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Old 12-01-2003, 06:47 AM   #1
thomask
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Location: London/Sevenoaks, England
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Question WMA advice


Hi all,
I have a large collection of music, which is almost exclusively in WMA format.

I would much like to be able to play my music under Linux.

I might be prepared to spend the time converting them to MP3 or OGG, were it not for my MP3 player, which has no OGG support.

MP3 is a bit of a non-option for my MP3 player for two reasons:

1) Converting my WMAs to MP3 would take ages

2) MP3s have a considerably worse quality/size trade-off than WMAs; I can fit a lot of good quality WMAs on my 128MB MP3 player, but only about 1/2 that number of MP3s at a similar quality.

I therefore have two options:

1) See if anyone has re-written the firmware for my MP3 player to give it OGG support (most unlikely).

2) Get a decent WMA compatible media player for Linux.

Currently, I am following up the second option. I have tried MPlayer, but I was pretty dissatisfied with it for various reasons, not least: the interface is horrible, esp. playlist creation; whenever I tell it to play a WMA it gives me an odd error message before continuing.

I have heard that there is a way to get XMMS to support WMA, although I'm not really a big fan of XMMS. I quite like Rhythmbox. It would be quite nice if I could find a WMA backend for XMMS or Rhythmbox, preferably something like MPlayer's method, which I believe is legal. I'd rather not go for anything too dodgy, because I don't want Micros~1 to sue my a$$.

Anybody have any ideas?
--
Thomas K

"Do I dare disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."
-- T.S. Eliot
 
Old 12-01-2003, 07:34 AM   #2
MrPotatoHead
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You might be able to run WMA files if you run the windows media player by using Crossoffice.

MrP
 
Old 12-01-2003, 08:23 AM   #3
vinay_s_s
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Mplayer is the way to go:

Mplayer home Page:
http://www.mplayerhq.hu/homepage/design6/news.html
 
Old 12-01-2003, 10:15 AM   #4
andrewlkho
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Just a point - converting your wma's would take a while, but it would be a one-off job, so you could leave your cpu cycling overnight or something. I would actually advise doing this, although you might, as you say, find the size/quality trade-off not so good
 
Old 12-01-2003, 10:40 AM   #5
carlywarly
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Not strictly relevant, but here are some results of Lame encoded mp3s at 128kbps versus various other formats at approx. 64kbps. It shows MP3 pro to be about as good as oggs, with both measurably better than wmas. Bear in mind the average bitrates table, too.
http://audio.ciara.us/test/64test/results.html
 
Old 12-02-2003, 06:02 AM   #6
thomask
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What's MP3 Pro, compared to other types of MP3? I thought that I had already made myself clear that I _didn't_ want to use MPlayer, because I don't like the interface (forget about skins, they don't alter the crappy playlist interface, as far as I can tell), and on my RHL9 installation, it waits about ten seconds and brings up a error message before playing any WMA files. Overall, I was pretty damn dissatisfied with MPlayer, hence I asked if there was a backend available to get XMMS/Rhythmbox to play WMAs. I got the idea from another post that if you installed some AVI codec or something for XMMS, then you could play WMAs with it. Crossoffice is a non-solution for me right now, since I am a student without money to spare on commercial products. Any solutions NOT involving MPlayer or any commercial stuff?

Last edited by thomask; 12-02-2003 at 06:04 AM.
 
Old 12-02-2003, 02:33 PM   #7
vinay_s_s
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can you please tell what error Mplayer was giving so that we could atleast try to solve it!
 
Old 12-03-2003, 06:05 AM   #8
thomask
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Registered: Jun 2003
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Yeah, I'll look at it when I get the chance. Right now, I haven't got a graphical Linux box to hand, but I'll keep you posted. A big MPlayer wish would be to have a nicer interface for playlist creation.

As for Rhythmbox, a new version of GStreamer has been released with wma support, so I think my problem may well have been solved :-). Thanks for the help, anyway.
 
  


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