Friday, June 08, 2007

Working with WMA files on Mac OS X and iTunes

No doubt MP3 files are the most common format. However, there are also a lot of WMA files out there too. In fact, it's probably the second most popular format, next to MP3s. As long as the WMA file doesn't contain DRM, you can play Windows Media Audio files fine on your Mac.

To add support in QuickTime for the format (so you can use them in most QuickTime enabled apps, or even play them in the preview view in the Finder) simply download Flip4Mac for free here (yep, that's a Microsoft site, because they want their audio and video formats to play on Mac OS X and have dropped support for the native Windows Media Player for the Mac.) Flip4Mac Download. This will let you play and use the WMA files in most Mac OS X applications, except for in iTunes which will still refuse to play WMA files.

If you want to use the files in iTunes, you will have to convert them to a different format. I recommend the $10 utility called EasyWMA which will allow you to do batch conversion on a large number of files at one time.

Oh, and iTunes for Windows will automatically convert and play your WMA files for you. It's only on Mac OS X iTunes that you need to convert the files yourself.