Convert music, videos, and pictures from one format to another

In most cases, it's possible to convert a music, video, or picture file from one format to another. For example, if you have an MP3 file, you can convert it to another music format, such as Windows Media Audio (WMA) or Advanced Audio Coding (AAC). Depending on which file formats you’re converting, you might need to install additional software from Microsoft or other companies.

In some cases, it might not be possible to convert a particular file to another format because the creator of the content has encrypted the file using some form of digital rights management (DRM). This can be the case with some songs and videos that you buy or rent from online stores and with movies released on DVD.

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Converting music

If you want to convert music from one format to another, there are three Microsoft programs or features that can help you do the job.

To convert fromToUse this program or feature
To convert from

Audio CD

To

MP3, WAV, or WMA

Use this program or feature

Windows Media Player (a feature of most editions of Windows Vista)

For more information, see Rip music from a CD.

To convert from

Audio cassette, LP, AIFF, MP3, WAV, WMA, and other formats

To

WMA

Use this program or feature

Windows Movie Maker (a feature of most editions of Windows Vista)

For more information, see Trapped on tape and Import video files, pictures, and audio into Windows Movie Maker.

To convert from

AIFF, MP3, WAV, WMA and other formats

To

WMA

Use this program or feature

Microsoft Expression Encoder

To download it, go to the Microsoft Expression website.

If these options don’t suit your needs, there are a variety of other programs that you can use instead. For example, if you want to convert a WMA file to an MP3, you need to use software from another company.

You can download audio file conversion programs that do this from sites such as Download.com. You can also use a search engine, such as Bing, to find similar programs (try using search terms such as “convert wma to mp3”).

Converting videos

If you need to convert video from one format to another, consider using one of these four Microsoft programs or features.

To convert fromToUse this program or feature
To convert from

AVI, DVR-MS, MPEG, WMV

To

DVD-Video

Use this program or feature

Windows DVD Maker (a feature of Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate)

For more information, see Demo: Make a DVD-Video disc.

To convert from

AVI, DVR-MS, MPEG, WMV, and additional formats with suitable DirectShow decompressors installed

To

WMV

Use this program or feature

Windows Movie Maker

For more information, see Import video files, pictures, and audio into Windows Movie Maker.

To convert from

AVI, MOV (QuickTime), MPEG, and additional formats with suitable DirectShow decompressors installed

To

WMV

Use this program or feature

Microsoft Expression Encoder

To download it, go to the Microsoft Expression website.

To convert from

AVI and MPEG with suitable DirectShow decompressors installed

To

WMV

Use this program or feature

Windows Media Encoder 9 Series

To download it, go to the Windows Media Encoder website.

You can find other video file conversion programs at sites such as Download.com. You can also use a search engine, such as Bing, to find similar programs (try using search terms such as “convert wmv to mov”).

Converting pictures

Microsoft offers three programs or features that you can use to convert from one picture format to another.

To convert fromToUse this program or feature
To convert from

BMP, GIF, ICO, JPEG, PNG, TIFF

To

BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, or TIFF

Use this program or feature

Paint

For more information, see Change a picture’s file type (file format).

To convert from

Print or slide

To

BMP, JPEG, PNG, or TIFF

Use this program or feature

Windows Photo Gallery or Windows Live Photo Gallery

For more information, see Scan a picture. To download Windows Live Photo Gallery, go to the Windows Live website.

To convert from

BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF

To

DVD-Video

Use this program or feature

Windows DVD Maker (a feature of Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate)

For more information, see Demo: Make a DVD-Video disc.

You can find other image file conversion programs at sites such as Download.com. You can also use a search engine, such as Bing, to find similar programs (try using search terms such as “convert RAW to JPEG”).