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Advanced Systems Format (.asf)The Advanced Systems Format (ASF) is the preferred Windows Media file format. With Windows Media Player, if the appropriate codecs are installed on your computer, you can play audio content, video content, or both, that is compressed with a wide variety of codecs and that is stored in an .asf file. Additionally, you can stream audio and video content with Windows Media Services, or you can package that content with Windows Media Rights Manager.ASF is an extensible file format that stores synchronized multimedia data. It supports data delivery over a wide variety of networks and protocols. It is also suitable for local playback. ASF supports advanced multimedia capabilities including extensible media types, component download, scalable media types, author-specified stream prioritization, multiple language support, and extensive bibliographic capabilities that include document and content management.Typically, ASF files that contain audio content that is compressed with the Windows Media Audio (WMA) codec use the .wma extension. Similarly, ASF files that contain audio content, video content, or both, that is compressed with Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) codecs use the .wmv extension. Finally, content that is compressed with any other codec use the generic .asf extension. For more information about ASF, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Windows Media Video (.wmv, .wm)Windows Media Video (.wmv) files are Advanced Systems Format (.asf) files that include audio, video, or both compressed with Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) codecs. By using a separate extension, you can install multiple players on your computer and associate certain players with the .wmv extension for playback of audio and video sources.
In Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition, Microsoft introduced the *.dvr-ms file format for storing recorded TV content. Similar to *.asf files, *.dvr-ms file enhancements permit key Personal Video Recorder (PVR) functionality, including time-shifting, live pause, and simultaneous record and playback. Video contained in a *.dvr-ms file is encoded as MPEG-2 video stream, and the audio contained in the *.dvr-ms file is encoded as MPEG-1 Layer II audio stream.To play back unprotected *.dvr-ms files on Windows XP-based computers, you must have the following software and hardware components:
Windows Media Download (WMD) packages combine Windows Media Player skin borders, playlist information, and multimedia content in a single downloadable file that uses a .wmd extension. A .wmd package can include a whole album of music videos that also displays advertising in the form of graphical branding and links to an online music retailer Web site.To download a .wmd package from a Web site, click the link to the package. When the package is downloaded to your computer, Windows Media Player automatically extracts the files that are contained in the package, adds the playlists in the package, adds the content to Media Library, displays the border skin in theNow Playing pane of Windows Media Player (in full mode), and then plays the first item in the playlist. For more information about .wmd files, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Audio Video Interleave (AVI) is a special case of Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF). AVI is defined by Microsoft. The .avi file format is the most common format for audio and video data on a computer.Audio content or video content that is compressed with a wide variety of codecs can be stored in an .avi file and played in Windows Media Player, if the appropriate codecs are installed on the computer. Video codecs that are frequently used in .avi files include the following codecs:
MPEG-1 (.mpeg, .mpg, .m1v)This standard permits the coding of progressive video at a transmission rate of about 1.5 million bits per second (bps). This file format was designed specifically for use with Video-CD and CD-i medi