This has to be the most absurd and idiotic thing Microsoft has done
to date lately.
Wiki says, Advanced Systems Format (formerly Advanced Streaming Format, Active Streaming Format) is Microsoft's proprietary digital audio/digital video container format, especially meant for streaming media. ASF is part of the Windows Media framework.
Did you get that? ASF was developed by Microsoft. It is their proprietary audio/video format. Many camcorders, cell phones, and web cams produce video in this format. Since this is Microsoft's proprietary format and it is widely used, wouldn't it seem reasonable to any intelligent human that Microsoft's Windows Media Player would play the video? Well, if you are using Windows Vista, it doesn't!
Last night, I was cleaning up some space on my laptop and moving some home videos to my NAS. I clicked on a video and after Windows Media Player loaded, I got a message that a codec was missing. I'm not really sure what a codec is, but I was given the option of clicking a link that would check and see if the codec was available and install it on my computer. After clicking the link, I received a message that the codec wasn't available.
No big deal or at least I thought. I performed a search on Google and found forums full of users complaining that Microsoft Vista wouldn't play ASF files. These posts started 9 months ago and as of today, there still isn't a solution from Microsoft or any word if a solution will ever come. Amazing!
The forums are full of hacks from renaming the file extensions, to installing this software, or changing this setting or that. After 3 hours of installing software and trying every makeshift solution I could find, I finally gave up. There is no real solution!
I challenge anyone to find a working solution to make ASF files play in Windows Media Player on a Vista machine. Short of running the files through a video converter, no solution exists.
The best work around I could find was to download a new media player from download.com. I downloaded a player called GOM Media Player. It can play the ASF files with no problem and has proven to be a good player so far. It's been downloaded over 10 million times and the free price makes it the best solution for the problem.
If you are using Windows XP, you should be able to play the ASF files with no problem. This seems to be a problem exclusive to the 8th Wonder Of The World Known As Windows Vista.
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