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Windows Media Player Play List (ASX)

This is a simple text file normally named with the .asx extension and read mainly by Window Media Player. It has the look of an HTML file with markup tags. This is in fact an XML database file. If you understand XML, this will be easy enough to read. If not don't worry, the format will be explained.

The Code

<ASX VERSION="3.0">
 <Author>John Smith</Author>
 <Title>John's CD Clips</Title>
 <Copyright>John Smith Publishing Inc.</Copyright>
 <Abstract>Cafe-Music CD by John Smith and friends</Abstract>
 <Moreinfo href="http://www.johnsmith.com/" />
 <Entry>
   <Author>John & Jane Smith</Author>
   <Title>Raging Tango</Title>
   <Moreinfo href="http://www.johnsmith.com/tango.htm" />
   <ref href = "http://www.johnsmith.com/media/Raging_Tango.mp3"/>
 </Entry>
</ASX>

Please note that elements are stored between tag pairs <TAG> and </TAG>. There are two exceptions Moreinfo and ref which have no end tag. They have a slash just before the end of the tag block. This is described below.

  • <ASX VERSION="3.0"> and </ASX>
    This must be the outer most element, start on the first line and must be in upper case. The version number identifies the version of the layout format. This number depends on the player you intend on using the play list with. A player that only understands 2.0 play lists will likely ignore a 3.0 playlist. At the end of the file you will find the close tag for this open tag </ASX> which is also in upper case. There can only be one ASX element.
  • <Author> and </Author> The information within this tag identifies the author of the entire play list. John Smithin our example.
  • <Copyright> and </Copyright> This identifies the holder of the copyright for the play list.
  • <Abstract> and </Abstract> Gives a short description about the play list.
  • <Moreinfo href="some URL goes here" /> has not end tag. Instead it ends with /> instead of the > alone. No end tag is needed because the only data is stored in the hrefparameter. This is the URL path to more information on this play list.
  • <Entry> and </Entry> This element holds the sub elements that describe individual sound files. There can be many of these elements. Each pair of tags is wrapped around the information for a single song.
    • <Author> and </Author> The information within this tag identifies the author of this one sound file. John & Jane Smithin our example.
    • <Title> and </Title> This identifies title of this sound file.
    • <Moreinfo href="some URL goes here" /> has not end tag. Instead it ends with /> instead of the > alone. No end tag is needed because the only data is stored in the hrefparameter. This is the URL path to more information on this one sound file.
    • <ref href="some URL goes here" /> has not end tag. Instead it ends with /> instead of the > alone. No end tag is needed because the only data is stored in the href parameter. This is the URL path to the actual sound file.

Please take notice of the case of the tags. Although tests have shown that Media Player will accept some tags in upper or lower case, it will not accept an opening tag in one case (say upper) and the matching close tag in another case (say lower or mixed). To ensure your play list works properly it is suggested that you use the case shown in the examples above.

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