Windows Media Audio (WMA) files use a proprietary format developed by Microsoft and used by media players built into Windows, such as Windows Media Player. Many other better players don’t support WMA files, but it’s easy enough to convert them to something else.
Due to the proprietary nature of the WMA format, there is little reason not to convert them to a more widely used format such as MP3. Even if you are using Windows Media Player, it can still play MP3 files. And having your files in MP3 format means you have a lot more options to play them, including across different apps and platforms.
Convert WMA files to MP3 with VLC Player
VLC is a free and open source media player that opens almost any file format and has the ability to convert your audio files. It’s one of our favorites here at How-to Geek because not only is it free, it’s cross-platform (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS) and highly functional.
After installing VLC, open it, click the «Media» menu, and then click the «Convert/Save» command.
Click the «Add» button to start uploading the files you want to convert.
Find and select the file or files you want to open, and then click the «Open» button.
Click «Convert/Save» to open the following window.
In the «Profile» drop-down list, select «MP3» and then click the «Browse» button to select the folder where you want to save the converted files.
Once you’ve chosen a folder to save the file, use the «File Type» drop-down list to select the MP3 option, and then click «Save.»
If you want a little more control over the encoding that happens during the conversion, hit the wrench button.
This brings up another menu with a couple of more advanced options for you to work with. For example, the Audio Codec tab allows you to change settings such as bitrate, channels, and sample rate.
Finally, click «Start» to start the conversion process.
Depending on the bit rate you choose and the size of the files, the conversion may take some time. When it’s done, you’ll find the new MP3 files in the output folder you chose.
Using online solutions to convert your files
There are numerous sites that let you convert your files for free, but our favorite is Zamzar. You can convert up to 10 files at once and they won’t keep your files on their servers for more than 24 hours.
After launching the Zamzar website, click the «Select Files» button and navigate to the files you want to convert. You can also drag and drop files into your browser window and upload them to the site.
Then select «MP3» as the output file type from the drop-down menu.
Finally, enter a valid email address and click the «Convert» button.
Once the conversion is complete (which doesn’t take long unless you’re converting a lot of large files), you’ll receive an email with your files ready to be uploaded.