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I have a lot of WMA files and I am trying to load them into my iPod. However it fails with the error:

Ecstasy of Gold.wma was not copied to this iPod because it cannot be played in this iPod

UPDATE: I tried converting wma files to mp3 with Audacity to see if that would work. However, the conversion itself failed. The wma file was about 17 Mb, whereas the mp3 file was only about 6 Kb.

UPDATE2: None of the wma files are protected. I checked this by enabling the field Protected in Windows Explorer.

UPDATE3: The codec as retrieved by GSpot is as follows

0x0163 (Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless) 0x01:44100Hz 663 kb/s tot (2 chnls)

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Part of the issue is that there is no such thing as a WMA file. A WMA file is a container... You may have OGG encoded files, or some other codec that itunes doesn't understand there...

Yes iTunes maybe able to play the file, but if the iPod doesn't natively recognize the audio format/codec, it won't be able to play it. iTunes is programmed to detect what the ipod can and can't play...

What codec's are the files in question?

Try converting through iTunes, because WMA doesn't appear to be supported... Evidently the WMA support I've read about is due to being converted through itunes...

Compatible codecs

iPod can play songs encoded with these codecs:

  • MP3 (from 32 Kbps to 320 Kbps)
  • MP3 Variable Bit Rate (VBR)
  • AIFF *
  • WAV (with no compression)

The following require iPod software 1.3 or later:

  • M4A AAC [*]
  • M4P AAC (Protected) [*]
  • M4B AAC (iTunes Store Spoken Word files) [*]

The following require iPod software 2.2 or later or iPod mini 1.1 or later:

  • Apple Lossless Encoder

[*]Requires iTunes 4 or iTunes 4 for Windows. AAC files also require the most recent update to the iPod software.

Compatible sample rates

iPod can play songs with the these sample rates, and with all compatible codecs:

  • 8 kHz
  • 11.025 kHz
  • 16 kHz
  • 22.050 kHz
  • 32 kHz
  • 44.1 kHz

Audible Spoken Word files

iPod Software 1.2 and later can play Audible spoken word files in formats 2, 3, and 4. These files have the filename extension, ".aa".

iTunes 4 and iTunes 4 for Windows work with Audible spoken word files.

Incompatible codecs

iPod cannot play songs that use these audio formats:

  • snd
  • QuickTime
  • MP2
  • MP1
  • WAV with compression
  • WMA and WMA Protected
  • any other format not in the Compatible codecs list
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@Benjamin - How do I find that? – Kanini Oct 19 '09 at 11:38
And that container most often uses the Windows Media Audio codec, doesn't it? – grawity Oct 19 '09 at 12:59
@grawity: yes, but all it takes is one wonky setting on an encoder to create a whole bunch of .wma's using some non-WMA codec. or some WMA codec with esoteric options that are throwing OP's iTunes for a loop. without (lots) more details we don't really know. – quack quixote Oct 19 '09 at 13:22
In short, if I copy incompatible formats to iPod it will not play. Thanks Benjamin! – Kanini Oct 19 '09 at 15:34

Convert them using iTunes into either .aac or, preferably, .mp3. This should solve your problem.

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@alex - I get the error message when I drag and drop them into iTunes. – Kanini Oct 19 '09 at 7:56
Can you open it with anything else? Maybe the files are corrupt; iTunes would normally convert the files when you first load them. – alex Oct 19 '09 at 9:12
@alex - Yes, I am able to play them in Windows Media Player/Real Media Player as well. iTunes is able convert MP3 files. – Kanini Oct 19 '09 at 10:15

iTunes will convert some WMA files automatically. You'll need to drag and drop them on to iTunes and not directly on to the iPod (although I'm guessing a little here). If they're protected - i.e. DRM'd - then iTunes won't be able to convert then.

If you're running on Windows make sure you have a recent version of Windows Media Player installed for the WMA codecs. If you're running on a Mac apparently having flip4mac will add WMV support to QuickTime allowing iTunes to do the conversion.

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Thanks Dave. Yes, I do have the latest Windows Media Player with WMA codecs as well. Unfortunately, no, I do not have a Mac! How do I check if they're protected or DRM'd. – Kanini Oct 19 '09 at 10:14
this answer may help: ... question asked about finding and deleting protected WMA files, answer includes a method to find them. you may be able to use it to check. (i can't test since i don't have any drm'd wma files.) – quack quixote Oct 19 '09 at 10:22
Thanks Quack, I did check out that question. None of my files are protected. – Kanini Oct 19 '09 at 10:47

If iTunes is not successful, try using an audio converter or a free online file conversion website such as

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Thanks Nate. But using the software MediaCoder is a lot better as we can do it offline as well. See below for a response posted by me which has the link to MediaCoder. – Kanini Oct 19 '09 at 14:16

I downloaded MediaCoder and converted all of the WMA files to MP3 files. After coversion to MP3, I was able to drag-drop them into iTunes and it worked.

I was able to pull this from this Super User Question

However, I am still not able to understand why iTunes was not able to get the wma files as such. Why was the conversion to MP3 needed in the first place?

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GSpot will identify what audio codec is in use inside the WMA container: – quack quixote Oct 19 '09 at 12:20
@quack- Thanks! I have updated the question to reflect the same. – Kanini Oct 19 '09 at 14:12

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