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Advanced Streaming Format

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(Redirected from ASF)

Advanced Streaming Format (or ASF, later renamed into Advanced Systems Format) is Microsoft's proprietary digital audio/digital video wrapper, especially meant for streaming. ASF is part of the Windows Media framework.

The format does not specify how the video or audio should be encoded, but instead just specifies the structure of the video/audio stream. What this means is that ASF files can be encoded with basically any audio/video codec and still would be in ASF format. This is similar to the function performed by the QuickTime format or the Ogg format.

The ASF format is based on serialized objects which are essentially byte-sequences identified by a GUID marker.

The most common filetypes contained within an ASF file are Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV).

ASF files can also contain objects representing metadata, such as the artist, title, album and genre for an audio track, or the director of a video track, much like the ID3 tags of MP3 files.

ASF files containing only WMA audio can be named with the filename extension .wma and files of only audio and video content may have the extension .wmv. Both may use the .asf extension if desired.

ASF is often confused with Microsoft's own implementation of MPEG-4 video format (Windows Media Video), because most of the ASF streams are encoded using this technology.

The ASF container structure is patented in the United States (United States Patent 6,041,345 Levi, et al. March 21, 2000) by Microsoft and Microsoft has invoked its patent against VirtualDub, a free video conversion program. Interestingly, Apple's iTunes software now has the capability to convert WMA files to AAC [1] (http://www.apple.com/itunes/import.html).

See also

External links

fr:Advanced Streaming Format hu:ASF ja:ASF

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