View Full Version : Playing WMA

2006-11-11, 13:08
Firstly I have searched this forum for this topic and am getting conflicting advice.

I have Slimserver 6.3.1 running on Openlink. My album collection of several 100 CD's was ripped using Microsoft Media Player and is saved in WMA format.

Although the server can happily scan and log all the albums and will happily show the file information when I use Softsqueeze 2.8 I have found it will not play any file with a WMA format although it will play MP3 files.

Do I need to converts my whole collection or is there a simple fix?


2006-11-11, 13:15
On 11-Nov-06, at 12:08 PM, heyho wrote:

> Do I need to converts my whole collection or is there a simple fix?
You haven't told us what player you are using.

the newest players can play WMA natively, but if you have an older
player or are streaming to software, then you may need to install LAME
to do the transcoding to mp3 for streaming.

check server settings->file types.
you can also use server settings->debugging, check d_source then change.
there is a link at the top of the page to open a log viewer. when you
play the tracks, it will give you an idea of what is going on.


2006-11-11, 13:34
To play WMA on Softsqueeze using a Linux based Slimserver you need a decoder such as ffmpeg or mplayer. AFAIK these apps need a processor with floating point so if you have a PPC based linkstation it will work but if you have a MIPSEL based system - I am doubtful.

2006-11-11, 14:22
And by default doesn't Windows Media Player's ripper add DRM to files?

2006-11-13, 00:58
I'm using Softsqueeze 2.8 at the moment until Santa brings my Squeezebox!

Could it be that the SB will play WMA but Softsqueeze won't or is it the case if Softsqueeze doesn't neither will the SB

And I have a LSII so it's Mipsel I'm afraid - any suggestions

2006-11-13, 01:49
The Squeezebox 2 and 3 decodes WMA itself. Softsqueeze does not decode WMA - it needs Slimserver to do it.

On Linux this is normally done by ffmpeg or mplayer. These app will work on a MIPS processor but decoding will be slow as MIPS processor does not have hardware Floating Point support.

Ffmpeg or mplayer could work for WMA files but the decoding process will probably be too slow for WMA broadcats streams.

The only way to be sure it to try it. If you do try it send a WAV stream to SoftSqueeze - the additional processing for a FLAC or MP3 stream may be too much of a load on the Linkstation.

See http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?WMA

2006-11-13, 02:27
Thanks for the information BPA. So long as the Squeezebox can play it I am happy. That is what I set it up for. I just didn't want to have to re-rip several hundred albums.

2006-11-13, 03:03
Don't forget azinck3's comments.

By default WMP will put protection on files you have ripped into WMA. Squeezebox cannot play protected WMA files.

Did you explicitly turn off protection in WMP when you ripped your files ?

2006-11-13, 03:33
I've been using WMP 10 & 11 to rip. The option 'copy protect music' is set to off i.e. not ticked. Is this the only option?

2006-11-13, 08:01
I've been using WMP 10 & 11 to rip. The option 'copy protect music' is set to off i.e. not ticked. Is this the only option?

Yes, sounds like you'll be set when the squeezebox arrives.

2006-11-14, 15:56
The Squeezebox 2 and 3 decodes WMA itself.

I am a little confused. The FAQ for the Squeezebox suggests that WMA is not decoded by the players but needs to be transcoded. So, if I have WMA lossless files can these be played natively by the Squeezebox3 or are they transcoded by the server? Thanks.

2006-11-14, 16:00
There are 3 models of Squeezebox.

The original Squeezebox does not support WMA but needs to be transcoded by Slimserver.

The Squeezebox 2 (same case as a Squeezebox) and Squeezebox 3 decode most WMA codecs natively - I am not sure about WMA lossless.

Comparison of the different products can be found here.

I am not sure which FAQ you are looking at - but this FAQ entry is clear.

2006-11-14, 16:09
While the Squeezebox 2 and 3 do wma natively
they can't do wma lossless.
Slimserver can transcode wma lossless to any other format but only on windows os.


2006-11-14, 21:52
Thanks, that FAQ is very clear. Somehow I got to an old version of the FAQ that didn't mention anything about WMA (it wasn't searchable).

2006-11-16, 07:28
Mt SB3 plays WMA lossless with no problems and no additional plug-ins.

2006-11-17, 12:08
Mt SB3 plays WMA lossless with no problems and no additional plug-ins.

Are you sure your *SB3* is doing this?

Assuming you're running your server on a Windows machine, transcoding from WMA lossless to flac will take place on the server out of the box and with no obvious signs it's happening. There is no requirement for any extra plugins or other configuration to make this work. The squeezebox, however, cannot understand wma lossless with its current firmware.