File types supported by Windows Media Player

Applies to: Windows Media Player 11Windows Media Player 10Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 Series

The following table lists the multimedia file types that are supported by different versions of Windows Media Player (How to determine the version of Windows Media Player).



Note Additional file formats might be supported if you install new codecs in Windows. For more information, see Codecs: frequently asked questions.
File extensionWindows Media Player 12Windows Media Player 11Windows Media Player 10Windows Media Player 9 SeriesWindows Media Player for Windows XPWindows Media Player 7
Windows Media formats (.asf, .wma, .wmv, .wm)
Windows Media Metafiles (.asx, .wax, .wvx, .wmx)
Windows Media Metafiles (.wpl)
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Microsoft Digital Video Recording (.dvr-ms)
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Windows Media Download Package (.wmd)
Audio Visual Interleave (.avi)
Moving Pictures Experts Group (.mpg, .mpeg, .m1v, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .mpe, .m3u)
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (.mid, .midi, .rmi)
Audio Interchange File Format (.aif, .aifc, .aiff)
Sun Microsystems and NeXT (.au, .snd)
Audio for Windows (.wav)
CD Audio Track (.cda)
Indeo Video Technology (.ivf)
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Windows Media Player Skins (.wmz, .wms)
QuickTime Movie file (.mov)
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MP4 Audio file (.m4a)
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MP4 Video file (.mp4, .m4v, .mp4v, .3g2, .3gp2, .3gp, .3gpp)
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Windows audio file (.aac, .adt, .adts)
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MPEG-2 TS Video file (.m2ts)
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Detailed information about supported file types


Windows Media Metafiles (.asx, .wax, .wvx, .wmx, .wpl)
Advanced Stream Redirector (.asx)
Advanced Stream Redirector (.asx) files, also known as Windows Media Metafiles, are text files that provide information about a file stream and its presentation. ASX files go beyond the simple task of defining playlists to provide Windows Media Player with information about how to present particular media items of the playlist.

Windows Media Metafiles are based on XML syntax and can be encoded in either ANSI or UNICODE (UTF-8) format. They are made up of various elements with their associated tags and attributes. Each element in a Windows Media metafile defines a particular setting or action in Windows Media Player.

ASX files can point to any media file type that Windows Media Player recognizes and supports.


For more information about Windows Media Metafiles, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Windows Media Audio Redirector (.wax)
Windows Media Audio Redirector (.wax) files are Windows Media Metafiles that reference Windows Media Audio (.wma) files.
Windows Media Video Redirector (.wvx)
Windows Media Video Redirector (.wvx) files are Windows Media Metafiles that reference Windows Media Video (.wmv) files
Windows Media Redirector (.wmx)
Versions of Windows Media Player that support this file type: Windows Media Redirector (.wmx) files are Windows Media Metafiles that reference Windows Media Audio (.wma), Windows Media Video (.wmv) files, or both.
Windows Media Player Playlist (.wpl)
Windows Media Player Playlist (.wpl) files are client-side playlists that are written in a proprietary format. Microsoft introduced this file format in Windows Media Player 9 Series. The .wpl format can create dynamic playlists, whereas .asx and .m3u formats cannot. In Windows Media Player 9 Series, the auto playlist feature uses the .wpl format. The .wpl format is the default file format used for playlists that you save in Windows Media Player 9 Series.

MP4 Audio file (.m4a)
.m4a (audio only) is often compressed using AAC encoding (lossy), but can also be in Apple Lossless format.

More Information