Windows Media formats
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Windows Media formatsWindows Media formats are supported in many software and hardware-based players as well as Microsoft's own software-based Windows Media Player. The foundation container format for Windows Media is the Advanced Systems Format (ASF) file, which holds audio, video, meta-data (titles, author, etc.), indexes and scripts.
WMA (Audio) and WMV (Video)
When Windows Media audio codecs are used, the resulting file is given a .WMA extension. When Windows Media video codecs are used, files have a .WMV extension. For non-Windows codecs, the .ASF file extension is used, and WMA and WMV files can be renamed with the .ASF extension for compatibility with earlier players. See WMA Lossless.
Windows Media audio and video files can be downloaded intact and played, or they can be streamed from a website when used in conjunction with Microsoft's Windows Media Services on a Web server. In fact, ASF originally stood for "Active Streaming Format," but was changed to Advanced Systems Format to eliminate the streaming-only connotation. See Smooth Streaming.
Windows Media provides XML-based metafile formats for holding playlists, content descriptions and the location of the ASF, WMA or WMV file on a local or remote server. These files are called "redirectors" (see below). See Windows Media Services, Windows Media Rights Manager and Windows Media.
WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER MEDIA SUPPORTFileExtension MediumWindows Native A/V Formats WAV Audio (lossless) AVI Video ASF A/V non Windows codec WMA Audio (regular & streaming) WMA Audio Lossless (see WMA Lossless) WMV Video (regular & streaming) PlaylistsWindows Metafile Formats (Redirectors) ASX All formats WAX WMA files WVX WMV files WPL Client-side playlist Non-Windows Formats Supported byWindows Media Player MP3 MPEG audio AU Unix audio SND Unix audio AIFF Macintosh audio MID MIDI music RMI MIDI music MOV QuickTime video QT QuickTime video MPG MPEG video MPE MPEG video VOB DVD