Occasionally, you may need to convert audio files to different formats. Maybe you converted your CD collection to Real Audio or WMA and now want to convert the songs to MP3 so you can play them with iTunes or some other jukebox program. Or maybe you purchased songs in a copy-protected WMA format and need to convert them to MP3 to be compatible with your portable player or handheld computer.
Whatever the reason, any audio that you can listen to on your computer can be converted to another format. How easy this is depends on whether or not the files are copy-protected. If the files are copy-protected, you will not be able to convert them directly to another format. However, you can use one of the indirect conversion methods described later in this section. If the files are not copy-protected and are in a format supported by your jukebox program, it’s fairly simple to convert them to another format. (One notable exception is the WMA format. Microsoft goes to great extremes to prevent you from using a jukebox program to convert any type of WMA file—including unprotected WMA files you create yourself—to another format.)