I pushed some WMA files to emulator yesterday, and I found all of these music files can be played well by the music player, So I was confused.

I found that Android 1.5 didn't support the WMA codec, which is announced in the SDK documentation. I also didn't find a WMA decoder in PV OMX.

How does this happen?

2 Answers 2


There isn't just one thing called WMA, WMA describes a whole set of different audio formats and technologies that all normally have a .WMA ending. Some of these are DRM encrypted, some have higher or lower level quality than others, some are optimized for voices. It's entirely possible that although your audio file has a .WMA extension and container, inside that it's actually a type of codec that Android can already natively handle.

See these links for a bit more explanation: Gentle Introduction to Video Encoding: Lossy Audio Codecs and Wikipedia - WMA

  • The same file doesn't play on my android phone (xperia x10 mini), having 1.6. I'm aware of the wma container, but the codec is also called wma. It's mime x-ms-wma is implemented in the omx source code only as a framework, calling dummy classes. It's getting really confusing now.
    – lalli
    Sep 30, 2010 at 14:46

I believe an actual Windows Media Audio decoder would require to be licensed from Microsoft to be included as such in Android. Like how Microsoft Exchange intergration is liceanced from Microsoft by handset manufactures to include in their Android phones (HTC I think does so off the top of my head) and why Exchange by Touchdown I assume costs $19.99.

Like GAThrawn said, the .wma files you claim are probably MP3 or another format Android natively supports with a mislabeled file extension - try encoding some yourself and give it another try. :)

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