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Old 19th April 2006
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If you decrease the merits of unneeded filters, it is unlikely they will get loaded. But why to keep those libraries in your system if you don't use them? Ffdshow is a DirectShow interface to the free audio/video processing library "libavcodec", which can decode many formats. It is not a good idea to install it for just one format. I would suggest you to try ffdshow as your primary decoder and then add alternate ones if ffdshow won't satisfy you either with performance, number of features, stability or quality.

Originally Posted by adicoto
If you have WinXP, or WMP9 installed on your system, than you can play WMA with no problem.
This is the problem, because WMP is not a decoder, an encoder, or a codec of any standard. What you said in fact is very much like "go on and install ACE Megapack and you'll be able to play your file" (without bothering to ask details about this media file). That is why I said ffdshow is the only decoder I know. Ffdshow can decode most wma (either single stream ASF or WMA audio in a video file). What it can't do (AFAIK) is demux Advanced Streaming Format or in any way force the system to bypass DRM protection.

Libavcodec's purpose is to decode audio, the goal of Microsoft, however, is to earn money by protecting. See the difference? If you don't like ffdshow you can uninstall it – the thing you can't do with Windows Media Player. As I wrote before, the installation of newest WMP on one of my computers disabled the playback of unprotected WMA returning a license-related error.

Can you tell the error message you get if you try to play these [censored] WMAs? I can upload an unprotected WMA (file removed) to you. If you can play this file, ffdshow will not help you. I've heard that Foobar2000 developers are implementing a WMA decoder, which I hope won't be bitching about licenses and stuff, but it is still not possible for it to ignore DRM.

A bit of offtopic

Many ppl would disagree but the best thing to do is avoid Windows Media Audio at all costs. There are completely free solutions for every multimedia need you can imagine, either lossy or lossless, low or high bandwidth, low or high complexity, container formats optimizer either for storage or streaming. Protected AAC, WM/ASF, Real cannot provide anything better than the currently available free codecs. Even if the required bitrates were really a bit smaller, is it worth the trouble with DRM, patents and licenses?
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