The Differences Between Lossless And Lossy Compression

The Differences Between Lossless And Lossy Compression
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The amount of files and data a person can accumulate over a period of time, can quickly fill out their hard drives or cloud storage space. Because of that, many people have to look for ways to reduce the amount of space those files are taking up. Since deleting those files, is often not an option, resorting to file compression is another alternative. However, before you begin to convert your files, or compress them, you need to know about the methods available. In addition, when sharing files via email, messages or social media, being able to compress the files is crucial and beneficial. Not just for the person sending the files, but the for the person receiving them as well. This is why knowing the differences between lossless and lossy compression, is very important.  




File Compression


One of the best things about file compression, is that you can compress images, music or video files easily. In the day and age where there is so much information available on the internet, the amount of data we download, send, or save, can take up lots of space. Luckily, people can choose to compress their files as a means not only save space, but to make it easier to share those files as well. Still, when it comes to file compression, it is very important to know and understand the differences between the types of formats available. The reason for this is because choosing the wrong format, can end up rendering a file obsolete in several ways. For one, it can ruin the file’s original quality. Secondly, compressing it in the wrong format, can end up making the file size immensely larger.


Don’t miss reading about the many Dangers Of Downloading Free Files From The Internet


Lossless And Lossy Compression


So what are lossless and lossy compression, and what are the differences? Lossless and lossy compression are characterizations which are used to explicate the distinction between two file compression formats. One (lossless) allows for all of the original data to be recovered whenever the file is uncompressed again. The other (lossy) works differently since it ends up eliminating all the “unnecessary” bits and pieces of information in the original file to make it smaller when compressed. The question some people often ask is how can I choose between the two, or when? The answer to that question, largely depends on several factors. One, is the size and type of file you want to compress or convert. Secondly, the amount of space available, as well as the amount of space you want to save.


Lossy File Compression


While lossy file compression are mostly associated with image files, it can also be used for audio files. Files such as MP3s, MP4s, and AAC files, or images such as JPEGs, are usually compressed in the lossy format. Whenever you choose to compress a file using the lossy format, many of the redundant information in the files, are eliminated. Because of that, lossy compression tends to be used whenever people are reducing the size of a bitmap images, or other files. This does not mean that lossy file compression does not work very well when it comes to reducing and preserving files from their original state. In fact, an original image which has been compressed using lossy format, will retain about 80% of it’s original quality. For audio files, such as a MP3, the reduction of the original file can be reduced to about one tenth, while almost sounding identical.


Lossless File Compression


Unlike lossy file compression, using the lossless format can end up reducing a file’s size without any loss of the original quality. With new compression algorithms available now, lossless compressed files are preserved better than ever before. Using lossless compression to compress a file, will rewrite the data in the same manner as that of the original file. However, audio and image files compressed using lossless compression, will tend to be larger in size than that of lossy.


You may also want to check out – FAQ – What Is There To Know About Archive Files?


Choosing Between The Two


If you are trying to decide between which two methods to choose for compressing your files, the answer depends on several factors. If you are willing to accept minor losses of a file’s original quality as a means to compensate for saving space, then you can choose lossy compression. However, if you are not that really concerned about space, or want to keep your file in its original state, then lossless is your best option. Many experts agree that if you have the space, then going with lossless is recommended. The reasons for choosing to compress files using lossless compression are several. For one, after the file has been compressed using the lossless format, it can be restored or converted again back to the original state without any losses. In addition, lossless compression, allows the original data to be completely and fully reconstructed from the original compressed data afterwards.

In the end, choosing between the two also depends on the types of files as well as the space available. For photos, going with the lossy compression is an option. But for audio and video files, lossless is better.


All You Need To Know About Playlist & Project Files

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On we have noticed that some users are facing difficulties when it comes to certain files. While conversion of audio and video files is a piece of cake for us, some files uploaded by our users can not me converted to MP3, MP4 or AVI.

This is especially confusing when the users are able to open their files and play the videos or music contained on their home computer. In most cases, the reason for this is easily explained. Instead of uploading audio or video files, we are presented with project or playlist files that do not contain actual video or audio data.

We want to shed some light on the topic, so if you are interested in what playlist and project files are, read on!


Playlist Files

Playlist files can contain links to both audio and video files, bundling them up in a collection. The files are plain text files that contain information about the location of the files contained in the list. Thus, the files do not contain the actual songs, movies or episodes, but the local pathname or URL that points to where the file is stored on the web or your hard drive.

In short, this means that these files do not contain actual video or audio data but only a list where to find those files.


Popular playlist files are:

  • M3U: Media Playlist File
  • PLS: Audio Playlist
  • WPL: Windows Media Player Playlist
  • XSPF: XML Shareable Playlist Format



Project Files

Project files are similar to playlist files in that they do not contain any actual audio or video data. This is where the similarities end though.

These files are used to save your work in progress when editing either music or video clips. The files contain references to the used audio and video files as well as information about used effects, transitions, subtitles, images, graphics, annotations and more.


Popular media project files include:

Audio Editing Projects Video Editing Projects
  • AUP: Audacity Project File
  • BAND: GarageBand Project File
  • LOGIC: Logic Pro Project File
  • FCP: Final Cut Project
  • IMOVIEPROJ: iMovie Project File
  • MSWMM: Microsoft Windows Movie Maker Project File
  • PPJ & PRPROJ: Adobe Premiere Pro Project Files
  • VEG: Vegas Video Project
  • VEP: AVS Video Editor Project File
  • VPJ: VideoPad Video Editor Project File
  • WLMP: Windows Live Movie Maker


Shortcut Files

Shortcut files are also similar to playlist files. They reference a track or song somewhere on your computer or on a physical CD. Thus,they also do not contain any audio data but point to the location of a file on a CD or hard drive. Without the file stored at the exact same location, no audio data can be accessed.


Some of the more popular shortcut files include:

  • ASX: Microsoft ASF Redirector File
  • CDA: CD Audio Track Shortcut

How To Save WhatsApp Voice Messages

Whatsapp-iconOn February 1st 2016, WhatsApp announced that 1 billion people were using the WhatsApp messenger service– and the numbers are still rising. This makes WhatsApp, without a doubt, the most used messaging service available for mobile phones today.

According to this statistic, approximately 30 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp daily, with 700 million of those being photos, 200 million being voice messages and 100 million being video messages.


While images and videos are oftentimes automatically stored on your device or can easily be downloaded from the WhatsApp messenger, voice messages aren’t as easy to preserve. Luckily, there is a quick and easy way to save those messages as MP3s!


Save Voice Massages As MP3 Files

What you need:

  • Your phone with WhatsApp installed
  • (A computer or laptop)
  • (Google Drive)
  • An MP3 Converter


What’s a Voice Message?

Many different files can be sent via WhatsApp, including images, videos and audio files. When it comes to audio, there is a difference, however. You can, on one hand, send music or other stored audio files to your contacts. On the other hand, you can record a voice message directly via WhatsApp and send it.

The latter is what we know as voice messages. They are recorded using the microphone button inside the application.


Locate your voice messages on your device

On Android devices, you can access voice messages sent over WhatsApp in the following folder:

WhatsApp/Media/WhatsApp Voice Notes/

Depending on your phone, this folder is located in your internal storage or on an SD card you’re using.


On iOS devices, WhatsApp voice messages aren’t stored separately. You save or send them to you in a different way. In this video, it’s explained how to send the voice message to yourself via e-mail. If you have Google Drive installed on your iPhone, you can also save the voice note on this cloud service.


When downloading the voice message file to your computer, it may appear as a simple audio file or with the OPUS ending. No matter which version you get, you can use both for the next step.


Convert voice messages to MP3

Once you know where you can find the voice messages, it’s easy to turn them into MP3 files. Go to and upload your file.

There are several possibilities to do this.

  • On Android, you can directly go to the link above in a browser and upload the file from the folder mentioned above.
  • On an iPhone, depending on how you have received your file, you may have to go to a computer to grab your file from an e-mail you sent.
  • In both cases, you can select your file from Google Drive which is an option on both Android and iOS to send your voice message to.

Convert To MP3

If you want to, you can use the optional settings to enhance the voice message, but if you are happy with it as it is, simply click on “Convert file”.

After a short time, you will be able to download the converted MP3 file of your WhatsApp voice message. And that’s it! Simple, wasn’t it? And completely for free as well!


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Post-Editing Of Recordings

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It’s common practice for reporters, journalists and interviewers to not only take notes, but to record auditory reminders as well. Speeches, press conferences, interviews or even the perfect formulation or thought that has to be quickly saved for the writing process that follows later – they all are best and most easily preserved by making a recording of the audio in question.

In this article, we want to talk about the benefits of producing auditory notes on top of hand-written ones and how can help you to get the best out of them!


Produce Audio Recordings

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As a reporter or journalist, you are oftentimes sent to different places and events to report about the occurrences. Especially if you are sent out to report about a press conference, a debate or to conduct an interview, it’s highly advised to bring more than pen and notebook.

Handwritten notes are still a great way to remember core details or even already sketch a rough structure for your article. However, many information can get lost when you rely on writing down the “most important” things only. If you plan on quoting someone, and in case of all interviews, it is inevitable for you to have a copy of what exactly had been said by the person in question!

Even if you do your usual research for one or, more likely, more articles, it’s advised to always carry a tool that allows you to record a thought. Why? Because sometimes it is simply impossible to bring your thoughts onto the paper fast enough. Later, when you write, it’s gone, out of context or you can not decipher your writing anymore because you hastily scribbled the thought on the back of a receipt while on the train.


Audio recordings prevent that you forget anything. A recording remembers things for you, not only roughly, but exactly how it had been said either by you, a speaker or your interview partner. That way, statements and quotes can be written down correctly and your trail of thought can be followed over various recordings.

In these times, producing such a recording is as easy as never before. You don’t need a microphone or a dictaphone. All you need is your smartphone. Many if not all have a build-in speech recording application that allows you to record every auditory clue.


Edit Audio Recordings

Depending on the recording device used, the produced audio files should or have to be edited before you can dive right into the writing process though. There are different problems you could encounter:

  • Ambient noise
  • Recording is too silent
  • Obscure file formats


The first two issues can, in most cases, be dealt with by increasing the volume of the file or slowing down the recording in order to understand the speakers better. Free audio editing software like audacity allows you to manipulate and edit audio recordings to your liking. That way, you can make the adjustments you need to draw information even from rather bad or low quality recordings.


OC_MP3ConverterWhile most dictating devices should produce one of the more common audio file formats like MP3 or FLAC, some record audio using a completely different format. Or maybe you even recorded a video instead of pure audio to be able to talk about gestures and behavior of a speaker at a debate as well. Unfortunately, such files are often not supported by software like audacity or other media players.

In these cases, you can rely on an audio converter that can convert your file into a proper MP3 or WAV file that can be played by the Windows Media Player, iTunes or programs like audacity. Thus, if your phone or recorder produces AU, AMR, OMA or RA files, you can still use them after converting them into, e.g., MP3!


Why People Will Always Need Files & Conversion

Files Are Not Dead - Online Convert
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Recently, there have been some well known businessmen in the digital & Internet industry who have said files are dead. However, we, and many others believe that is not the case. For this reason, we have put together this article showing why people will always need files & conversion in their digital and Internet world.








Don’t Believe The Dead Files Hype


For many years now, numerous technologists, commentators and websites have been predicting the death of the file hierarchy as we know it. One of these people is Fred Wilson, an American businessman, venture capitalist and frequent Blogger. Fred Wilson is also the co-founder of Union Square Ventures. This is a New York City-based venture capital firm which has numerous investments in Web 2.0 companies and others as well. Fred and others argue about the availability users now have with programs such as Google Drive, Dropbox and many other icloud based services found online these days. To them, these programs represent a new way for people to save their data or make use of their digital media. The same folks also mention the rise of Netflix, YouTube, HBOgo and Spotify as the new reason why files will be obsolete soon.  However, we beg to differ on the strength of the vast rise in electronic devices which greatly need file conversion tools and software alone. There are also the many computers, laptops and other apparatus who need files and conversion to function properly.


Check out how to easily Convert Your Blog Article To PDF For A Greater Reach


Why Files Are Not Dead?


Imagine recording a video with either your cellular phone, tablet or any other device. These videos are normally recorded in MOV format (iPhone, iPad) or 3gp or mp4 on Android devices. Other cameras such as Canon, Panasonic or numerous different brands record on different formats. The one thing that remains the same however, is the huge size which these files end up being saved once they are recorded. Now imagine trying to upload or share the same video with someone? It will not only take a really long time to do so, but also the person receiving it will have to spend a long time downloading it as well. Furthermore, the other recipient may not even be able to play the video on his or her device if they are not compatible. One prime example would be an Android user sending a video to a person who uses an iPhone.  Also, Websites like Facebook and other social media favorites have a limit on the size of the videos users can upload to their sites. For these reasons alone we would always need file conversion.

Of course we would still have to go over other file formats and their need for conversion as well. Ebooks, audio, documents and images files require us to consider about them as well. How can you listen to audio files on one device if it’s not in the format your current device only allows? From MP3, MP4, WAV, OPUS, OGG, AAC, and many others audio formats, the choices and reasons for conversion are too numerous to count.


You may also want to read Are You Converting Your Audio Files? Learn The Difference Between Lossy and Lossless



Thank Goodness For File Conversion Websites
So now that we have imagined what it would be like not being able to easily convert your files, no matter what format it is, we are thankful that we can. Sites like Online Convert offer all kinds of easy to use conversion tools for free. This means that you can easily change that video’s size you recorded or even the resolution and other criteria. You can also use our Hash conversion tools for more security and the image converter tool to share your photos. In either case, no matter what you hear, files are here to stay; and so are sites like Online Convert.

How To Convert Video To MP3

Video to Audio
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Do you know this feeling? You heard a great piece of music in a video and you are dying to put it onto your phone, MP3-Player or into iTunes.

Good thing that ripping the audio data from a video can be done within minutes!


In this tutorial, we tell you how to get music or other audio tracks from a video with ease and in no time!


Video To MP3

For our tutorial, we decided to take a video from user Shawn. If you want to test for yourself, you can download the video as well (it’s free and saved in the MOV format), or even paste the link directly into the URL input field of the converter: Acoustic Guitar Player In Studio


1. Choose Your Converter

As a first step, you have to decide which audio converter you want to use. There are many different audio formats to choose from, like AIFF, FLAC, WAV or the popular MP3 format.

We decided to use the MP3 converter.



2. Upload Your Video Or Enter A Link

Once you have chosen your converter, choose the upload method fitting for your video. You can either upload it from your hard drive, enter a URL (YouTube is not supported) or choose a video stored in your Google Drive or Dropbox folders.



3. Set Optional Settings

If you’re more experienced with audio files, you can set one or more of the optional settings. They allow you to change the bitrate or sampling rate, as well as to normalize your audio file.

The function of trimming your audio will be discussed further down. Check it out, this is a very useful tool!


4. Start The Conversion

Once you uploaded your file and set all options you need or want, it’s time to start the conversion. Simply click on “Convert File” and our service does the rest!


5. MP3 is downloaded

Depending on how big your video is, the upload and conversion may take a bit. A progress bar will show you the progress of the upload, and if you don’t want to wait for the result, you can always store the link and check again later (within 24 hours!) or get an e-mail sent to you (available with a free account).

Once the conversion is done, your music file is automatically (depending on the browser) downloaded.




Cool Features Of An Online Video To Audio Program

As mentioned before, there is a great optional feature you can use when converting your video file to audio: Trim Audio.

This option allows you to cut chunks from the beginning or end from a video so they don’t appear in your audio file. Why is this such a great feature? Because some videos containing music are longer, having an intro or long outro. With the trim audio function, you can get rid of these parts and download the “essence of the audio” so to speak.



This is a follow-up tutorial of Rip audio from a video clip, the easy way.


Does Bit Rate Matter? Test Yourself! [Audio Examples]

Bit Rate
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If you have looked into audio or video files a bit more in-depth, you surely stumbled over the term bit rate. When you are creating or converting video and audio files, the bit rate plays a crucial role when it comes to the audio quality of your respective voice recording, music piece, movie, or video clip. Thus, we at decided to wrap up some information that you should know about bit rate!

At the end of the article, you will also find two examples to listen to. Because, yes, bit rate does matter!


What Is Bit Rate?

Before we dive into the reasons why bit rate is important to consider when working with audio or video files, lets first have a look at what bit rate is.

Do not get confused as bit rate is a term used for general data transmission, e.g. in your internet connection, as well. It simply states how much data (bits) are transferred in a certain amount of time. This is also true for audio data contained in music, voice recording, or video files. However, what you should be interested in is what the bit rate affects in an audio file; namely quality.

It is comparable to the resolution of an image. The higher the bit rate, the better the quality of your audio or video file. For example, the sound of an MP3 file with a bit rate of 192 kbps will be much better and clearer as of a file that only uses 32 kbps. The image quality of a video is also dependent of the bit rate.

The reason of this is that more data is transmitted during playback when a higher bit rate was chosen. With a slower bit rate, naturally, less data is transferred. Thus, sound and image quality are reduced.

It is commonly measured using bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (kbps) or megabits per second (mbps).


Here, the rule of thumb is: The higher the bit rate the better the quality of an audio or video!


Can I Hear The Difference?

No we settled that the bit rate chosen changes the quality of our audio and video files. Yet, is this difference even noticeable? Can you hear the difference between different bit rates?

The simple answer is: yes; but when is something really easy? Of course the changes in quality are both audible and visible across different bit rates, however the difference between a low and high bit rate is naturally easier to find than between a high and even higher bit rate.

But listen to yourself! Below, you will find different MP3 files that were all converted to MP3 by the same method, but using a different bit rate.


Example: MP3

Here’s the audible proof that you can hear the difference in bit rate throughout an audio file.

We have taken a WAV file (find it here) and converted it to MP3 using an online MP3 converter.  During conversion, we applied no other changes than the bit rate. Play each file to see (or rather hear) if you can notice the difference.

32 kbps  192 kbps  320 kbps

The difference between the first and second track is striking. There was certainly a loss in quality when converting the original WAV file to a 32 kbps MP3. You surely wouldn’t want to listen to music with such a low bit rate.

Depending on the headphones or speakers you use, however, you will not hear a difference between the later two tracks. It seems like, quality-wise, recordings with 192 kbps sound just as good as 320 kbps. It is not only a matter of gear though, whether you hear the difference or not. Your ears may also play a role in this. Some people are unable to hear the difference in similar bit rates.


Which Bit Rate Should You Use?

So, does bit rate matter or not? When you listened to our examples, you can surely agree with us: yes, bit rate matters! The difference in quality, especially between low and high bit rates is undoubtedly there. However, you would have to be an audiophile with high end gear to hear differences in higher bit rates — or just naturally very good ears.


Thus, when ripping a CD or converting a lossless audio file to a lossy format, what bit rate should be used?

It’s assumed that 256 kbps is the most commonly used high-quality bit rate for audio files like MP3 or AAC. Lossless audio files usually have a bit rate between 400 and 1.411 kbps.

It differs quite a lot more when it comes to video files: YouTube allows for 6.8 mbps videos while 8 to 15 mbps are in the HDTV quality range. Videos on Blu-ray discs, for example, can have a maximum bit rate of 40 mbps.


For personal usage, there is another factor you should consider: file size. Take the three examples from above. If we compare the file size between these MP3 files we get the following results:

  • 32 kbps — 144 KB
  • 192 kbps — 848 KB
  • 320 kbps — 1.37 MB

As expected, the file size increases the higher the bit rate is. Quality surely comes with a price. What does that mean for the casual music lover? Find the perfect balance between quality and file size. If you don’t hear much of a difference between the 192 kbps and 320 kbps file, you can easily grab the smaller file and put it onto your MP3 player or phone.

Adding Media To Your PowerPoint & Keynote Presentation

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Despite the stigma, PowerPoint, Keynote, or other slideshow presentations are still the number one go-to tool for public, educational, and business presentations. No matter if you are presenting on a large or smaller scale, presenting important graphs, keywords, and findings, using a slideshow program makes it easier for you to set up the presentation, and visually more appealing for your audience.

We are not here to tell you how to do or present your findings, but we can help you with a very valid question when it comes to Microsoft’s PowerPoint: What kind of media can I add to my PowerPoint and Keynote slides?

Adding Videos and Audio Files to PowerPoint

While images and graphs, tables and charts add great visual content to your slides, they do not cover the whole spectrum of possibilities. If a video can underline your point or show your findings, you should also present it in your slideshow. For this, you do not have to fiddle with pausing and closing your presentation to open a media player.

Likewise, you can add audio samples and recordings to your presentation without having to click around a lot and let your audience wait.

However, not all media files are supported by Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote programs. To get an overview, we have dived into the specifications of each program and gathered information about the files you can add to your presentation.

Video Files

Following, you will find a list of video files that are supported by Microsoft PowerPoint or Keynote for both Mac and iOS. However, some replaying problems may still occur if the video file is using an unsupported codec. Thus, make sure that you check the presentation beforehand whether the correctly implemented video file can indeed be replayed without problems.

PowerPoint Keynote
  • ASF
  • AVI
  • M4V
  • MOV
  • MP4
  • SWF
  • WMV
  • DV, DIF
  • MOV
  • MP4
  • QT
It’s recommended to use MP4 video files, using the h.264 video codec and the AAC audio codec. Generally, all formats natively supported by QuickTime can be used for implementation into Keynote presentation.

Audio Files

With regard to Audio files, the codecs used for encoding the audio file plays a role in proper playback as well. Make sure to use a widely used and supported codec, and audio playback in your presentation shouldn’t pose a problem.

PowerPoint Keynote
  • AIFF
  • AU
  • M4A
  • MP3
  • WAV
  • WMA
  • AIFF
  • M4A
  • MP3
  • WAV
It’s recommended to use M4A files that have been encoded using the AAC audio codec. Audio formats that are supported by QuickTime can, usually, be used in Keynote presentations.

Additional Information

The information above are valid for the programs of the following versions:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 & Powerpoint 2016
  • Keynote for Mac (6.0 and later) & Keynote for iOS (2.0 and later)

If you want ti implement a video or audio file that is not supported by either program, do not fret! You can still use a versatile online audio converter to convert your recording or other audio file into a supported format. Likewise, a video converter helps you to convert videos into a format you can implement into your presentation.

How to Fix Files Ready to be Written to The Disc Message

disc copy
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No matter what version of windows you have installed on your PC or laptop, then chances are you have seen the message of ‘files ready to be written to the disc’ sometime or another.  We have put together this easy to follow guide to show you how to fix and remove the files ready to be written to the disc error message and in the process get rid of that annoying message from popping up again.

Reasons For The Error Message

There are numerous reasons why you may be getting this error message. The most common one is when someone drags and drops files to a folder by mistake, or when you insert a blank cd into your PC or laptop. Some users do it thinking this is the way to burn the files to the CD. Others using Windows XP or Windows 7 simply ignore the message which tells them they have files waiting to be burned and then it will continue to show up every time you turn on your computer. Whichever the reasons may be for you getting this error reminder, here are some helpful tips to follow.

If you are using a CD burning software like Nero then you should go to C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn\Temporary Burn Folder and try deleting any temporary files that may have been left behind when you first performed a DVD or CD burning procedure. Once you are here be sure to delete everything. This should clear the problem and remove the error message.

Delete Those Files for Good

If that does not solve your message then try to check and see if your optical drive was involved. On Windows 7 or 8 right click or simply swipe down on the DVD or CD drive which is showing the message. Next you either click or tap on the “Delete Temporary files” option and select it. Click yes to confirm that you want to do this.

Another option to delete the remove files ready to be written to the disc message is to press Start – Run and type gpedit.msc. Once here, you go to user configuration – Administrative Templates – All Settings and then look for the “Remove CD Burning Features option. You then double click on it and choose ENABLED and then hit apply. Most times you may have to reboot your PC or laptop for changes to take effect. Other users have reported simply pressing Run and then typing in shell:cd burning. Once here you delete whatever files or folders you find.

You may also want to read How To View All Kinds Of Files Without Installing Anything

More Options to Try

You can also go to My Computer – Right click on the DVD/CD drive you are getting the message from and select “Clear Temporary Files” then simply confirm deletion to remove them. In the event that this option does not show up when you do this then it is because you DO NOT have any files waiting to be burned.

One last tip to try is to also go to Tools – Folder options – View – Hidden files and folders and select the button that says “Don’t show hidden files, folders and drives” This will allow you to no longer see them thus removing the error message. However, if you want to leave on this setting to show hidden files (as most people do) then the only other option is to disable the Windows Built-in Burning Features.

We hope this article has helped you get rid of the Files Ready to be Written to The Disc Message. Remember, should you need to convert any files of any kind, Online-Convert can make it easy to do so for you.

Files Supported By Your Wii U

Wii U
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Over the past two weeks, we have had a look at files and other media supported by some of the leading gaming consoles on the market; the PlayStation 4, PSP, and PS Vita and the Xbox One. Today, we shall have a look at the more “family friendly” gaming console from Nintendo, the Wii U. Lets find out which media files, discs, and streaming services are supported by the Nintendo console.

Discs and Games

Contrary to the Xbox One and PS4, the Wii U is able to support almost all already existing Wii games. Using the Wii menu on your new Wii U enables you to play the old games for the consoles predecessor, as well as downloaded WiiWare and saved game data. Even formerly created Mii’s can be transfered to the new console. This makes the Wii U the most backwards compatible console out of the three. Instead of the Wii U Game Pad, however, you have to use your Wii Remote to play the old games.

Unfortunately, and again contrary to the aforementioned gaming consoles, the Wii U does not play any kind of DVD, Blu-Ray, or audio CD.

In sum, the Wii U supports the following discs and games:

  • Wii U games
  • Wii games

Media Files

While the Nintendo console does have several ports for external devices, the USB storage and SD cards compatible with the Wii U do not allow you to watch media directly from one of these devices. Instead, they can be used to increase the internal storage of the console.

Thus, there is no real chance to plug in a USB stick to your Wii U and watch a movie or listen to music. While this limits the possibilities to watch things using your Wii U console, there is a neat way around this: streaming from your computer directly.
This can be achieved using software like Plex or Playon. After installing the program on your computer and specifying the folder(s) in which you store your media data, your Wii U is able to connect with the apps and play the movie, song, or display pictures via the console.

The downside to this is that you need to keep your computer running to use this service. However, this means there is no file format restriction bound to the Wii U and you can watch videos and pictures, or listen to music of any format supported by the app you are using.

Video on Demand

One way to watch the newest series and movies (and old ones, of course) without having to establish a large collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays at home, is to stream your favorite media online. The Wii U supports different VOD (Video On Demand) channels for this purpose. Keep in mind though, that for some of them an existing membership with the respective service is necessary.

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Hulu Plus
  • Netflix
  • YouTube

Furthermore, it is possible to stream videos from a home DVR or the television onto the Wii U Game Pad.