What is a WMA File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert WMA Files

Picture of the WMA file icon

A file with the WMA file extension is a Windows Media Audio file. Microsoft created this lossy format to compete with MP3.

There are multiple versions of WMA, including WMA Pro, a lossy codec that supports high-res audio; WMA Lossless, a lossless codec that compresses the audio without losing quality; and WMA Voice, a lossy codec meant for applications that support voice playback.

Also developed by Microsoft is the Windows Media Video file format, which uses the WMV extension.

How To Open a WMA File

Windows Media Player is the best program to use for opening WMA files because it's included in most versions of Windows. However, you can play WMA files in other operating systems with third-party software like VLC, Winamp, and Open Freely.

The TwistedWave Online Audio Editor provides a quick way to play a WMA file in your browser if you don't have any of those programs installed to your computer.

If you need to play the file in a program that doesn't natively support the WMA format, you can just convert it to a different format that is supported, using the WMA converters I describe below.

Note: If you can't open your file with the programs I mentioned, it's possible you're not dealing with a WMA file at all. Double-check the extension to make sure - some file extensions look similar to .WMA, like WMF (Windows Metafile), WMZ (Compressed Windows Media Player Skin), and WML (Wireless Markup Language).

How To Convert a WMA File

Lots of different free file converters can be used to convert a WMA file to another audio format. Some of them have to be installed to your computer before you can use them, but others can run entirely in your web browser.

Freemake Audio Converter and DVDVideoSoft's Free Studio are two programs you have to install before you can use them.

They let you convert a WMA file to MP3, WAV, FLAC, M4A, M4R, and other formats. They even support batch conversions so that you can convert more than one WMA file at once.

You may prefer an online WMA converter because they work through your web browser, meaning you don't have to download the program before you can use it. This does mean, however, that you have to download the converted file back to your computer.

FileZigZag and Zamzar are two examples of online WMA to MP3 converters, but they can also convert the file to WAV and several other formats, much like the downloadable converters I already mentioned.

Although most audio conversions involve converting the file to another audio format, it's also possible to "convert" the WMA file to text. This is useful if the WMA file was created from a recording of someone talking. Software like Dragon can turn speech into text.

More Help With WMA Files

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the WMA file and I'll see what I can do to help.