I am new to audacity and to this forum, so please excuse me if this is not the right place to post this. This is not strictly a question about audacity, but i thought someone might know how to help.
Many years ago, I backed up my audio cds to WMA lossless format. I was not aware at the time that this would make it difficult to edit and use the files later on. I just tried opening one of the files with audacity and I got the warning that it can’t open the file due to patent restrictions.
So, 3 questions … Is there a plugin or mod that will let me use these files? or if not, what is the best way to convert all of my music to another format while keeping the original filenames and directory structure? And what format is the best (lossless) to convert to?
Convert the WMA files? No go IMO - too late/too ‘risky’ -again- IMO. Start over from the CD and why? Just listen to the CD… If for ‘backup’ the CD will probably last longer then a digital file subject to ever changing technology - etching in stone is best… - but 320k MP3s are nice for convenience sake/space. CDs sound better always (or better yet - records). WAV (per PC) is the most identical way to copy CDs I guess, but they will eat up space and pointless IMO. Think: nature.
fre:ac (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fre:ac) seems to have good handling for large batch operations. It supports .WMA, but I don’t know about lossless WMA and I don’t have any lossless WMA files to test.
Assuming that your files are 16-bit lossless, any batch converter based on FFmpeg should be able to decode the files. There’s a list of applications that use FFmpeg here: https://trac.ffmpeg.org/wiki/Projects