Using the Plus Media Converter LE Without WindowsXP


Anyone who has ever played music on a Microsoft PocketPC-powered device has probably wondered at some point if there was a way to put more music onto the device. Since the PocketPC platform includes a version of the Windows Media Player (WiMP), using the Windows Media file format is theoretically possible* to allow additional music storage due to higher compression and a lower bitrate than the MP3 format.

The main problem with this otherwise excellent idea is that you probably already have a good sized MP3 collection that you would like to convert to the WMA format. To the best of my knowledge, no tool exists to batch convert files--but wait, Microsoft now has one! The Plus Audio Converter LE is free and will do the job wonderfully! This sounds like a great solution, but if you don't use Windows XP, the tool will not work for you...or so says Microsoft.

Because I do not use Windows XP, and because I'm always broke, (Constantly broke, huh? That's a good one! Time for a banner ad!) I wanted to use the Plus Media Converter LE tool that is part of the Windows Media Bonus Pack. Running the setup program and hoping that it didn't check for the Windows version would be easy, and as things turned out, it was too easy. The setup program did fail to run, stating that I was not using an XP system. However, this is a way to use at least the Plus Media Converter LE part of the Bonus Pack! This page will tell you how to do it.

Things you need to have:

UPDATE: If you own a PocketPC that will never see an upgrade to Windows Mobile 2003 (such as the much-maligned and rightfully so Toshiba E740) you must use the Windows Media Encoder 7.1 and not the 9 version. If you use WME9 the files you produce will not play on your PocketPC 2002 or earlier device. If you have to use the Windows Media Encoder 7.1, simply install it in place of the Windows Media Encoder 9. I wouldn't recommend installing both on the same system, though.

Your computer will need to be running Windows 2000 as per Microsoft. At the very least you must be running some version of Windows NT, probably at least 4.0 with SP3. Any attempt to run the Plus Media Converter LE on a non-Windows NT based system results in a complaint that Unicode support is required to run the program.

Got all those things? Let's get started!

1. Go the Windows XP computer. (Yes, you have to have access to one to persuade the setup program to run and extract its contents.) Download the Windows Media Bonus Pack and run the setup program. You don't have to install the program, running Setup will be sufficient.

File Copy Progress

2. Wait while the files copy. When the files are done copying, you will see the following screen. At this point you want to STOP and leave this screen up. Don't interact with it in any way. You don't want to cancel setup, and you may not even want to install the Bonus Pack. All we need to do now is find the place where setup put its temporary files.

Bonus Pack Setup Start

3. Locate the temporary files that setup created. You will usually find it under
C:\documents and settings\(name of currently logged on user)\local settings\temp\

Temporary Folder

Note that the specific folder we are looking for may have a variable name, so it is better to just look for the folder that setup created under the TEMP folder. For this instance, the folder name is IXP000.TMP. Yours may differ.

4. If we open the IXP000.TMP (or whatever yours happens to be called) folder, we will see the contents of the Windows Media Bonus Pack.
Ta-Da! The WiMP Bonus Pack!

Select AUDIOCONVERTERLE.EXE and AUDIOCONVERTERLEUI.DLL and copy them to another location...you will need a network, CD burner, Zip driver or other means of storage to do this, as the files are way too large for a floppy diskette.

You may, depending upon your system's configuration, require the MSVCP60.DLL file. This may be found on the XP system you are copying files from if you need it. This file will fit on a floppy diskette, as it is only 392Kb in size.

5. Once you have the files, go to your Windows 2000 computer and download the Windows Media Encoder 9 software. Install it and restart if prompted.

Download The Windows Media Encoder

6. Put the files you copied from the Windows Media Bonus Pack into a convenient location on your computer. Make shortcuts to them if you so desire. You can now cancel Setup on the XP computer and quit using it. You won't need it for anything else.

7. Run the program and convert your files by following the instructions. Take a moment and think about how necessary Windows XP really isn't.

Note: The program's UI may appear a bit messed up at times, but this does not affect its usability in any way. It will function perfectly nonetheless.

Running the Plus Media Converter LE


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* = I say theoretically possible because the Plus MP3 Audio Converter LE only outputs files in Windows Media 9 format. These do not play on PocketPC 2002 or 2000 devices because the included version of Windows Media Player on these devices does not understand the WMA9 audio format. This basically means that you'll need to use a PocketPC/Windows Mobile 2003 equipped device to play the files you convert. However, this page has been updated with instructions for devices that will never see the Windows Mobile 2003 software.

Last Updated: 02/24/2004