DirectShow is an Application Programming Interface (API) developed by Microsoft as a multimedia framework for software developers to perform various duties with media files. DirectShow is a replacement for the aging VFW or Video for Windows technology. DirectShow provides a common interface for media files and spans multiple programming languages in the Microsoft library. DirectShow is a robust filter based technology that can render or record media files on demand according to the user. Development tools for DirectShow can be extracted from the Microsoft Platform SDK.
Windows Media Player uses a version of DirectShow to display media files from a URL or file.