Acronym for Windows Media Audio, a proprietary audio compression format developed by Microsoft. Although Microsoft originally developed the WMA codec to compete with the MP3 format (possibly to avoid paying licensing fees for MP3 usage), it never managed to overcome MP3’s popularity. Apple’s iTunes Music Store, dispensing Advanced Audio Coding format song files, has now become WMA’s target.
In addition to its position as the default media player on Windows computers, WMA file compatibility is found on thousands of consumer devices, ranging from portable hand-held music players and cell phones to home and portable DVD players.
Windows Media Audio 10 Professional is a flexible codec that supports 24-bit/96kHz audio in stereo, in addition to 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. It also provides efficient mobile capabilities at 24Kbps to 96Kbps for stereo, and 128Kbps to 256Kbps for 5.1 surround.