ASF Full Form is Advanced Streaming Format. ASF is a Microsoft Developed format that is specifically used for streaming of multimedia files. This format is used to either view multimedia files (audio/video) locally or through streaming. The ASF file is a container file useful for storing and streaming. The ASF file structure consists of (1) Header Object which defines the global level file attributes like the name and metadata like subtitles, etc. (2) Media Object which contains the actual media file, (3) Index object that is generally used as a bookmark and is optional.
The Advanced Streaming Format was developed to create a uniform tool for data transfer and playback of media files across the internet. The ASF supports both local playback and Internet delivery. In fact, because the ASF is a synchronized streaming media format, the entire file need not be locally available for playback. Only the part that is available can be streamed and played, thus making it ideal for use over the internet. The WMA, MPEG4, and WMV are popular Advanced Streaming formats.
ASF was primarily made for the following: (1). To maintain efficient playback from HTTP servers, storage devices, and HTTP servers (2). To support various media like audio files and video files (3). To allow the single multimedia file to run over a wide range of bandwidths (4). Not to be dependent on any kind of multimedia system or operating systems (5). ASF structure is widely available and studied. However, it is not available under an open source license and is controlled by Microsoft.