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How Do I Open and Play Windows Media Audio (WMA) Files On My Mac?

Please explain various Mac audio file formats and how to open and play Windows Media Audio (WMA) files on a Mac.

Sometimes public meetings are recorded as downloadable WMA files. When I save them to the desktop and try to play them the default takes me to WMA Lite with several options that I do not understand. Often after random clicking I end up in the Music app playing some random song, not the file of interest. Sometimes I end up in Quick Time which seems to work, but I can’t seem to get there reliably. The best way I have found so far is to open Windows in Parallels which defaults to GrooveMusic which opens WMA files natively. There must be a better Mac way!
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Chris in CT

Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I Open and Play Windows Media Audio (WMA) Files On My Mac?”

    1 month ago

    That’s horrible that someone is using a single-system proprietary format for public meetings. It would be so simple for them to provide the same audio in a format that could be played on any device. You should complain to the source and ask that they provide the video in a proper audio format.

    Microsoft has a page giving advice for playing the videos. You can try their suggestions: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/play-windows-media-files-on-your-mac-887436b9-6eca-4a67-ab60-9be22c05502a

    But I’m confused as to whether these files do work for you on your Mac or not. WMA, like other file extensions, can contain media in various formats. Some of those formats should play fine on a Mac. You said that QuickTime Player can play these files, but that you end up running Windows virtually to do it.

    If QuickTime Player does work, then I would simply Control+click on the files and choose to Open With that. You can also set all WMA files to open with QuickTime Player this way: https://macmost.com/how-to-set-the-default-app-for-opening-files-on-a-mac.html

    Douglas Brace
    1 month ago

    I would recommend using VLC from https://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html to play audio or videos that cannot be played using QuickTime Player.

    Chris in CT
    1 month ago

    Gary, Thanks for the weblink. QuickTime isn’t working directly, so I set the default app to Windows Media Player which triggers Parallels without any other steps. Simple and effective.
    Douglas, I checked out VLC and although it looks interesting. Since Windows Media Player as a default app works well, I decided not to go this route to avoid adding one more app to my system. Nonetheless, thanks for showing me another work around.

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