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Creating Windows Media Download Packages

Streaming and downloading are different. (See Streaming vs. Downloading: Understanding the Differences) When a media player loads up a streaming multimedia program, it fetches all the files it needs -- branding graphics, elements of custom skins, and multiple media files – from the server as it needs them. But if you want to let your users download and save your material, all of those files have to be present and accounted for on their computer before it will work. Windows Media Download (WMD) packages provide a painless way to tie up a bundle of media files so your viewers enjoy an easy, one-click download-and-play.

Making a WMD download file is simple:
     1) Create your ASX playlist file (See Streaming Media Metafiles: ASX Files).
     2) Place your media files in a folder with the playlist. The media files you add to your package can be in any format that Windows Media player supports.
     3) Wrap it all up in a .ZIP file using your favorite compression utility.
     4) Rename that .ZIP file with the .WMD file extension.
     5) Place the file on your Web site and link to it. No streaming server is required, since you're not actually streaming this.

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