How to Convert the WMA Lossless Format to WAV

By Jennifer Claerr

To convert WMA lossless files to WAV files, you will need Microsoft's Windows Media Audio Lossless to Wave Converter software. This DOS-based tool can quickly convert these files, either one at a time or in bulk. However, for people who are accustomed to Windows, this tool can seem awkward and difficult to use. It may also fail to function if you try to use long Windows file names in the DOS window. There are several things you can do to simplify the conversion process and increase your chances of success.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Media Audio Lossless to Wave Converter tool

Step 1

Download the Windows Media Audio Lossless to Wave Converter from Microsoft's website. Either click "Run" to install it from Microsoft's website or click "Save" to download the file to your hard drive.

Step 2

Run the installation file. Read the license agreement and click "Yes" if you choose to accept it. Select the location where you'd like to install the converter software. Make a note of which folder the software will install in and click "OK."

Step 3

Use Windows Media Player to rip the audio file to your hard drive if it's on CD. Click the "Rip" tab and select Format > Windows Media Audio Lossless. Find the WMA lossless file. It will most likely be in your My Music folder (Music in Windows Vista). Copy the file to the folder where you installed the WMA converter software. Rename your copied WMA file name so that it's as short and as simple as possible.

Step 4

Navigate to the location where you installed the WMA converter software. Right click on the wmal2pcm.exe file and select "Properties." Copy the text that appears after "Location:" beginning with the name of the top folder. Do not copy the "C:\" before the path.

Step 5

Click Start > Run. Type "cmd" in the field and click "OK." Type cd\. Right click directly to the right of this text within the command window and select "Paste." Press "Enter." Then type wmal2pcm [file.wma] [file.wav], where "file.wma" is the name of the WMA lossless file you wish to convert. Alternatively, you can create new folders on the root directory to hold the files you would like to convert. Give the folders names with eight characters or less. Type wmalpcm [c:\wmadir] [c:\wavdir], where "wmadir" is the name of the directory containing your WMA lossless files and "wavdir" is the destination directory.

Step 6

Read the text below your commands in the DOS window to determine whether the conversion was successful. Also check the destination folder that you chose to save your WAV files.