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Topic: WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help! (Read 5848 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Xcellere
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Hey all, my 2011 BMW always plays WMA Lossless files perfectly through its on-board audio system. I play the files through a 32 GB flash drive. I ripped 3 tracks from Nelly Furtado's album 'Loose' to WMA Lossless (via dbpoweramp) like all of my other files: same frequency, sample size, bit rate: 44hz/16bit, lossless. When I try to playback these 3 songs in the car, there's a loud static noise that comes on for 4 seconds, then the system skips to the next track. These same WMA Lossless files play back fine on my PC. I ripped the same songs to LAME MP3, and they play fine in the car. I bought another copy of the CD to see if it was just a fluke, and the same problem occurs.

I made a video that shows the static and subsequent track change. 'Do It' is the WMA Lossless file, and 'Do It 001' is the LAME MP3 file that plays perfectly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ayKvcqTrwA

I figured this question would be better suited for an audio forum and not a BMW forum, where no one would know what they're talking about.

  • saratoga
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #1
If they normally work when you rip them that way, the files probably just got corrupted.  I would re-rip them and try again.

  • Xcellere
  • [*]
WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #2
If they normally work when you rip them that way, the files probably just got corrupted.  I would re-rip them and try again.


This has been going on for a while now, maybe 3 months and 6 different rip sessions. Some through foobar, some through dbpoweramp, and some through winamp. Still nothing.

  • saratoga
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #3
Do WMA Lossless files ever work on the stereo?  Perhaps it doesn't support them.
  • Last Edit: 03 February, 2012, 02:46:44 PM by db1989

  • Xcellere
  • [*]
WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #4
From the first sentence in my first post: "Hey all, my 2011 BMW always plays WMA Lossless files perfectly through its on-board audio system."
  • Last Edit: 03 February, 2012, 02:46:55 PM by db1989

  • saratoga
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #5
From the first sentence in my first post: "Hey all, my 2011 BMW always plays WMA Lossless files perfectly through its on-board audio system."


Yes I saw that, but if it were true, you wouldn't have posted this thread about how they don't play

Now, are you certain you've gotten WMA Lossless files to play, verses just high bitrate WMA standard files?

  • pdq
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #6
How certain are you that the files that worked were actually WMAL and not WMA?

Edit: Too slow
  • Last Edit: 03 February, 2012, 02:12:14 PM by pdq

  • Xcellere
  • [*]
WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #7
From the first sentence in my first post: "Hey all, my 2011 BMW always plays WMA Lossless files perfectly through its on-board audio system."


Yes I saw that, but if it were true, you wouldn't have posted this thread about how they don't play

Now, are you certain you've gotten WMA Lossless files to play, verses just high bitrate WMA standard files?


100% positive they're WMA Lossless 9.2. I looked at the audio properties of all the files, and it says Lossless, 44hz 16 bit. IIRC, the bit rate is 1411kbps. Lossy WMA is WMA 10 I believe, which none of the files show as.
  • Last Edit: 03 February, 2012, 03:08:37 PM by Xcellere

  • mixminus1
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #8
"1411 kbps" is the bit rate of a 16-bit/44.1 kHz stereo WAV file, i.e. uncompressed PCM.

The bit rate of a WMAL file should be variable, and different for pretty much every file.

It will be 1411 kbps when decompressed, but if you're seeing 1411 kbps as a file property, you've got WAVs, not WMAL files, and I wouldn't be surprised if your BMW stereo had no problem with the WAVs.

BTW, what software are you using to look at the file properties?
"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."

  • Xcellere
  • [*]
WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #9
I know they're not WAVs because the files are tagged with ID3v2 tags which WAVs don't have. If you manually attached ID3 tags through dbpoweramp, the car wouldn't see the tags and list the files under Various Artists. I'm 100% the files that play are WMA Lossless, I see the 1411 Kbps number in Windows Explorer, while Winanp will show the true bit rate.
  • Last Edit: 04 February, 2012, 03:09:23 PM by db1989

  • mixminus1
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #10
OK, thanks for clarifying.

Do you have access to another Windows machine that you could try ripping on?

I never use WMAL, but I'm wondering if something changed due to a Windows/WMP update, seeing as you said this started about three months ago.

DRM would be the other likely cause - I haven't done a rip in WMP in forever, but I know there's an option somewhere in there for "protecting" ripped tracks.

Edit: Just realized that the OP has never done a rip in WMP, but honest question for the floor: would the DRM option in WMP be specific to WMP, or would it actually set a flag in the Windows Media library that would affect encodes done by other programs that called it?
  • Last Edit: 03 February, 2012, 04:29:43 PM by mixminus1
"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."

  • saratoga
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #11
I know they're not WAVs because the files are tagged with ID3v2 tags which WAVs don't have. If you manually attached ID3 tags through dbpoweramp, the car wouldn't see the tags and list the files under Various Artists. I'm 100% the files that play are WMA Lossless, I see the 1411 Kbps number in Windows Explorer, while Winanp will show the true bit rate.


For what its worth, real WMAL files show up with the correct bitrate for me in both Windows XP and Windows 7.  It seems suspicious that the bitrate is wrong on these files.

  • Xcellere
  • [*]
WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #12
Edit: Just realized that the OP has never done a rip in WMP, but honest question for the floor: would the DRM option in WMP be specific to WMP, or would it actually set a flag in the Windows Media library that would affect encodes done by other programs that called it?


DRM did cross my mind. I'm guessing the DRM is built into the header of the WMAL file, and stays there regardless of the program that does the transcode. The tracks from Loose play in my car in both WAV and MP3 formats. Isn't WMA one of the only formats that supports DRM?

  • hellokeith
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #13
Possibly copy protection on the CD.  Do you have access to a Vista or Win 7 PC that you've never used before? Create a standard user (non-admin) and rip, then see if the problem still exists.

  • Xcellere
  • [*]
WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #14
Possibly copy protection on the CD.  Do you have access to a Vista or Win 7 PC that you've never used before? Create a standard user (non-admin) and rip, then see if the problem still exists.


Here's something else: Audiochecker flagged the FLAC rips as 95% MPEG, and these were straight from CD rips. Could this be a sign that the frequencies of the track are abnormal?

  • saratoga
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WMA Lossless file won't playback in my car, help!
Reply #15
Here's something else: Audiochecker flagged the FLAC rips as 95% MPEG, and these were straight from CD rips. Could this be a sign that the frequencies of the track are abnormal?


No, that's fairly common. 

I also doubt the DRM explanation, but its worth trying the files on another computer.  Might also be interesting to try a file you didn't encode on the stereo:

http://download.linnrecords.com/test/wma/tone16bit.aspx