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Seeking WMA player with Shuffle option

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by ChaunceyK, May 26, 2016.

  1. ChaunceyK

    ChaunceyK Member
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    TL;DR - See title of thread

    Ripped my CDs to WMAs around 10 years ago. Why not MP3s instead? Because I was a n00b and didn't realize that Windows Media Player's default was WMA instead...around 700 albums later, well, what do you know? Wasn't a big problem when I got my first portable MP3 player back then, finding one that supported WMA was easy enough.

    Fast-forward 10 years and who needs a portable player when our cell phones do everything? I'm in heaven that I can bring my music with me on my cell phone!

    I found an app called Beat Player that also has a WMA plugin. Works good...not great, but good because at least twice per album it hangs & then crashes between songs (this was both before AND after installing the WMA plugin). I can deal with that, seeing as it's a free app. But there's no Shuffle option.

    So...help?
     

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  2. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert
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    FYI: Most of my music collection is WMA. Exactly 10 years ago (Memorial Day Weekend) I intentionally ripped my 500+ CDs to WMA lossless (~200GB) so that I could feed perfect SPDIF (digital) CD-quality music to my living-room hi-fi stereo from my PC. I then ran a batch transcoding job (using dbPowerAmp) on that WMA-lossless collection in order to turn it into a 2nd compressed 192kbps WMA version of my collection (~30GB) that I use on my portable devices. After MUCH deliberation and experimentation, I chose WMA-lossless because I figured that I could always batch-transcode from WMA-lossless to any other format (like MP3, AAC, etc.) without paying a double-lossy-encoding degradation. I chose WMA 192kbps for my lossy/compressed collection because it had better quality than MP3 for the same file size/bit-rate (and on great headphones I couldn't hear the difference at bitrates higher than 192kbps). So don't beat yourself up for choosing WMA.

    Background: Android used to have some imperfect support for playing WMA, but only if it had been encoded with a compatible WMA encoder (which may be part of your problem). Even if Android could play the files, often Android couldn't properly read the WMA metadata tags (for album-artist, etc.) Android officially dropped support for WMA with (I think) KitKat. However, phone-makers and app-makers are free to implement their own WMA playback libraries. According to Samsung's website the Galaxy S5 supports WMA so apparently Samsung added a WMA playback library (and my S5 plays WMA regardless of which media player app I use. Prior to getting my Galaxy S5, I found that the following apps could play WMA.

    TL;DR. Apps that have shuffle and their own WMA playback libraries and can play WMA:
    There are probably other WMA-capable music player apps. I seem to recall that MixZing could play WMA though I'm not sure if that's still the case.
     
    #2 RazzMaTazz, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
    ChaunceyK and mikedt like this.
  3. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    I believe it was a 4.x version that officially dropped support for WMA, because otherwise Google and/or manufacturers might face Microsoft codec patent infringement lawsuits. A few manufacturers do license WMA officially from Microsoft, but that's something they do themselves, I think Sony is one.

    At one time Windows Media licensing had some really draconian conditions attached to it, like media players must not support Ogg-Vorbis, if they had licensed WMA. e.g. "Plays for Sure" devices.
     
    #3 mikedt, May 29, 2016
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  4. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert
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    At $0.10/unit, WMA's licensing fees were far cheaper than MP3 ($0.75/unit) or AAC ($0.74/unit). Those licensing fees are paid by the device makers, not Google. I'm doubtful that there were any draconian licensing terms back in the day. That certainly wouldn't be the case nowadays, but Android still doesn't support WMA.

    I know the guy who runs engineering for Android music. He said that dropping WMA support was a strategic decision. Google simply didn't want to lift a finger to help it's arch-nemesis (Microsoft) establish a proprietary format or to help Microsoft's WMA-DRM-based music service successful.
     
  5. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    FYI: The Register 2005 :thumbsupdroid:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/27/accidental_music_monopoly_bid/

    Judge blasts MS bid to monopolize music devices
    Some flunky lacking an adequate grasp of Microsoft's deep commitment to fair business practices innocently wrote an offensive license forbidding non-MS media formats on portable devices compatible with Windows media, the company explained to miffed anti-trust judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly during a status hearing Tuesday.




    Of course not, because of anti-trust lawsuits. :D

    iOS doesn't support WMA either. :p
    ..well you can import WMA into iTunes, but it has to be converted to AAC or MP3 by iTunes.


    I can understand Google's decisions on that, however manufacturers themselves are free to support WMA in their devices if they want to. I know Oppo phones can play WMA and show WMA tags no problem. And presumably are paying Microsoft royalties for it.

    DRM'd legal music downloads were basically abandoned in 2010, starting with Apple iTunes Store purchases. Nobody sells DRM'd music now AFAIK. Certainly non of the main music sellers, like Google, Apple, Amazon, etc. Napster WMA store was shut-down or merged with something else. Music subscription services might have DRM, but then that's different, you're not actually purchasing and owning anything there, you're just renting it.
     
    #5 mikedt, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  6. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert
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    That Register article is from 2005. Android was released in 2008. Google decided to kill WMA support in 2010. Microsoft killed the WMA-DRM'd Zune marketplace in 2011.

    Yep, neither Apple nor Google would lift a finger to help arch-rival Microsoft.

    Samsung is a Windows Media licensee. My Galaxy S5 handles WMAs perfectly, regardless of which music player app I use. (My old LG Optimus didn't.)
     
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  7. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Yep, that was over 10 years ago, and I'm sure Microsoft wouldn't dare try pulling any stunts like that now.

    I never actually saw a Zune ever. MS has Groove Music now, and does have apps for Android and iOS. Can't use it though as it's not available here.

    Apple wouldn't lift a finger to help anyone but themselves
     
    #7 mikedt, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  8. ChaunceyK

    ChaunceyK Member
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    Sorry to take so long in getting back to this thread. I dl'd Media Monkey and I'm very happy with it. No crashes or anything between songs (which was a gripe of mine about Beat). Haven't had a chance to try the shuffle feature yet, but so far I'm quite happy.
     

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