1) How should I go about converting this collection to lossy WMA (or MP3) in a batch operation. SDK? Can the Windows Media Player 10 do this? Any microsoft utilities that do this?
What you need is the
Windows Media Encoder. It contains a script to encode files, which can also encode entire directories in one go, for example the following command line:
cscript.exe wmcmd.vbs –input C:\My-clips –output C:\My-clips-coded
You can specify all kinds of options, like 1 or 2-pass encoding, (variable) bitrate, sample rate, channels, etc.
I think the Encoder can also be used to broadcast (stream) audio, but I've never done that so I'm not really sure.