The ASF file type is primarily associated with Advanced Streaming Format by Microsoft Corporation. ASF is based on serialized objects which are essentially byte sequences identified by a GUID marker. ASF files often contain Windows Media Audio (.WMA) or Windows Media Video (.WMV) data. Note that the file extension abbreviations are different from the codecs which have the same name. Files containing only WMA audio can be named using a .WMA extension, and files of audio and video content may have the extension .WMV. Both may use the .ASF extension if desired.
ASF video file 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. It supports scalable media types and stream prioritization; as such, it is a format optimized for streaming.The ASF video file container provides the framework for digital rights management in Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video. An analysis of an older scheme used in WMA reveals that it is using a combination of elliptic curve cryptography key exchange, DES block cipher, a custom block cipher, RC4 stream cipher and the SHA-1 hashing function.ASF container-based media is usually streamed on the internet either through the MMS protocol or the RTSP protocol.
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