ASF File - opening and understanding

Did your computer fail to open an ASF file? We explain what they are used for and recommend software that we know can open or otherwise handle your .ASF files.

What is an ASF file?

An .ASF file is an Advanced Streaming Format file. ASF stands for Advanced Streaming Format, also sometimes referred to as Advanced System Format, and is a file format developed by Microsoft for streaming media files.

The ASF format is a so-called "container format", that merely dictates how data in the file is organized, not how e.g. the video chunks are encoded.

Files with the .asf extension contain three different objects including a header file, a data object, and an optional index object. The header file within the ASF container contains information about the media data. The data object is the actual media stream that the ASF file contains. The optional index object allows for random access to data within the ASF file.

ASF files allow for the compression of media files, making it easier to download the media files and stream them over the Web.

How to open ASF files

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension ASF for different purposes.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different ASF openers which you will find listed below.

Other file formats using extension .ASF

While Advanced Streaming Format is a popular type of ASF-file, we know of 3 different uses of the .ASF extension.

The ASF file extension indicates to your device which app can open the file. However, different apps may use the same file extension for different types of data. So an ASF opener may not be able to open all kinds of ASF files. In this case, look through all formats to make sure you find the best suited ASF viewer.

Acclaim Skeleton File

Files with the ASF file extension may contain skeleton data captured by an optical tracker.

The format was developed by Acclaim, a game development company, which has been doing research into motion capture for games for years.

Acclaim developed their own methods for creating skeleton motion from optical tracker data, and in the process invented two related file formats: A skeleton file and a motion file. Splitting the data into two made it possible to use the same skeleton data for multiple motions. ASF files hold the skeleton data, while the motion data is stored in AMC (Acclaim Motion Capture) files.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different ASF openers which you will find listed below.

Electronic Arts Sound File

A proprietary audio format used for music in Electronic Arts games.

You usually do not need to edit or view these files, as they only contain information usable by the software program that uses them.

Various viewers for this file format

These apps are known to open certain types of ASF files. Remember, different programs may use ASF files for different purposes, so you may need to try out a few of them to be able to open your specific file.

Free File ConverterFree File ConverterUser submitted
WavePad Sound EditorWavePad Sound EditorUser submitted
Any Video ConverterAny Video ConverterUser submitted
Final Media PlayerFinal Media PlayerUser submitted
Free File ViewerFree File ViewerUser submitted
WavePad Audio-EditorWavePad Audio-EditorUser submitted
Switch Sound File ConverterSwitch Sound File ConverterUser submitted
VideoLAN VLC media playerVideoLAN VLC media playerUser submitted
Microsoft Windows Media PlayerMicrosoft Windows Media PlayerUser submitted
Photo GalleryPhoto GalleryUser submitted
We have not verified any software that we know for certain will work with ASF-files on Mac. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!
We have not verified any web services that we know for certain will work with ASF-files. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!