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-   -   Audacity will not play or convert WMA type files (

Chey 11-22-2012 01:11 PM

Audacity will not play or convert WMA type files
Hi All,

I'm a newbie here, that has been lurking and reading all the good info posted and have tried out many of the suggestions given. Let me thank you all for your efforts.

My problem is that Audacity will not open or let me import any WMA files.

I'm using Slackware 14, and have compiled and installed the following from Audacity, wxGTK, x264, sound touch, twolame, lame, and ffmpeg.

Trying to open a wma file, I get "Audacity cannot open this type of file due to patent restrictions. You need to convert it to a supported audio format, such as WAV or AIFF."

So I import and get the same message as above.

I know it is something simple that I'm missing and would appreciate any help.

Thank you!

ponce 11-22-2012 01:38 PM

audacity is not yet compatible with ffmpeg-0.11.x (the version on for slackware-14.0) so it doesn't use it for opening that kind of files (as its not compatible, support for ffmpeg it's explicitly disabled in the slackbuild): as the message says, you have to convert first the file from wma to wav using ffmpeg, like this

ffmpeg -i sample.wma sample.wav
then you can open the .wav with audacity

jefro 11-22-2012 09:41 PM

I assume ponce is correct but see this also.


Some Linux distributions (for example, Ubuntu) now package Audacity with MP3 encoding and FFmpeg support already linked dynamically to the relevant system libraries. In these packaged builds there is no need to locate LAME or FFmpeg, so Audacity will have no "Libraries" Preferences. Users compiling Audacity from source code must still follow the directions below.

You may download (or build) a suitable FFmpeg library for your own purposes. To build, obtain the source code from the FFmpeg project. If you download a pre-built library, this might be either a "shared" or "static" build. A static build consists of a single libavformat library, whereas a shared build has at least three libraries (libavformat, libavcodec and libavutil). It is recommended to use a shared build, but Audacity will also work with a static build.

If you compile Audacity from source code, it will link to the installed FFmpeg headers, which should always be compatible with an installed FFmpeg binary.

Warning icon FFmpeg version information: Audacity should support building against FFmpeg 0.5 through 0.8. It may not currently be possible to build Audacity against later versions of FFmpeg.
Locating the FFmpeg library manually

If you installed FFmpeg while Audacity was running, then the first time you use FFmpeg to import or export, Audacity will ask you to configure Preferences to locate the FFmpeg library. To do this, access Preferences then click the Locate... button, then Browse....
FFmpeg Find Library and Download buttons

If the "FFmpeg Library Version" says "not found":

Click "Find Library".
If a "Success" message indicates Audacity has now automatically detected the library and asks if you want to detect them manually, click "No", then OK to close Preferences.
If the "Locate FFmpeg" dialog appears, click "Browse...".
Navigate to the avformat library, and select it. It may have different names, such as "avformat-52.dll" on Windows, "libavformat-52.dylib" on Mac or "" on Linux.
Click "Open" then "OK", and "OK" again to close Preferences.

"FFmpeg Library Version" should now show a number. If not, you may have installed the wrong libraries. Click the "Download" button to obtain the correct library for your operating system.

Chey 11-23-2012 11:14 AM

Thanks Ponce,

Command line conversion works fine. Seems as though it is something in Audacity code that prevents it from picking up the ffmpeg library. Lame is picked up when I recompiled.

Chey 11-23-2012 11:17 AM


Thanks for the info and links. I'm off to hunt down older versions of ffmpeg and try it out.

Once again, thanks to all and keep up the good work!

ponce 11-23-2012 11:26 AM


Originally Posted by ponce (Post 4835015)
support for ffmpeg it's explicitly disabled in the slackbuild

go for ffmpeg-0.10.x, I think it should build fine with the script from, and then, as the README says, launch the build script passing the parameter FFMPEG=yes

Chey 11-23-2012 01:05 PM

Thank you Ponce!!!!!!!!!!!

Although I went with the ffmpeg-0.8.7 version, I used the SlackBuild script, installed it, then redid the Audacity build with the parameter you gave.

I now can open a WMA file in Audacity and it converts it. All is working!!

Thank you once again, now let me see what other trouble I can get into!

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