Creating Single ASF Files From a Playlist

(Authored by  Michael Koerner,

(This tutorial can be downloaded and printed. 
Click here for a PDF download version.)

Advanced Streaming Format (ASF)

A data format for streaming audio and video content, images, and script commands in packets over a network. ASF content can be an .asf file or a live stream generated by Windows Media Encoder. ASF content that is in the process of being delivered over a network is called an ASF stream. ASF is a great file format for PowerPoint and works well for presentation export to websites and PowerPoint Autorun CD’s. Caution: For a website you will want to keep the file size as small as possible (500 KB or less), because each KB must be “streamed” to the user’s system.  If you are distributing your presentation via PowerPoint Autorun CD you can include very large ASF files (100 MB even!) because no “streaming” is required and only a minor delay will occur when the presentation initiates and begins playing the ASF file.

What you’ll need

Windows Media Player version 6.x or greater Download info:

Version: 7.1 6.4
File Size: 10,187 KB 3,611 KB
D/L Time: 49 Min @ 28.8 30 @ 28.8

Windows Media Tools version 4.1 or greater Download info: = 4,418KB | 22 Min @ 28.8 | Version 7.1

You'll find them at

This tutorial was created using version 7.1. Win95 and NT4 users require Windows Media Player version 6.x. All versions can be down loaded from the above URL.

Step 1 – Creating a Playlist

The first thing to get ready, is a Playlist of the music you want to use in your project, and this is done, using your Windows Media Player.

What is a Playlist?

A playlist is a customized list of the files that you want to watch or listen to. A playlist enables you to group various media content together to be played in any order that you specify. Use the Media Library feature to add CD tracks or a link to a file or stream such as a radio station to a playlist. For example, you could create a playlist that includes a couple of tracks from various CDs, a radio station, and a video.

Playlists group media content and store the location of media content, whether the location is your computer, another computer on your network, or the Internet. Playlists typically have an .asx or .m3u file extension. When you play an item from a playlist, Windows Media Player accesses the file from it’s location and plays the file.

The type of Playlist, that we’re concerned with in this tutorial, is strictly an Audio Playlist.

To Create a Playlist

  1. Click the Media Library feature.

  2. Click the New playlist button.


  3. In the New Playlist dialog box, type the name for the playlist. Your new playlist is added to the My Playlists folder in the left pane.

Adding files to a playlist

You can add files to a playlist as long as they are listed in Media Library. If the file that you want to add to a playlist is not in Media Library, you must add it to Media Library before you can add it to a playlist.

To add a file to a playlist

  1. Click the Media Library feature.

  2. Find the file(s) that you want to add to a playlist, click the file(s), and then click Add to playlist. A drop-down menu is displayed listing the available playlists.

  3. Click Add to name of playlist, or click Playlists, select the playlist that you want to add files to, and then click OK.

Note: You can add as many files to a playlist as you want.

You can also add files to a playlist by dragging files within Media Library or from Windows Explorer, or you can right-click a file, click Add to Playlist, select the playlist, and then click OK.

Step 2 – Recording Source

We next have to determine the Recording Source for our material. This is done by Right Clicking on the Speaker Icon in your Task Bar, Select “Open Volume Controls”, select Options, then Properties, then Recording and OK.

 With your Media Player playing a selection from your Play List, and from the drop down window you received when you clicked OK, see image below, play with the sliders until you find the slider that controls the volume record level and select it. (Mine, happened to be the Wave Balance). Close this window once your selection is complete. Note: You can do this step from within the Encoder if your using version 7.1

Step 3 – Configuring the Media Encoder

We are now ready to start Setting up the Windows Media Encoder. The following next 7 screens will prepare the encoder for the recording session.
Note: The Highlighted default settings have been used, except where annotated.

Step 4 - Recording

We are now ready to start recording. It does not matter which button you click first, the Start Button on the Encoder image above or the Play Button on the Media Player image below. Just remember that once started the second button has to be clicked immediately.

Once you're up and recording, your Encoder window will look like this.

Once your Playlist has completed, click the Stop button, to finalize your ASF/WMA Creation.

Once stopped, you will receive the following screen. Select one of the 4 choices available.

You will probably note that the file created has a WMA extension. This is completely interchangeable with ASF. Also a number of the pop up screens you receive along the way can be turned off if you so desire. See bottom left on screen below, as an example.

That’s all there is to it. Have fun with it. You can now use your finished ASF/WMA file as background music in your PowerPoint Presentation, or any other program that will allow you to use Windows Media Sound Files Click here to download a PDF version of this tutorial.  Right click on the URL to download the file to your system.  Left click on the URL to open it in Acrobat Reader.  You can use File > Print to print it directly.



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