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File extension description in German
File extension description in French

File Extension WMV

WMV is a proprietary Microsoft file format that is designed for Internet streaming applications and playing videos in programs such as Windows Media Player. WMV is a compressed video format with an Advanced Systems Format container which assists with managing digital rights and intellectual property rights. It is not uncommon to see a WMV file with an extension of either WMV or ASF. If the WMV file is stored inside an ASF file, it means that digital rights to that particular video file are protected.

The WMV format was officially approved about six years ago with formats such as WMV Screen and Image designed to handle specific multimedia content. WMV stands for Windows Media Video and signifies video encoding solutions created by Microsoft. WMV files are a member of a framework which includes Windows Media Audio and High Definition Photo formats. Current forms of WMV files use a container format that represents Microsoft’s version of MP4 video encoding technology and allows for compression of large video files without sacrificing quality.

How to Open WMV Files

Since WMV is a Microsoft file format, WMV files are originally designed to work with Windows Media Player which is built-in to the Windows operating system. If you use Windows, you can also deploy other third party media players which will open and play WMV files. Some of the media players include Zune, Winamp, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, and Roxio Creator 2012. It is also possible to use Apple QuickTime Player to open and play WMV extension as long as you add the Windows Media Components plugin.

Although WMV files are designed to work with Windows, you can also open and play this type of file format on a Mac-based PC using Apple QuickTime Player by adding the Flip4Mac WMV Component. You must also use the same Flip4Mac component if you use Apple QuickTime Pro. Programs such as Eltima Elmedia Player and ShedWorx Smart Converter also work well for opening WMV files on Mac.

If you want to open and play WMV files on your iPod with iOS, you can use the Macca Studios WMV Player that is available for download from the iTunes store.

There is also a multitude of file conversion programs which will convert WMV to another format for use with compatible applications. Some of the programs are very versatile and will convert WMV to MP4, DivX, AVI and other file formats, in addition to converting and burning WMV files to DVD. If you perform a search for WMV file conversion programs, you will find a host of applications to choose from, most of which are available as a free download.