Microsoft Windows Media Audio Cannot Open Due to Patent Restrictions

In the world of ever increasing patent wars, you may find that your personal audio files become casualties. Imagine having your computer crash. You purchase a new one, and find that hundreds or thousands of audio files are now unreadable because they were recorded using a patented Windows audio format. It sounds like the thing of science fiction, but it’s actually science fact. Take a look at the error message below.


The suggestion is to convert the file, but if it’s protected by patent laws, you won’t be able to open it and convert it.

What you thought was your own personal property is actually owned by Microsoft.

The way to avoid this problem is to record to generic relatively open standards such as WAV or MP3. Make sure that any audio recorder you’re using saves audio files into these more compatible formats.