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Using Windows Media Encoder (WME) 9 to encode audio for the Handheld PC


Applies To

  • Handheld PC Professional, SP1
  • Handheld PC 2000
  • Windows Media Encoder 9 Series


The Windows Media format has evolved beyond the abilities of the Windows Media Player Handheld PC distribution. With the advances in the Microsoft WMA codec Windows Media Player can no longer successfully encode content for the H/PC.
The solution to continuing to use the WMA format is to manually encode music using Windows Media Encoder 7.1.

Windows Media Encoder (WME) 7.1 is now a legacy format and the encoder application is not supported under Windows XP. Microsoft have replaced the Windows Media 7 format with the Windows Media 9 Series format however the WME 9 application doesn't come with suitable profiles for the Handheld PC.
This article discusses the availability of a HPC:Factor patch that will add the necessary profiles to allow users to encode for the H/PC from the latest Windows Media Encoder version 9.


More Info

HPC:Factor has released a patch for Windows Media Encoder 9 that will add 4 additional encoding profiles to the compression method list within WME.

The profiles added to the Encoder's default settings by this patch are:

  • Handheld PC High Quality Audio (CBR)
  • Handheld PC Medium Quality Audio (CBR)
  • Handheld PC Low Quality Audio (CBR)
  • Handheld PC Voice Quality Audio (CBR)

This patch is released by HPC:Factor, it is not official and is not supported by Microsoft.

The Handheld PC Media Player version 1.2 is limited in it's format computability. As a result the bitrate span of the new profiles is not as wide as users may optimally require. The table below outlines the encoding specifications of the new profiles.

Profile Name: Codec: Bitrate (Kbps): Data Type: Sample Rate: Channels:
High Windows Media Audio 9 128 CBR 44Khz 2
Medium Windows Media Audio 9 64 CBR 44Khz 2
Low Windows Media Audio 9 48 CBR 44Khz 2
Voice Windows Media Audio 9 32 CBR 44Khz 2

Installation instructions:

  1. Download the wme9-hpc-profiles.zip file
  2. Using Windows Explorer navigate to:
    C:\Program Files\Windows Media Components\Encoder\Settings
  3. Extract the contents of the zip file into this folder. You will be prompted to overwrite the file SettingsMap.xml
    You must allow this file to be overwritten
  4. Start Windows Media Encoder 9 Series


Once you have installed the new profile settings you are ready to convert your music.

  1. Launch the Windows Media Encoder
  2. From the New Session wizard select Convert a File and click OK
  3. Browse for the name of the file that you wish to convert to WMA, and if required specify an alternative location to save the output file to.
  4. On the Content Distribution screen highlight Pocket PC and click next
  5. In the Audio drop box choose from one of the four new Handheld PC profiles and click next to continue
  6. If you wish to enter Meta data for the track you can enter it here. The Meta data provides 'friendly' track information in Windows Media Player. Click Next
  7. Place a check in the box next to 'Begin converting when I click finish' if you want to begin the conversion process immediately

Should you experience playback issues on your Handheld PC:

  1. Ensure that the version of Windows Media Player is 1.2 build 0093 or higher
  2. Re-encode your file using single pass encoding:
    1. In the main Encoder window from the View menu choose 'Properties Panel'
    2. Open the Compression tab
    3. Deselect Two-pass encoding
    4. Click Start Encoding
  3. Try using a lower quality profile