Converting .wma to .mp3

busyizzi

Registered
Our local library system recently started offering downloads of audiobooks from www.netlibrary.com. I would like to be able to download and listen to books on my iPod mini, after downloading them to my iBook G4. Unfortunately, the audiobooks are only available in .wma format. I looked on www.macupdate.com to see if there might be a way to convert from .wma to .mp3 so I could transfer the file to iTunes and then to my iPod. I found a program called EasyWMA, which supposedly would convert the .wma files to .mp3 format. I downloaded EasyWMA and a book from netlibrary.com. The book downloaded correctly. The audiobook file is about 139 MB. I put the copy of the file in Easy WMA to be converted. It generated an mp3 file about 240 KB. I tried listening to that mp3 file, which only sounded like static. :(

I would appreciate any help anyone can provide, about anything I might have done incorrectly, or something different I might try.

Thanks! :cool:
 

Randman

HA! HA! HA!
If it's encrypted WMA, you are out of luck. If not, iTunes can handle it.

Though, you do realize that you are stealing and asking about stealing. Don't you?
 

busyizzi

Registered
Sorry, that is not correct! I'm neither stealing nor asking about stealing. I don't appreciate your implication that I am doing either. As I said in my original post, our library has started offering downloads of audiobooks for the library's patrons, to be used on portable audio devices for those who have them, or on computers for those who don't Unfortunately, they are only available in .wma format, which doesn't work for me.

The downloads are time limited. They are available for 21 days to the individual who downloads the files. Because they are time-limited, there is probably no way to transfer that time-limitation over to a file that would allow me to use the audiobook on my computer or iPod.

I have no interest in developing a collection of audiobooks. I was just interested in seeing if there might be a way to use this resource the library is providing that is likely limited to folks who do not have Apple equipment. I found this board, and was hoping for some courteous, helpful insight. Unfortunately, the response to my first post doesn't seem to indicate that is the case! :(
 

MisterMe

Registered
busyizzi said:
Sorry, that is not correct! I'm neither stealing nor asking about stealing....
Actually, Randman is correct. You are stealing.

busyizzi said:
The downloads are time limited....
Libraries lend materials; they don't give them away. The library's vendor chose DRMed WMA for a reason. The DRM allows the library to "lend" the download rather than giving it away. In the case of a printed book or book on tape, you pay a fine if you keep it beyond the lending period. You can't return a download. The library's only recourse is to use a system under which its electronic materials stop working after a reasonable period.

busyizzi said:
I have no interest in developing a collection of audiobooks.... :(
This is besides the point. You want to use the material on your own timetable rather than the library's. You have no legal right to do this.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
Ever heard of "Fair Use"? This is not stealing. Even if this didn't fall under fair use, it still wouldn't be "stealing". People love to put that word onto any and every crime in the world, but it has a very specific meaning, and it doesn't apply to piracy.

Give the guy a break.

As for your question, I'm afraid there's no way to convert, or even play, protected Windows Media content on Macs. If Windows Media Player can handle it (I don't believe it can, but I've never personally tested it), then you could use Audio Hijack Pro to record the audio output from Windows Media Player and save it as an mp3. But this conversion would require you to play the entire file in real time, so it would take a while.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
busyizzi said:
our library has started offering downloads of audiobooks for the library's patrons, to be used on portable audio devices for those who have them
he's using/trying to use the audio for it's intended use. you can't steal something with permission from the owner, it ceases to be theft. he falls out of a loophole as he's gone out and bought one of those mp3 players not used by many people.

but in actual response to your question, busyizzi, there is no way to convert a protected wma (which is what your file is, if it expires after 21 days), even less so on a mac (which won't even play it) without being a very good hacker.

as mentioned before, you can record the audio output of the computer, using software like wiretap pro etc. if the wma happened to be playing at the time, this would also be captured, in real time. if you happened to capture the whole thing, you could save it as an iPod compatible mp3. if this were the case, if i were you, i'd delete it within the 21 day period.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Mikuro said:
Ever heard of "Fair Use"? This is not stealing. Even if this didn't fall under fair use, it still wouldn't be "stealing". People love to put that word onto any and every crime in the world, but it has a very specific meaning, and it doesn't apply to piracy.
"Fair Use" is moot if technology is used to circumvent copyright protection, as is included in protected WMA files. We can argue for "time-" and "space-shifting" all we want, but that's still a gray area and not completely legal or illegal.

However, I don't think the poster had malicious intentions when they wanted to convert the file for use on an iPod. Still, you would have to circumvent the copyright protection in order to do what they wanted to do, which is illegal.

Short answer is that if you want to use the files on your iPod, you will have to either, a) break the law, or b) break the license agreement for protected WMA files.
 

nojay

Registered
My guess is that transfer of the audiobook-type file in question would be perfectly legal if used in a Janus-compatable digital music player. These mp3 players are made to support .wma files with the encoded time restictions. The subscrption music services like Rhapsody and Napster provide "unlimited" downloads of these files for that particular service model. Of course, they are Windows only.

Unfortunately for the poster, ElDiablo's last paragraph rings true regarding the Janus-encoded files and the iPod.
 
Top