MOV — a file format designed to be used on computers — is the digital file format used by Apple® QuickTime® and has the extension .mov. MOV both supports Internet streaming video and can contain a variety of types of contents, each on a separate track. ASF (Advanced Systems Format) is the Windows® Media file format. It supports streaming and playback with Windows® Media Player with the appropriate codecs selected. Windows® users who do not have QuickTime® on their computers are one group who find it useful to convert MOV to ASF, and it could also enable editing the file in Windows® Movie Maker.
Each of the file types has several important features. MOV can contain video, audio, text, images, and sprites, and is extensible to other media. ASF is also an extensible file format. In addition, ASF can be packaged with Windows® Media Rights Manager.
If you need to convert MOV to ASF, the first step is to find a conversion program that handles those particular file types. It is also essential to make sure the conversion program is compatible with the operating system you wish to work on. This is because, for example, an application for Mac® OSX Leopard may not work on Snow Leopard® and one designed for Windows® 7 may not work on Vista®. If you do file conversion frequently, you may want to seek out a program that handles a wide range of file formats. Free programs can be useful for an odd conversion here or there, but for a software application that you’re going to count on, the continued support and updated versions available with a paid program may prove worthwhile.
In most cases, you will start by identifying the file type you are starting with and locating the file. Some programs may provide a way to convert MOV to ASF with multiple files at once, in which case you may be able to convert a folder of files. This step is usually done by using a finder window to browse to the file location or dragging it the interface and dropping it there. The next step is generally identifying the desired file output, including file format, name, and location.
Depending on the converter, you may be able to edit the file prior to taking the final steps to convert MOV to ASF. Otherwise, you may still have a few choices about the audio and video output, including frame rate, bitrate, channels, codec, etc. There will then be a button to start the conversion, and a progress bar will likely show so you can see about how long it will take.