Metafiles: .WAX - Windows Media Audio Redirector
About .WAX metafile
A .WAX file is a Windows Media Audio Redirector file. Basically, in use, it redirects your audio playing software to a Windows Media Audio (WMA) file. It's one of several extensions used with files that redirect to Microsoft Windows Media files.
.WAX files are textual command files that manage streaming of Windows Media files.
.WAX files are very small in size (about 1K) because they contain no data, just instructions. When a user clicks a link to a .WAX file, the browser downloads it to the cache directory, launches the Windows Media Player, and then starts to receive streaming media.
The advantage of using .WAX files instead of .WMA files is their server location. .WAX files can reside on different server types:
.WMA files, on the other hand, can always reside on an HTTP server. When the web browser interprets the .WAX file, it accesses the streaming media file that is specified inside the .WAX file, from the proper HTTP, RTSP, MMS, or file server.
- Windows Media Services Server. File names start with rtsp:// or mms://.
- HTTP Server. File names start with http://.
- Local or network drive. File names start with file://.
Examples of .WAX metafile
<asx version = "3.0">
<title>NPR Hourly Newscast</title>
<abstract>more info at : the NPR Website</abstract>
<moreinfo xhref="http://www.npr.org/" />
<PARAM name="ShowPlayList" value="true"/>
<title>NPR Hourly Newscast</title>
<ref xhref="mms://wm.npr.org/wm.npr.na-central/newscast.wma?wmcache=0?v1st=&mt=4" />
<ref xhref="http://wm.npr.org/wm.npr.na-central/newscast.wma?wmcache=0?v1st=&mt=4" />
<title>Example.com Live Stream</title>
<title>Short Announcement to Play Before Main Stream</title>
<param name="aParameterName" value="aParameterValue"/>
How to play .WAX files
You may use Windows Medi Player to play .WAX files.
Troubleshooting .WAX file playback in Windows Media Player
Open the .WAX file in a text editor like Windows Notepad and try to find the stream URL from the REF section (the URL is surrounded by quotes). You can copy the URL from the .WAX metafile and then open it in the Windows Media Player:
The problem with .WAX file usually comes from its incorrect format. Windows Media Player can produce errors when trying to get the media content directed correctly.
- Start Windows Media Player
- Click "File" -> "Open URL..."
- Paste the URL and hit the "OK" button
Since most .WAX files point to Windows Media audio content (.WMA), another suggestion is to reinstall the Windows Media Codec if you have problems. It is also a good idea to reinstall DirectX after installing the Windows Media Codec.
Downloading/Recording/Capturing/Ripping/Saving Windows Media stream from .WAX files
To download/record/capture/rip/save .WMA stream directed by .ASX metafile, you may use any streaming media recorder that supports Windows Media format and the protocol used (RTSP, MMS or HTTP). We also suggest you to read about finding stream URLs.
WM Recorder is an easy to use stream recorder that can capture more Windows Media streams than any other stream recorder. It can record Windows Media video streams (.ASF, .WMV) and audio streams (.WMA) streamed through the RTSP, MMS and HTTP protocols.
And you can always record any sound produced by your sound card using direct sound recording software. Although this method has several disadvantages and should be used primarily in case of a non-recordable stream.
Downloading/Recording/Capturing/Ripping/Saving Windows Media stream in parts using .WAX metafile
To download/record/capture/rip/save Windows Media audio stream (.WMA) in parts, you can create a new metafile or edit the existing one. See the following FAQ for more:
How to record Windows Media (Audio and Video) streams in parts with WM Recorder
Hint: Looking for an easy way to convert Youtube to MP3 or download YouTube Videos? Try Freecorder.