REF Element

The REF element specifies a URL for digital media content.

   HREF = "URL"


HREF (required)

URL to any piece of media content supported by Windows Media Player.

Parent/Child Elements

Hierarchy Elements
Parent elementsENTRY



This element specifies a URL for a piece of media content. The URL can point to any media type supported, using any protocol supported by Windows Media Player.

The media types supported include still images such as .gif and .jpg images and Flash files with an .swf file name extension. These media types are useful for including advertising content within a playlist. With image files and Flash files that play in a loop, you must also specify the amount of time to display the media item by including a DURATION element within the REF element. If you want an image to continue displaying while the next entry in the playlist is buffered, include a PARAM element within the ENTRY element, set its name attribute to ShowWhileBuffering, and set its value attribute to true.

To reference content on a CD or a DVD that allows it, the wmpcd and wmpdvd protocols are provided. For example, setting the HREF attribute to "wmpdvd://f/5/3" will play chapter 3 of title 5 on a DVD, but only if the DVD has been authored to allow it.

Applications that open digital media from behind a firewall will have better performance when opening the media items if the address is specified using the domain name server (DNS) name instead of the IP address.

The most common use of this element is for URL rollover. If Windows Media Player is unable to open a piece of media defined in a REF element, it tries the URL in the next REF element. Once Windows Media Player opens media content from a URL defined within the scope of one ENTRY element, it ignores subsequent REF tags within that ENTRY element. After the piece of content is done playing, Windows Media Player moves on to the next ENTRY element, if any.

  • Important Once Windows Media Player establishes a connection to a referenced piece of content, it ignores all other REF elements in that ENTRY, whether the connection terminates normally or abnormally.

If the media item referenced is an image file, the DURATION element must be used to specify the display time for the image.


Attempting to play Flash media that includes sound with the first frame may yield unexpected results. You should author Flash content to play sound starting no earlier than the second frame.


   <TITLE>Example Clip</TITLE>
      <REF HREF="mms://" />
      <REF HREF="mms://" />



Windows Media Player version 7.0 or later

See also

Supported Protocols and File Types
Windows Media Metafile Elements Reference
Windows Media Metafile Reference