Supported video formats and converting files to play on Windows Phone 8

There is a simple way to get a video to play on your Windows Phone 8 device, using nothing more than Windows explorer.

Windows Phone 8 supports similar file formats to Windows Phone 7, these are listed here:

It doesn’t mention which kinds of Codecs are supported. With Windows Phone 7 there was a rule of thumb that if the Zune client could play it, then Windows Phone 7 would be able to play it to. You would only see the Videos that could be played in Zune, so if you could see it there, sync it over and it should be fine.

Windows Phone 8 doesn’t use the Zune client, you need to use the desktop app or the Windows 8 Metro app. I found the Metro app doesn’t see any of my files, but that doesn’t mean they won’t play on your device – see if they play in Zune, if so they should play on your phone.

There is a very simple way of checking if a file will play and converting the files at the same time. This makes use of the new support for Media Transfer Protocol (MTP), which is how you can transfer files via USB now. You basically just copy and paste the file.

The solution is as follows:

  1. Connect the phone via USB
  2. Using Explorer, copy your video to the device into the Video folder. One of 2 things wil happen:
    1. It will copy over immediately, in which case it will play.
    2. It will ask you to convert it, in which case say yes. It will convert it to .wmv, and then it will play. Yes this will take a while.

So, if you see this, say yes.


7 thoughts on “Supported video formats and converting files to play on Windows Phone 8”

  1. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome, great written and come with approximately all important infos. I’d like to look extra posts like this .

  2. Yes, that’s all fine and dandy, but after copying FLAC music files to my WP8 using Explorer, the resulting music files are listed under Unknow Artist, which is hardly what I wanted. How do I make sure that the information that is available in the files (including the album picture) is transferred correctly?

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