March 9, 2000 - Streaming Media File Formats
March 9, 2000|
Streaming Media File Formats
Tips: March 2000
Yehuda Shiran, Ph.D.
ASX files are textual command files that manage streaming of ASF files. They are very small in size (about 1K) because they contain no data, just instructions. When a user clicks a link to an ASX file, the browser downloads it to the cache directory, launches the Windows Media Player, and then starts the streaming. The advantage of using ASX files over ASF files is their server location. ASF files can reside on different server types:
ASX files, on the other hand, are small text files that can always sit on an HTTP server. When the browser interprets the ASX file, it access the streaming media file that is specified inside the ASX file, from the proper HTTP, mms, or file server. The following is an ASX file:
<ASX VERSION="3"> <ENTRY> <REF HREF="mms://netshow.microsoft.com/ms/sbnasfs/wmt/turtle28.asf/"> <REF HREF="mms://netshow.microsoft.com/ms/sbnasfs/wmt/wmt.asf/"> </ENTRY> </ASX>
The ASX file format is very rich. You can add banners, icons, images, and watermarks underneath the streaming media. We will revisit ASX files later in our series. The purpose of this page is to give you a brief overview on what is ASX files and how they are different from ASF file and other audio and video formats.
Learn more about streaming media formats in Column 51, A Streaming Media JukeBox.