Old 30th March 2002, 21:49   #1
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idiots guide required please! wma to wav

I am very new to PCs, and I have been given an external CD Rewriter.
I have Windows Media Player with my PC. I cannot create CDs from the music in my Media library as it says the files are wma and they need to be wav.
I have read all the entries about this subject and I do not understand how to do what I need to do. Can someone please tell me in very easy to understand language what I should do? I cannot believe I have all that wonderful (to me) music in my library and I can't make CDs out of it!
Sorry if I sound stupid, but my pc was a retirement gift, I'm very old!
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Old 31st March 2002, 10:26   #2
DJ Egg
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Try here:
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Old 31st March 2002, 15:21   #3
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wma to wav

thanks but I don't understand any of the terms used. I did say I needed a very simple explanantion, maybe I'm just too old for new knowledge!
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Old 1st April 2002, 14:21   #4
DJ Egg
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Okay then, I'll try my best...
but I'm not exactly sure which terms you don't understand.

I'm also not sure whether or not your WMA files are DRM protected.
DRM stands for Digital Rights Management.
By default, Win MediaPlayer has this setting enabled:
Tools -> Options -> Recording tab -> Enable Personal Rights Management.

What this means is that when you encode your CD's to WMA, MediaPlayer also creates a license for these files.
These licenses are stored in "C:\Windows\All Users\DRM" and, in effect, what they do is make it so you can only play these WMA's on the computer they were encoded on. It also means that if you lose the licenses (eg. by reinstalling Windows, upgrading Windows, reformatting your pc, or due to a virus or accidental deletion, etc) then your WMA files become useless and you may as well just delete them. They will not play any more without the DRM License.

The other sad aspect is that if the WMA's are DRM protected, then it also means that you can't use any 3rd-party software to convert them to another format, eg. WAV or MP3.

The only workaround for this is to use the UnfuckWMA program to remove the DRM license, thus undoing all the damage I referenced above.
You will now be able to use a 3rd-party program to convert the WMA's to WAV.
Read the Unfuck (pardon the language, but that's what it's called) home page and the accompanying documentation very carefully for instructions how to use it... although it's quite straightforward & simple to use.

My advice to you is:
1) If you insist on using MediaPlayer, disable Personal Rights Management.
2) Don't use MediaPlayer. In future, use a dedicated ripper such as CDex (freeware) to encode your CD music straight to MP3 or WAV

Now, if DRM was NOT enabled, you should have no problem whatsoever.

If you want to use Winamp, then the first thing you need to do is to replace the current WMA Input plugin (in_wm.dll) with this older version.

Close Winamp.
Download the ZIP file.
Open it with your Zip program (eg. Winzip)
Extract the file in_wm.dll to the C:\Program Files\Winamp\Plugins folder.
This will overwrite the current version.

Basically, WMA is a Microsoft proprietry format.
They were not happy with the fact that you could use Winamp to convert their wonderful format to something else, so they demanded that this feature be removed. This is why you need to install the older version of the plugin.

Once the plugin is installed, and you're 100% sure that your WMA files are now totally DRM license free...

1) Open Winamp
2) Load your first WMA file into the playlist
(simply use the Add -> File button in the playlist window)
3) Now go to: Prefs (Ctrl+P) -> Plugins -> Output.
4) Select the "DiskWriter" output plugin (out_disk.dll) to make it active.
5) Click "configure"
i. Select an output dir where you want your WAV files to be saved to.
ii. Checkmark "convert to format"

The default setting for this is "44.1KHz, 16-bit, stereo, PCM WAV".
In other words, you won't need to change this, so leave it as it is.
This is the format required if you want to burn these WAV's to CD.
This format is popularly known as "CD Quality"

You shouldn't need to change any other settings.

6) Okay the config, and with DiskWriter still selected, close the Prefs
7) You are now all set to go.
But before clicking "play", first make sure that the shuffle & repeat buttons in the main Winamp window are both turned OFF. You should also turn the Winamp EQ off. You don't need to close the EQ window, just click the ON/OFF button so it's OFF.
You should also close as many background programs as possible,
and leave your pc alone whilst the conversion process is active.
8) Click play
You should now see the progress and timer going much faster than usual and you won't hear any audio.
9) When the conversion is done, that's it, your WAV file should now be in the specified folder.

You can load more than one WMA file into the playlist at once if you wish, though I suggest you start with only one file for now, just to test the water.

And remember, when all the conversions are done, be sure to go back into the Winamp Prefs and disable the DiskWriter plugin. This is achieved by simply left clicking one of the Output Plugins used for normal playback (WaveOut or DirectSound). When you first go into the Prefs (in step 3. above) make a note of which output plugin is selected (before you activate DiskWriter). This will be one of WaveOut or DirectSound, so simply reactivate the relevant plugin to return everything to normal.

If you have any problems with this whole procedure, then I suggest you use one of the other more dedicated programs (as linked to in the those threads I linked to above). However, I can't provide any tech support for those programs, so you're on your own from thereon
Also bear in mind that most of those programs won't work with DRM protected WMA's, so you'll still need to Unfuck them first.
The exceptions to the rule are TotalRecorder and Messer.
These two programs capture any audio being played through the soundcard, so in theory, you can just play the WMA's as they are in MediaPlayer or Winamp, and use TR or Messer to capture the audio and convert it to CD Quality WAV.
TR is shareware, but Messer is freeware.

I hope this helps!
Good luck!
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