Thread: Coding C++ to play *.wma files

  1. #1
    Domestic Goddess
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    USA - Pacific NW

    Coding C++ to play *.wma files

    OK, I just want to know if I'm going the right direction with this.

    I'm trying to write a routine which will give a list of songs and artists, tied to an ID number, so when an ID number is selected the song will play.

    I know that you can play music directly from a command prompt ("C:\path to player\wmplayer.exe" "Path For the Song File\filename.wma") and am thinking that I could do this in C++ using a "while", "if" and "else if" format.

    Has anyone played with something like this in the past? If so, what brick walls did you run into and how did you break through them?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    You might get a neater solution by looking at some Microsoft APIs. Maybe DirectX has WMA support - search MSDN (use google, just use msdn as a search term) for an API call you can use. It's likely you'll have to use some API calls anyway - inorder to decode information that's embedded in the file (like artist, etc...), you'll either need to program the whole thing yourself ( may have the file format if that's what you want to do), or use an MS library.

  3. #3
    Yes, my avatar is stolen anonytmouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    If you want to play the file with Windows Media Player, you could try the ShellExecute function:
    ShellExecute(NULL, NULL, TEXT("C:\\SomePath\\filename.wma"), NULL, NULL, SW_SHOWMINNOACTIVE);
    If you want to play a WMA file without opening WMP, you can use mci as shown by this webpage. Here is a simple sample:
    #include <windows.h>
    #include <stdio.h>
    #if defined(_MSC_VER)
    #pragma comment(lib, "Winmm.lib")
    BOOL PlaySong(LPCTSTR szFile)
    	TCHAR szCommandString[1000];
    	wsprintf(szCommandString, TEXT("open \"%s\" type mpegvideo alias MediaFile"), szFile);
    	/* By default mci functions will return immediately and the task will be carried out
    	 * asynchronously. To have the function wait, place the word "wait" at the end of the
    	 * command string. ie. "play MediaFile wait" */	
    	if (ERROR_SUCCESS == mciSendString(szCommandString, NULL, 0, NULL) &&
    	    ERROR_SUCCESS == mciSendString(TEXT("play MediaFile"), NULL, 0, NULL))
    		return TRUE;
    	return FALSE;
    int main(void)
    	if ( !PlaySong(TEXT("C:\\PathTo\\My Music\\MySong.wma")) )
    		printf("Failed to play song!");
    	return 0;
    The mci command language has many more options. For example, you can pause and resume, play a specific part of the song and get notification of when the song finishes playing. The mci reference is here.

    Another alternative is DirectShow. This is a DirectShow sample that plays a file.
    Last edited by anonytmouse; 04-07-2005 at 10:31 PM.

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