Syncing m4a and ogg to Android via WMP

Recently I decided to finally stop just copying my music files to my Droid Razr Maxx HD. I wanted to create some playlists, clean up my music library, and then just sync the results to my phone. Most of my music is a mp3 with ogg/vorbis in a close second. Only in the past few months did I start buying music via iTunes and get a few m4a files.  Little did I know I was heading towards a failed sync and being notified that “The Player might not support the file type”.

First thing I needed to tackle was simply adding my existing media and being able to play it and view the metadata. I was out on a snowboarding trip and had a very small sample of my library already on my phone. After a quick copy I could see that while my mp3 files were handled fine, the ogg and m4a files were not.  I concentrated on the ogg audio support as I had hit this before and then moved on to the tag information.  Both solutions were pretty quick finds via Google.

  1. Install the ogg direct show filters. http://www.xiph.org/dshow/ (the download link was not responding so I had to get the installer from another site)
  2. Install WMP Tag Plus. http://bmproductions.fixnum.org/wmptagplus/

Now I could add all of my music to WMP, see the tag information, and play the files.  I did notice that sometimes I had to remove m4a and ogg files from the Other Media folder and then move the actual files out of My Music and back for them to register properly. Next I went about making my playlists to sync to my phone.  When I attempted to sync the files I noticed that a large number of them were skipped because WMP did not think my device could play them. My many Google searches turned up no solution.

Eventually I changed my strategy and decided there must be some kind of MTP issue.  Many a time I have been unable to get the MTP driver to work with certain Android phones in Windows.  Through research on MTP and what triggers WMP to convert files I discovered that MTP devices report what formats they support. It seemed that WMP was not able to determine this from my phone. Knowing that Windows does everything in the registry I started trying to find a solution there. Eventually I came across descriptions of the values within the registry keys for each format.  These keys exist under HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Multimedia\WMPlayer\Extensions.  When WMP attempts to sync a file, it looks in the registry for that extension’s “FormatCode” to compare with what the device supports.  In both my m4a and ogg keys there was no FormatCode value.  I looked up the Android format codes and added each to my registry.  After restarting WMP I was successfully syncing all of my files!

Below is the added value to HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Multimedia\WMPlayer\Extensions\.m4a.

m4a_reg

Remember to always take care when editing the registry.

I can now finally start cleaning up my media library and create playlists that will sync to my phone. The only last issue is that WMP does not write the media art to each of the files. This prevents new album art from syncing to my phone.  For now I am using mp3tag to handle this but hope to find a way to get WMP to do it.  But that is for another day.  I have music to attend to and a snowboarding playlist to build out.

About Adam Oliver

Adam Oliver has been working in the IT field for over 10 years and is a Sales Engineer for Citrix Systems, Inc. Follow Adam on twitter at http://twitter.com/theadamoliver. Find out more about Citrix at www.citrix.com.
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