.do you know of a good player with good sound? another thing,it has to d/l from a thing called i tunes.i dont like it.i want to know if thier is a player that will let me d/l from windows media player 11.thanks for you time.
Thank you so much!!! I must say they are all ingenious programs. Question though... what motivation does writing these programs serve you?
Hey Dave ,
My name is tyler well on my psp i put the music on it then when. I go to it it says I need to enable the WMA and I dont know how it says I need to connect to the internet but it says there is and error.
I don't know about "NoteBurner"; however I just tried "Switch" and, just like the other 99.9% of the so-called "Converters" out there - it didn't work as hyped.
When I tried to convert the tracks I was simply informed that protected tracks could not be converted.
There IS a program that actually works to convert protected, DRM encoded .wma format files to .mp3 or .wav format. It's called MEDIA AUDIO CAPTURE. Go to http://www.e-soft.co.uk/ and check it out.
The program costs $24.95 and the new batch conversion program, version 3.2, is just out that us supposed to be able to convert 999 tracks automatically (one at a time of course).
I've been using the older program that converts just one track at a time (you have to "feed" the tracks individually) and have converted over 100 tracks so far. Since I have close to 7,000 .wma tracks to convert this new version is a godsend and it works exactly as promised.
If you have a lot of .wma tracks to convert this program won't disappoint you.
I've bought a lot of programs and this is one of the best investments I've made so far.
With Media Audio Capture you don't have to burn a CD and then rip it and save it as .mp3 files. You simply play the track (the program re-records it) and save it in either .mp3 or .wav format.
Even if you've bought the license to play a .wma format track you need to renew the license if you want to transfer it to another computer, a new hard drive or play burned tracks on your car CD player.
I hate Microsoft for being so damned greedy that they can't give away their music as .mp3 format tracks are (sometimes) free and a lot easier to use and transfer or share.
Try the Media Audio Capture...you won't be disappointed.
Thanks so much for your information! I have been having this problem for sometime now, and tried to figure it out myself, like an idiot. Finally, I Googled "convert wma to mp3" and your page was the first one that came up. I'm glad it did!! Thanks again!
I'm glad you read my post.
I've been using the updated batch conversion version of Media Audio Capture and couldn't be happier with the results.
I have an old Johnny Mathis album with 66 .wma tracks and the program mows through and converts them unattended so I can go and spend my evening at Starbucks, knowing that I'll have 66 new .mp3 files when I get back.
Try the program out and tell others about it also.
I don't work for the developers; however I'm so impressed with the program I told them that I was going to "spread the word" and bring in some business for them.
I am wondering how to convert all my songs from itunes to Winsows Media Player, because my wife got an MP3, which can only load songs from Windows Media Player? Do You have any suggestions Please? Thank you!
I'm no expert with video files although I have over 600 on my computer so I do have a little experience with them.
I'm always happy to try and help someone but I need to know a little more of what you're trying to do. I admit to not knowing what PSP is and how it relates to videos.
I read these posts at least once daily so the faster you can respond the faster I can try and get some answers for you.
How can I convert the windows media player files (WMV)to real player for watching films in my Nokia phone ) Thanks alot.
There are other two methods to bypass the DRM control.for protected music.
The first method is to burn a copy to an audio CD and then rip/encode it. Some software products take a smarter method which allows user to burn music to a Virtual CD-RW disc and then automatically rip/encode the music stored on the Virtual CD-R. This makes the whole conversion process automatically and faster. NoteBurner (www.noteburner.com) is the typical example which uses this Virtual CD-RW drive method.
The second method is to use a recording software and sound card. TuneBite is one of the most popular software.
Media Audio Capture http://www.e-soft.co.uk/ works about the same way as TuneBite; by recording the .wma track and saving it as either a .wav or .mp3 track.
It seems to be about the same price also, about $25.
The cd isnt coming up at all on Windows Media player, how do I get it to?
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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