Linking to excerpts from the MIX keynotes

John Lam asked how to excerpt fragments of Steve Ballmer’s keynote, and the principle of keystroke conservation requires me to answer here. The VisitMIX page for the keynote lists three streams. The links point to .asx files, which are wrappers around references to media files or streams. In this case, the references point to streams, which means that you can excerpt fragments by specifying the starttime and duration parameters.

Here’s the medium-bandwidth .asx file into which I’ve inserted starttime and duration parameters to create a fragment that points to a question and answer about HealthVault.

<asx version="3.0">
  <title>mix08: steve ballmer</title>
    <title>mix08: steve ballmer on healthvault</title>
    <starttime value = "52:50.0"/>
    <duration value="1:45"/>
    <copyright>copyright 2008. all rights reserved.</copyright>
    <ref href="mms://" />

I’ve posted the file at It should play in Windows Media Player, and also in VLC on the Mac or Linux though I can’t check those at the moment.

In general, launching appropriate media players from a web page is a complex process. I’m hoping and expecting that Silverlight, over time, will simplify it, and help make rich media more granularly linkable.

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