How to Play a DRM Protected WMV File

by Theodora Pennypacker

An acronym for Digital Rights Management, DRM protection is applied to media files to prevent copyright infringement and unlawful reproduction. The digital encryption is typically used to distribute files that are downloaded commercially. Any WMV file that is encoded with DRM protection cannot be copied, renamed or converted into another format. Nonetheless, a DRM-protected WMV file can be played just as easily as an unprotected WMV file. Since the WMV file format is owned and regulated by Microsoft, it is designed to work natively with the company's proprietary media player, Windows Media Player. The free application is all that is necessary to play any type of WMV file.

Download and install Windows Media Player. The multimedia playback application can be obtained directly from Microsoft's Windows Media Download Center.

Open Windows Media Player. Go to the "File" tab on the program menu and select "Open." Locate the protected WMV file in the file selection window. Double-click on the video and it will load the application.

Play the DRM-protected WMV file using the buttons on the control bar. The playback commands include play/pause, stop, skip ahead and skip back. Drag the playhead on the clip timeline to reach a specific point in the video. Use the volume slide bar to adjust sound levels. Click the full-screen button to expand the viewing dimensions.

Shut down Windows Media Player when you are done playing the DRM-protected WMV file. Go to "File" and select "Exit."

Tip

  • check Although Windows Media Player is not distributed in Mac-compatible versions, Mac users obtain the Flip4Mac component to play WMV files with QuickTime. The software add-on makes it possible to open Windows Media files directly in the Apple media player.

About the Author

Based in New York City, I am an online video producer who has more than five years of experience working in digital media. I specialize in video compression and distribution, video software, online video sharing and portable device use. I received my B.A. in Film Studies in 2005 from Vassar College.