The easiest way to watch, save and share your videos.

Downloading And Converting WMV Videos Is Simple

by Tom Volotta on April 13, 2012

wmv videosYes, WMV was and still is popular. Given the overwhelming number of computers running the Windows OS in the world, WMV files, the successor to AVI files, were a natural fit for the Windows Media Player that’s integrated in the Windows OS. WMV is a propriety format from Microsoft. Its roots go back to early Internet streaming.

It produced good quality that people had come to appreciate and expect. Add the growing trend to store libraries of digital video and audio content on home media servers, and you can see why WMV became one of the most used video file formats in the home. But things are changing and with it a need to convert WMV to other formats and vice versa.

WHY YOU MAY NEED A WMV CONVERTER

The WMV file format is still used today as a streaming format, but it also has broadened its scope with new standards such as VC-1 for Blu-ray, and Silverlight for HD streaming (used by Netflix). WMV files are something of a strange bird when it comes to video file formats. It is both a container, as are formats like MKVMP4 or FLV. Plus, it’s also a codec. An algorithm responsible for doing all the complex compression and decompression that makes digital video possible in the first place.

This can be frustrating when searching for WMV files to download. Videos you might find that are designated as .wmv files online play on your computer as MP4, MKV, or even FLV files. Most of the time you simply don’t know the format of the video. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will work the same way on other devices that only MP4 of FLV files, in that case your best bet is going to be to convert WMV to MP4 since it’s such a widely accepted and used format.

Having trouble playing videos you download in your Windows Media Player? Use RealPlayer to convert them to the popular WMV format compatible with most PCs.

Yes, it’s confusing. Another important thing to know about WMV is if it is used for streaming Hollywood movies, those WMV videos almost always have Digital Rights Management (DRM) software embedded to prevent unauthorized use and piracy.

This can block you from downloading WMV files in the first place, preventing your player to decode the video if you do happen to get it downloaded, and certainly stop any attempts to make a copy or convert the WMV video to another format. Yes, yes, I know there are all kinds of cracking programs floating around that’ll break through any barriers copyright holders may put up, but this isn’t a tutorial on piracy.

CONVERT WMV TO MP4 AND TAKE THE VIDEO WITH YOU

Today, major social video and sharing sites, and those sites offering free movie trailers, game reviews, and other topics are dominated by the MP4 or FLV formats. Many personal websites use MP4 because today’s digital camcorders and smartphones typically use MP4. It’s a very versatile format, and when combined with the H.264 codec, MP4 enables high-quality and efficient delivery of video over the web.

Since MP4 is such a popular format, people with videos they can only view in the Windows Media Player may want to convert WMV to MP4 so they can watch those videos on more devices. One of the nice features about RealPlayer is that you can easily convert WMV to MP4 and then transfer it and watch it on an iPhone.

Although WMV is used on many mobile devices, it doesn’t work on everything. For example, if you have an Apple iPhone you won’t be able to watch WMV video on it. Instead, you’ll need to convert WMV to MP4 and then transfer it to the iPhone. The good news is that it’s a fairly straightforward process using RealPlayer. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select the WMV video from the RealPlayer Library
  2. Do a right-click and select Convert to…
  3. RealPlayer Converter opens
  4. Select the device and set any profile details
  5. Click Start
  6. Wait for the conversion to be complete.

Done.

DOWNLOAD VIDEOS TO USE WITH A WMV CONVERTER

On many sites downloading WMV videos is done the old fashioned way, by clicking on the name of the title and having it go to a designated download folder. Sure, the video can then be played with RealPlayer; however, it’s not the same process as using the convenient “Download This Video” feature.

Let’s say you have found a website that offers the free content you want in the WMV format. How do you download the WMV video with RealPlayer?

The process for downloading WMV files with the free RealPlayer is the same as downloading any other video.

  1. Select and play the video
  2. Hover the cursor inside the frame
  3. RealPlayer’s “Download This Video” prompt appears in the upper right
  4. Click on it
  5. RealPlayer Downloader downloads the clip and shows the progress
  6. The WMV video is saved to the RealPlayer Library automatically

That’s it. You’re done. It just can’t get any easier.

You can either start playing the video clip directly from RealPlayer Downloader, or go the Library and select it there. If you want you can even convert WMV to MP4.

CONVERT WMV FILES IN A FEW STEPS

Whether you want to convert WMV to AVI or to another format, the steps are essentially the same as converting WMV to MP4 when using RealPlayer.

  1. Select the WMV video from the RealPlayer Library
  2. Do a right-click and select Convert to…
  3. RealPlayer Converter opens
  4. Select the device and set any profile details
  5. Click Start
  6. Wait for the conversion to be complete.

Done.

Going the other direction, maybe you couldn’t find that perfect free WMV video online. It was only available as FLV or MP4, but you still want it as a WMV.

No problem, you can easily convert FLV to WMV or convert MP4 to WMV. Just repeat the steps above, only targeting either the main WMV format with resolutions up to 1080p for high-bit rates, or select a device such as a mobile phone or perhaps the Xbox 360 as the target. RealPlayer does the rest.

COMING BACK TO EARTH WITH DOWNLOADING AND CONVERTING WMV VIDEOS

If you can find those free WMV videos online, downloading with RealPlayer is simple. The “Download This Video” feature works with nearly every browser, and RealPlayer doesn’t even have to be running.

Once downloaded, converting WMV to a wide variety of other formats for playing on computers, smartphones, tablets, other mobile and set top devices is just as easy as the downloading process.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 deograsias john April 28, 2012 at 7:10 am

your technology is fantastic. keep it up

2 Tom Volotta April 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Yeah, RealPlayer and its spin-offs do a really nice job.

I’ve always especially liked the user interface.

3 windows 8 release date May 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm

That is very attention-grabbing, You are a very professional blogger. I have joined your feed and look ahead to looking for extra of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

4 Tom Volotta May 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

Thanks for that, and for sharing the site on your social networks.

Hopefully my boss will be reading your comments! ;)

5 Michael Weaver June 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

If I can download videos from a USB Flash Drive.

6 Tom Volotta June 2, 2012 at 10:48 am

You can download to, or upload from a USB Flash Drive.

Videos, or any file, can be downloaded directly to a USB Flash Drive. First, you must change the routing for “Save downloaded files to:” in the Preferences for your browser to the flash drive that’s plugged into your computer. Typically, the default is set to a “Downloads” folder on your computer. If you wanted the video on both the computer and flash drive, just do a regular download to the Downloads folder, then transfer the file(s) to the USB flash drive.

Assuming you do a download straight to the flash drive, then remove it, be sure to reset the preferences in the browser to the folder of your choice on the computer.

Going the opposite direction, you can upload videos from the flash drive by clicking the “Browse to:” button on the website you’re uploading to, navigating to the USB flash drive plugged into your computer and then selecting the file to upload.

…TV

7 filtrenet June 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Thank you for this article which in fact comprises two tutorials in one, this is a very good method for a single article instead of looking another elsewhere.

8 Tom Volotta June 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

You’re welcome, and thank you.

…TV

9 den June 13, 2012 at 5:44 am

When I select a video to convert it appears in the conversion window but the start button is not active. I don’t know what is wrong . Can any one help.
Thanks

10 Tom Volotta June 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm

The Start button isn’t turning green? You need to provide a little more information. What format is the original, and what format/device are you converting to? You might need to contact Support so you can talk through what you’re doing. Sorry I can’t be more helpful now.

…TV

11 Vishal July 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm

How to download hollywood movies(dubbed in hindi) in wmv formate in my nokia c6 mobile

12 Tom Volotta July 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

Check the Nokia C6 User Guide first to get the basics. For Hollywood movies dubbed (or subtitled) in Hindi, you will obviously need to subscribe to a very particular service to view and/or download the titles you’re interested in. Use your search engine to find some possibilities. Just be cautious of bogus sites that claim to offer Hollywood movies for free.

As for the movies specifically being in the WMV format – that will be hit or miss according to the video service. It may be necessary to download the movie in another format, then convert to WMV. I don’t think the Nokia C6 can do all of that. If not, you’ll need a separate computer and converter/transfer software for some part of the process. Depending on the native file format, RealPlayer Converter will handle it.

DRM embedded in the movie will at least complicate, or even block the above.

If the Hindi sound track is the ONLY one in the movie, you should be fine in a format conversion. If Hindi is one of many sound tracks, or if you’re also looking for subtitled languages, converting from one format to WMV may result in loss of one, the other or both sound tracks and subtitles. This is especially the case if the original is MKV.

…TV

13 BARBARA July 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm

IF I UPGRADE TO REAL PLAYER PLUS 15, HOW TO I GET THE VIDEOS CONVERTED TO TV? I HAVE FOUND NOTHING ON HOW THAT IS DONE. HOW DO YOU GET FOR EXAMPLE, A YOUTUBE LIVE LED ZEPPLIN CONCERT CONVERTED TO TV FORMAT–WHILE LOOKIN GREAT, HAVING A CLEAR PICTURE ON YOUR 32 INCH TV @ THE SAME TIME? TRANSFERRED FROM A DOWNLOADED REAL PLAYER PLUS BLANK DVD???

14 Tom Volotta July 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm

RealPlayer Plus is able to play video formats through a TV provided there is a compatible interface between the computer and TV. This applies to all content downloaded from the Internet. Remember though, that unless you do some fancy image processing, the images on the TV won’t look better than the original material. Depending on the native resolution of the original, playing the video on a larger screen may reduce the quality by up scaling the image to fill the screen. This also depends on the resolution of your screen and the display settings you’ve selected.

RP+ can also burn DVDs from your videos. Even the High Definition Blu-ray format can be burned to DVD media, and then played on Blu-ray machines.

For specific details on exactly what you want to do, or help on RealPlayer Plus issues, contact RP+ Support.

…TV

15 BARBARA July 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I HAVE DOWNLOADED 1,000′S OF VIDEOS & SONGS ON WMP. THEY PLAY ON THE COMPUTER BUT WHEN PUT INTO THE HOME STEREO I RECIEVE NO SOUND WHATSOEVER & MY STEREO SHOWS THAT THERE ISNT EVEN A CD IN THE PLAYER! MY VIDEOS ALSO AFTER DOWNLOADING ALWAYS UPON REPLAY HAVE ALOT OF BLUR, SNOW, SKIPPING, ETC… ON THEM. I HAVE READ MANY COMPLAINTS FROM OTHERS ON THE WINDOWS WEBSITE WITH OTHERS HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM WITH DOWNLOADED MUSIC FROM WMP, NOT HAVING SOUND IN BOTH CAR & HOME STEREO SYSTEMS! I DON’T GET IT?—AND I HAVE WASTED COUNTLESS HOURS TRYING TO FIX IT TO NO AVAIL!!!!!!!!!!!

16 Tom Volotta July 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Wow! Lots of stuff (not) going on.

First, on the audio side – that should be the least of your problems. You don’t say whether the computer and receiver have compatible digital or analog outputs and inputs. Most modern computers will have a combination analog/digital 3.5 mm stereo minijack. This means you can use either an analog path to your receiver, but will need a RCA (red & white) breakout cable that let’s you connect to the analog audio inputs om the receiver. If you use the optical digital 3.5 minijack (aka) mini-Toslink, it will need to break out to a regular Toslink connector to your receiver. Which do you have? Analog or digital? Digital is best. I use a digital connection on a couple of systems, expressly to hear the sound from the computer through a good receiver and much better speakers than the computer has.

I’m not sure what you mean about a CD indicator not showing up on the stereo.

The video is more complicated. It’s not exactly clear whether you’re having the snow and blurry picture problem when playing on the computer, or if this is happening when you’re trying to display on a TV. I’ll assume TV. The issue here is the output format and interface from the computer to the TV’s input. The simplest hardware solution is HDMI to HDMI. It doesn’t sound like you’ve got that. This is where it can be a real pain dealing with mixing and matching the various interface connections.

For your car stereo, it’s likely the music needs to be in the MP3 format and loaded in the player, unless you’re plugging in an iPod directly.

I’m sorry I’m not being of much help here. If you could give me the details of your computer, receiver an TV hardware, I’d have a better crack at coming up with a solution. In the meantime, here are a few of links that might help you figure this out.

“How To Connect Your TV To A PC – Without A Rat’s Nest Of Wires”
and Suggestions from Microsoft on how to make this work. Along with a list of A/V and TV hardware compatible with Windows.

…TV

17 Masako Nishimoto September 26, 2012 at 12:50 am

I was trying to convert a VOC video to Wmv, I got it to play but I could not get it to convert. I got the icon in the library but when I try to drag it another window opens with an advertisement on it.What can I do?

18 Tom Volotta September 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

To be honest, I’m only vaguely familiar with VOC. It’s not listed in supported formats. Just curious, what does it do that’s so great?

What I suspect is that although RealPlayer doesn’t specifically say it supports VOC, it apparently does PLAYBACK. But Conversion can be a more complicated process. RP plays MP4 files, but WON’T convert them. I’m guessing you’ve got a similar situation here, where the Converter is balking because it’s not seeing the proper codec. Try downloading and installing CCCP to see if that gives RP a little extra push. You’re getting the advertisement window because RealPlayer wants you to upgrade to RealPlayer Plus, which has a more robust set of formats and codecs. Work arounds like CCCP can often add the necessary codecs to enable the converter to work. Let me know if this works out for you.

…TV

19 Anonymous December 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

did mwv download work on Windows Media Player ??

20 Tom Volotta December 28, 2012 at 11:12 am

I would hope so. Both were developed by Microsoft.

…TV

21 king luffy September 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

when i try to convert an mp4 to wmv an add pops up to upgrade and the conversion doesn’t start. What’s wrong.

22 RealPlayer Team September 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Some file requires Plus feature to play/convert. Try installing QuickTime/iTunes to enable the necessary codec for RealPlayer to play/convert .mp4 files.

1: QuickTime : http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
or
2: iTunes http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/

After installing QuickTime/iTunes, try play/converting the files through RealPlayer.

If this doesn’t work, please send an email to help@real.com, include a brief description of the issue, copy and paste the link to this thread within the email for further assistance.

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