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File Extension WMA


What is a Windows Media Audio File?

The Windows Media Audio File is represented by the file extension WMA. The Windows Media Audio that uses this format is a technology on audio data compression. The WMA file extension refers to the Microsoft's audio codec or audio file format. It forms a part of the framework of the Windows Media. The WMA format has four codecs distinctly, which is known as a competitor to other popular codecs like the RealAudio and MP3 codecs. Up to now, newer versions of the WMA file extension are being developed; however, every version still retains the original decoding process, to ensure compatibility among the different versions.

The audio files in the WMA file extension are among the most famous codecs, together with MP3, as well as the MPEG-4 AAC. Multi-channel and even high resolution audio qualities are supported by the newer and more advanced WMA codec. The WMA file extension is also used in the files for the WMA Lossless codec, under the same manufacturer, which is Microsoft Corporation.

The files in the WMA file extension are encapsulated in a container format, called ASF or Advanced Systems Format. This container format features single track of audio in the following codecs like the WMA, WMA Lossless, WMA Voice, and the WMA Pro. How the metadata encoding is dictated in their format container, the ASF, which is almost the same as the ID3 tags for the MP3 files.

The metadata includes song title, artist name, track number, and also the audio normalization values for each file. The digital rights management (DRM) can support the WMA file extension, optionally with the use of the combination of elliptical curve cryptography key exchange, block cipher custom, DES block cipher, SHA-1 hashing function, and RC4 stream cipher.

The audio file contained in the WMA file extension, can be played in the Windows Media Player and other audio players that are in the operating system the user's computer.

Author:

Microsoft Corporation

Author's URL:

http://www.microsoft.com


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