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Windows Media Streaming

Step-by-step instructions for streaming
Windows Media files from your web site.

All FastVirtual web hosting plans support HTTP streaming (aka pseudo-streaming).

This method enables you to stream many different media types, including Windows Media audio and video files, from your web site. Multiple simultaneous streams are supported, with the only limitation being your own accepted levels of bandwidth usage.

Note: This guide requires that you have Windows Media Encoder installed. This can be downloaded FREE from the Windows Media web site.

The following guide provides step-by-step instructions for preparing, adding, and streaming Windows Media audio or video files from your web site.

Create (or Convert to) a Windows Media Recognized Audio/Video File

Create new, or convert existing audio/video to a Windows Media recognized audio/video file.

Windows Media supports ".asf", ".avi", ".mpg", ".wmv", ".mp3", ".wav" and ".wma" file types, so you can use any multimedia application that includes your preferred CODEC.

Prepare for Streaming

Start the Windows Media Encoder "New Session Wizard", select "Convert an audio or video file to a Windows Media File" and click Next.

Select your source file, the destination and name for the new Windows Media file, and click "Next".

Note: Windows Media video files have a .wmv extension, whereas audio files have a .wma extension, so make sure you select the correct format.

Select "File will stream from a web server, or play directly on a computer" and click "Next".

Choose your streaming option in accordance with your target audience, click "Finish" and your .wmv/.wma file will be created.

Create an .asx File

Use Notepad (or similar text editor) to create a new text file. Open this file and enter the following code (replacing "yourname" and "yourmediafile" as appropriate):

<ASX version="3.0">
<Ref href=""/>

The URL should be absolute (don't forget the "http://"), and should point to the exact location you want the media file to stream from. This is also case-sensitive, which means "YourMediaFile" is not the same as "yourmediafile".

Save and close the text file, then change the file name/extension to "yourmediafile.asx", where "yourmediafile" is the exact same name you gave to the ".wmv" media file.

Upload Your Files

You should now have two files; your ".wmv" media file that contains your Windows Media video (or ".wma" for audio files), and your ".asx" text file, which contains the URL to the media file. Upload these files to the location you specified in the ".asx" file.

Note: Audio/video files are binary, whereas text files are ASCII, so remember to upload your files using the appropriate mode. Most FTP programs allow you to configure the transfer mode for extensions you specify, so simply add ".asx" to your ASCII file types, and ".wmv" (or ".wma") to your binary types. Then you won't need to worry about future uploads.

Build Your Links

Create a text or image link to the ".asx" file on your web site. When the link is clicked, the visitor's Windows Media Player will launch and begin downloading the ".wmv" (or ".wma") file. Playback commences once a portion of the file has downloaded, while the remainder of the file is downloaded in the background.

Provide a Windows Media Player Download Link for Your Visitors

You may wish to place the following button on your site to inform visitors that you are providing Windows Media audio/video content, and to allow them to download the free player:

Get Windows Media Player

Alt text: Get Windows Media Player
Link: See button URL

Embedding Content in HTML Pages

Windows Media Encoder can create embedded content. Plug-ins are also available for popular multimedia applications. For further information, please visit the Windows Media web site.

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