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what do I do with a WMA file?


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Sep 12, 2009, 5:04pm Top

I just discovered that I can download audiobooks through my local library. So I did. One is an MP3, which I can play in itunes and I assume can transfer to my ipod. the other is a WMA file that itunes won't convert because it's "protected" and the file information says it cannot be "burnt".

How am I supposed to listen to a wma file without sitting at my computer?

Sep 12, 2009, 5:42pm Top

You need to download the OverDrive software to your computer, and then use it to transfer the WMA files to your iPod (right click on the title and select from the menu).

Sep 12, 2009, 8:07pm Top

Thanks for the suggestion - i did try it but Overdrive won't recognize the file I downloaded - even though it's a WMA. I'm still trying to figure out why they'd bother permitting you to download a book that you can't play on a portable device or in your car - is it normal to play audiobooks only on a computer? Anyway, there are lots of other audiobooks in the sea!

Sep 12, 2009, 8:44pm Top

If you have an iPod, I don't believe that the WMA files through Overdrive work on it. There are other MP3 players that recognize and play the file, which I transfer to my device directly through Overdrive. Can you play the file using the Overdrive Media Console on your computer, or does it not work at all?

Sep 13, 2009, 8:33am Top

.wma is windows media audio file. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Media_Audio

Do you need it (the .wma-file)? Or is it the same file as the mp3-file except in another file format? Sometimes you get different file formats to choose from depending on which you prefer or your media-player supports.

I found some tips on how to listen to .wma in itunes:

A program I use on my computer for videos and audio is VLC media player. It's rather ugly but works for almost all file formats. http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

I hope it works out for you :)


Sep 13, 2009, 8:45am Top

>4 bell7: no, I can't get Overdrive to "see" the file, it tells me it's not a recognized format

>5 Ma1in: the book i downloaded was only available as WMA, other books have mp3 formats, but not this particular one, for some reason. I can play it through my windows media player, but that's only on the computer - I need it to be portable so I can listen to it when I'm not at the computer.

I'll check that tip page and see, but I just get frustrated so will probably just skip this book and stick to those ones that are mp3 formats!

And thanks for the assistance!

Sep 13, 2009, 9:32am Top

If you want to try to rip the files (it's easier than it seems) I think this program is really good: FreeRip http://download.cnet.com/FreeRip-MP3/3000-2140_4-10050140.html?tag=mncol

(I use ubuntu/linux as operative system so I use another special kind of ripper/converter)

Don't get frustrated, see this as a way to learn something new and useful :) You will probably find more audiobooks in .wma and then you can easily handle it.
(I'm used to audiobook-problems so I'm not easily frustrated anymore..)

Edited: Sep 13, 2009, 9:41am Top

maybe a dumb question, but did you download the license as well as the book?

for my mp3 I have to sync the playlist to it, using Windows media player, have you tried that?

Sep 13, 2009, 10:08am Top

Did you read the accompanying documentation on your library's website? There are a lot of different schemes that libraries are using to ensure that downloads are "borrowed" not "kept". The one your library uses may make you listen to the thing on the device you downloaded it to.

Sep 13, 2009, 11:48am Top

Yeah, that's what it is... a protected WMA file that is not burnable or convertible so I have to listen to it on the machine that downloaded it. Unfortunate because I can't take my computer with me when I want to listen to the audiobook at the gym. Disappointing that the library has to do this, and I know it's to prevent "theft" but... if an audiobook isn't portable, it's rather useless.

Oh well, I guess I'll stick to Audible.

Sep 13, 2009, 1:40pm Top

Not necessarily. Check the specific book because some are burnable or transferrable, others aren't. I've gotten books from the library that I can transfer to my MP3 player and some I have to listen to on my PC.

Usually what I do is borrow the CDs from the library, rip them to my PC and then sync them to my MP3. There are a whole lot more books on CD than there are books for download.

Sep 13, 2009, 2:25pm Top

I'm really curious, what program did you use to download this originally....does your library use another program besides Overdrive, like Netlibrary? If it's an overdrive file, those are all able to be transferred either to an MP3 type device, or to an iPod. I'd suggest you check with your library if you are truly being hel hostage to your computer. Something's not right here....

Sep 13, 2009, 10:50pm Top

I just found out that Overdrive has a newer version of it's console, one that is able to transfer more wma audiobooks to ipods, though not all. I haven't tried it yet, I'm still using the older version. But you may want to give it a try. It became available just a few days ago.

Sep 17, 2009, 12:04am Top

If it's Overdrive you're using, they're very good about helping resolve issues....I'm talking about emailing them for support. I've run into trouble a couple of times and it's to do with getting the windows media player security update and it not working because I use Firefox as a browser and needed to use Internet Explorer. Another time, I bought a MP3 player that wasn't supported by the Overdrive program.

Jan 11, 2010, 9:17am Top

i never had problems with wma
on my mac it plays in vlc

Jan 12, 2010, 2:49pm Top

I've also dealt directly with the overdrive people via email and they have been extremely helpful. My library has icons for the type of gadgets you can play certain books on. For ipod compatibility there is an icon of the ipod.

Group: Audiobooks

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