About Arbitrary Data Streams (deprecated)

This page documents a feature that may be unavailable in future versions of Windows Media Player and the Windows Media Player SDK.

Arbitrary data is any data in any format. In the context of the Windows Media Player SDK, this means data in a format that is not supported by Windows Media Player. In the context of the Player, arbitrary data is simply binary data that the Player is not designed to play back natively.

The Windows Media Format SDK supports inserting arbitrary data into an arbitrary data stream by using Component Object Model (COM) objects provided by the SDK. Such a stream is identified by a GUID that uniquely identifies the media type of the data in the stream. This means that you can use arbitrary data streams to contain data in virtually any format, including formats you invent yourself, and then use a Windows Media Player rendering plug-in to display that data in the Player.

Note  Streaming Windows Media files that contain arbitrary data streams is supported in Windows Media Services 9 Series or later.


Note  Arbitrary data samples to be rendered by Windows Media Player rendering plug-ins must not exceed 10 MB in size.


Windows Media Player will not instantiate a rendering plug-in to handle an arbitrary data stream, or play the content, unless the Windows Media file has a .asf or .wm file name extension. For more information about creating Windows Media files, see the Windows Media Format SDK. The Windows Media Format SDK is part of the Windows SDK, which you can obtain from the Microsoft Download Center. You can also see the documentation for the Windows Media Format SDK in the MSDN Library.

Rendering Plug-in Developer Overview (deprecated)