WMA is a commonly used audio format in Windows operating systems. Apple's original sound player can’t directly open it, as it uses Microsoft's proprietary codec. If the WMA file won’t play on Mac, you might feel very frustrated. Well, this article will take a look at how to play WMA on Mac as well as introduce the best WMA player for Mac to you.
WMA or Windows Media Audio is an audio file container developed by Microsoft. It reduces the data traffic, but maintains the sound quality to achieve a better compression rate. Generally, the quality of WMA files is higher than that of MP3 files while maintaining a low bit rate like 64 kbps.
|Full name||WMA (Windows Media Audio) File Format|
|Pros||Great quality and performance in low bitrates|
|Cons||Poor compatibility on non-Windows systems|
Unfortunately, QuickTime Player doesn't natively support many popular formats, including WMA. When you try to listen to WMA on Mac with QuickTime Player, it would fail to parse and prompt you QuickTime Player can’t open “xxx.wma”.
But you can download different components to play the unsupported QuickTime formats, say, Perian for MKV.
To open WMA files on Mac, you can install Flip4Mac (powered by Telestream). It's the only QuickTime component to help play, import, and export WMA files on your Mac.
However, there are three shortcomings:
Due to the terrible compatibility and practicality, Flip4Mac is almost eliminated. Its developer - Telestream is also aware of the problem. Now, they strongly recommend users to install its upgraded QuickTime component – Switch to play WMA files on Mac OS X. It supports most QuickTime video codecs and extra containers/codecs that are not used in the QuickTime media framework.
Cisdem Video Player (a.k.a CVP) boasts of a minimalistic yet resourceful design, making it easy to play WMA on Mac free. It supports virtually any video and audio format you throw at it without a hiccup, e.g. WMA, WMV, MP4, RMVB, AVI, MPEG, VOB, DVD-VR File Format, APE, M4A, etc. This best WMA player for Mac is able to process large media file smoothly.
Thanks to Cisdem Video Player, you can fast forward or rewind to your desired time point quickly, select the file you want to play from the playlist, switch audio tracks & add external subtitles, etc.
Summary of benefits and notable features of Cisdem Video Player:
Alternatively, right-click the WMA file, and choose “Open With” > “Cisdem Video Player”. The WMA file will start playing immediately.
In addition to Cisdem Video Player, you have other options to play WMA on Mac. Below are three free alternatives.
VLC is an outstanding WMA player with a long history. It has existed since 1996. With constant upgrades, it has become the top media player around the world. The software can work on many operating systems, including Mac, Linux, Windows, Solaris, Android, iOS, etc. It supports multiple audio/video compression methods, file formats, and subtitles.
KMPlayer is an exquisite WMA player for Mac. Just press shortcut keys to increase or decrease the volume of a WMA audio. It sets an accurate time point, allowing you to directly fast forward/rewind 5sec or 30sec. You can fine-tune the color balance of a playing video, like contrast, brightness, HUE, saturation, balance init. If necessary, you can also rotate the screen to adjust to the best angle.
5KPlayer is an all-around media player to play WMA on Mac. It‘s boosted by DXVA2, Intel QSV, and NVIDIA CUDA hardware acceleration. This WMA player for Mac also lets you play MP4, MKV, H.265, VP8, VP9, MTS, DVD and other kinds of videos/audio files. Its special feature is to support airplay, so you are able to do instant screen mirroring by modifying the resolution.
The best free WMA player for Mac – Cisdem Video Player we mentioned earlier has a conversion feature that needs to be unlocked for a fee. It supports 9 audio/video outputs and 60 presets for devices. You can use the software to convert WMA to MP3 and M4A.
But Cisdem Video Player is not a dedicated video/audio converter. It doesn’t support many output formats. If you often want to perform media file conversion, give a try on its brother software – Cisdem Video Converter.
The app supports 300+ files formats and devices. It gives you the ability to tweak the output file codec, bitrate, sample rate, quality, etc.
Summary of stunning features of Cisdem Video Converter:
After conversion, you can open the converted WMA file on Mac via QuickTime Player.
All Apple devices are incapable of playing WMA files, and the same is true on the iPhone. YxPlayer is a reliable WMA player for iPhone (iOS 11.0 or later). It supports lots of audio and video formats plus helps you share your WMA or other media files with YxPlayer users. You can download YxPlayer on Mac App Store. It is not freeware and needs to cost $2.99. Once you installed YxPlayer on iPhone, you will have the ability to open WMA with it straightly.
Hopefully, this article helped you figure out how to open WMA files on Mac. Three methods are mentioned above: install the QuickTime component, use a WMA player for Mac, or convert WMA to QuickTime format. However, there is another situation that will cause “WMA file won’t play on Mac”. If your WMA tracks are protected by DRM, they can’t be played or copied to an audio CD.
Peter has always had great enthusiasm for writing, programming and web development. He likes writing about software and technology, his works are featured on some tech blogs or forums like Tom's Hardware, CNET, etc.