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How to convert WMA to MP3

We take a look at the best way to turn your WMA files into MP3 versions.

Although the modern internet and connective technology is a wondrous thing, there’s still the issue of playback of media files across numerous devices failing spectacularly due to an incompatible file type.
The sheer number of different media file types is staggering: MP3, MP4, AVI, MKV, WMA, Ogg, AU, FLAC… the list goes on. It’s little wonder that so many devices become confused and refuse to play a certain file.
Granted, it’s not often that happens. These days most devices can handle near any form of sound or music file types. But if you’re looking to keep your music collection standard across all your devices then you’re going to have to convert from one file type to another.

Related: Best music streaming service

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The most common conversion question we get, is how to convert from WMA (Windows Media Audio) to MP3. Both are acceptable audio data compression technologies, but with some differences – WMA is compressed lossless audio, whereas MP3 is lossy. The main reason though, is some form of incompatibility when it comes to playback of the file on a device other than a PC.
Of course the more technical among you would probably opt for another file type altogether, but for the sake of those who have asked us, here’s how to convert an WMA media file to MP3.

The art of conversion

However popular WMA is these days, the most common form of audio file is MP3, and the one that most users tend to lean toward for their music collection.
There are fortunately several ways in which you can convert a WMA file to an MP3, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll have a look at just one option that has always proved successful for us in the past.

Freemake Video Converter


Don’t be fooled by its name, Freemake Video Converter is also capable of converting audio files from one type to another.
Freemake has a number of programs available, one of which is Freemake Audio Converter, which you could argue is more useful in this particular case. However, we think that you’ll appreciate Freemake Video Converter and what it can do. Plus it means that rather than having several programs installed, you can get away with just the one.
To begin with though you’ll need to download and install FVC from the Freemake site. Browse over to the Downloads section of the Freemake site, and click on the Download icon next to Freemake Video Converter.
The file size is roughly 29.5MB, and once it’s down you can double click it to begin the installation. Before you get going with the installation we have to inform you that Freemake does come with some third-party selections and software.
The first you’ll come across is a tick box asking if you want to send anonymous usage statistics to Freemake. Although this is perfectly innocent, we acknowledge that a lot of people aren’t happy doing so. If you’re one of them, make sure the box is unticked before commencing with the rest of the installation.


The second element is a question asking if you’d like to install an Ad-Aware Web Companion. In some ways you can’t blame Freemake. The company offers this excellent product for free and to make ends meet and pay its developers it needs to partake in some form of advertising. Personally, we don’t install anything other than the program we’re after. So in this instance we would untick both boxes, and opt not to install anything extra.


The next option is to install The Desktop Tool. Again, we’d personally opt for ‘I Do Not Accept’ and avoid installing anything else on top of Freemake Video Converter.

Related: AptX HD – The future of high-res music streaming


The third and final question involves installing a free trial of AVG Performance. As before, we’d opt for not installing anything, and would make sure the box is unticked in this instance. After that though, there are no more extra installations and you can continue as normal.


We’re not trying to foist extra software on to you, and yes it can be a pain when software contains such ‘extras’, however, we’re pretty sure that once you start using Freemake you’ll appreciate its capabilities and forgive the extra add-ons it asked to install.


With Freemake now installed, double click the desktop icon and select the Audio button on the top menu. This should launch an Explorer window where you’ll be able to locate and select one or many WMA files on your hard drive.

Related: Apple Music


With the file(s) selected, click Open and it should be loaded into the Freemake centre pane. All you need to do now is click on the To MP3 icon located along the bottom of the Freemake window, select a Save To location on your hard drive and click the Convert button when you’re ready.


The file(s) will be converted and saved as MP3s in the location you specified. When the program is finished, you can exit it, open up the saved file location and copy them to your device.
Alternatively, you have a couple of other options. You can Export them to iTunes – by ticking the box under the Save To location. Or you can alter the audio quality preset from 192Kbps to 320Kbps, or even create a custom sampling rate. We’ll leave that for you to play around with though.
Freemake Video Converter is an easy to use, fast and effective resource, allowing you to convert not just audio files but also video files. Either way, as we said, once you get past the foistware-like nature of the installation routine, we’re sure you’ll appreciate it.

Other ways to convert

Naturally, there are other ways in which you can convert a WMA file to an MP3. You can use VLC, for example, or Windows Media Player to rip an audio CD into MP3.


There are also online services that will convert a WMA to an MP3. Online Convert, for example, will allow you to upload a single file at a time and convert it to MP3 (or other file types) for free.

Needless to say, there’s plenty you can do if you want to convert from one file type to another. And as you would expect, others will undoubtedly have their own ways and means. So if you have another way to convert from WMA to MP3, across any platform, then please let everyone know in the comments section below.

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