I did a backup of several music files from my older Windows XP system. Now I can play all the .MP3 files but not all the .WMA. There are some kinds of WMA files that can be reproduced without problems, may refute this in the picture below. The right file can be played, the left isn't.

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I have long been looking different sites, Q&A from here, installing many packages but not luck. An example is this answer.

What can I do?

My system: Ubuntu 11.10 32b. Player: Banshee & VLC


The files are maybe protected by Windows Media DRM. One solution is to play and record them without DRM with your windows system, another is to use a tool like FreeMe2. You could also burn the files as audio cd and rip them again.

The Free Software Foundation calls it: "Digital Restrictions Management".

Tip: Stop using Windows Media Audio. Use another audio file format such as Mp3 or if you are an idealist Ogg Vorbis. If you love lossless sound you could use FLAC. See also the comparison of audio formats.

defective by design

  • 1
    This seems likely. If some WMA files work, there's nothing wrong with the encoding, so they might be DRM protected because they were bought from somewhere where DRM was a standard. – pzkpfw Oct 3 '12 at 21:47
  • 1
    @BuZZ-dEE +1 Great answer. The files are from 2006, years where I have no idea of codecs, player, even of computer in general. Now my new music library are open files. Thanks and I'll hope more usefully answers like yours. – Lucio Oct 4 '12 at 17:06

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