All About WMA on Mac


What is an WMA?

WMA, short for Windows Media Audio, is a Microsoft audio file format that is typically used to store compressed digital audio.

It’s really a container, which, can now contain one of four file formats (codecs). Although a WMA file originally only contained a WMA, with the introduction of WMA 9, it may now contain a single audio track in one of following codecs:

  • Windows Media Audio (WMA),
  • Windows Media Audio Pro (WMA Pro),
  • Windows Media Audio Lossless (WMA Lossless)
  • Windows Media Audio Voice (WMA Voice)

Of these four codes, the most popular is WMA, the original file format.

Provided you have downloaded and installed the Windows Media Components for QuickTime by Flip4Mac, you should be able to work with WMA on your Mac, although software for the Mac that supports the WMA format is limited.

How to play WMA on Mac

You can play WMAs on your Mac using WMA player software such as Music Man. They are also playable on many CD players (on WMA CD), some car stereos (on WMA CD), and some flash music players.

For playback of WMA Pro or WMA Lossless on your Mac, download and install the Windows Media Components for QuickTime by Flip4Mac. To download it, go to the Microsoft Windows Media Components for QuickTime page. Please note that at this time, Flip4Mac does not support the Windows Media Audio Voice (WMA Voice) codec.

You can’t play a WMA on your Mac with iTunes or with Audacity.

You can play a WMA on your Mac with Quicktime Player by doing the following:

  1. Download and install the Windows Media Components for QuickTime by Flip4Mac. To download it, go to the Microsoft Windows Media Components for QuickTime page.
  2. In Quicktime Player, open the WMA file.
    “Quicktime Player > File > Open” and navigate to the file you want to play
  3. Click the Play button
  4. To play the next song, repeat steps 2 and 3.

You can play a WMA on your Mac with Music Man, from anywhere on your computer, from a CD, DVD or an USB device (thumb drive, external drive).

Troubleshooting WMA Playback on Mac

If you’re having trouble playing a WMA on your Mac, it’s probably because:

  • You don’t have the WMA component installed
  • The WMA is WMA Voice
  • The WMA is DRM protected
  1. The first step in trying to solve this problem is to try to play the WMA.
  2. Play the WMA. For step-by-step instructions, see How to Play WMA on Mac, above
  3. If it doesn’t play, download the Component. For step-by-step instructions, see How to Play WMA on Mac, above

If it still doesn’t play, it’s either that the WMA is WMA Voice or that the WMA is DRM protected. Either way, the WMA cannot be played on a Mac. For more information about DRM protected WMA, see All about DRM protected music on Mac.

How to Rip CD to WMA on Mac

There are a few utilities available to allow you to rip an Audio CD to wma on your Mac.

You can’t rip an Audio CD to WMA on your Mac with iTunes or with Audacity.

You can rip and Audio CD or a selection of tracks to WMA on your Mac with Music Man

WMA Converter – How to convert From WMA To MP3, and more on Mac

WMA Conversion software will convert a WMA on your Mac, provided the WMA is NOT DRM protected.

You can’t convert DRM protected WMA on your Mac. Read your licensing agreement that you received when you purchased your DRM protected WMA tracks.

To convert a WMA, download and install the Windows Media Components for QuickTime by Flip4Mac. To download it, go to the Microsoft Windows Media Components for QuickTime page. Note: Please note that at this time, Flip4Mac does not support the Windows Media Audio Voice (WMA Voice) codec.

You can’t convert a WMA on your Mac with iTunes or with Audacity.

You can convert a WMA on your Mac with EasyWMA.

You can convert a Windows Media Audio (WMA) to another format on your Mac with Music Man.

How to Convert WMA using Music Man (Mireth Technology)

WMA Converter – How to convert From MP3, WAV, more To WMA on Mac

You can convert an audio file to WMA on your Mac.

To convert a WMA, download and install the Windows Media Components for QuickTime by Flip4Mac. To download it, go to the Microsoft Windows Media Components for QuickTime page. Note: Please note that at this time, Flip4Mac does not support the Windows Media Audio Voice (WMA Voice) codec.

You can’t convert a WMA on your Mac with iTunes or with Audacity.

You can convert to a file to Windows Media Audio (WMA) on your Mac with Music Man.

WMA for Mac Resources