Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) was developed by Apple in 1988 and is most commonly used on Apple Macintosh computers. It is a leading audio format used by professional level audio and video applications as it is superior in quality to its more popular lossy MP3 format. AIFF is lossless and uncompressed meaning it takes up around 10mb for every minute of audio at 44.1kHz.
An AIFF file is divided into chunks made up of Common Chunks, Sound data chunk, Marker chunk, Instrument chunk, Comment chunk, Name chunk, Author chunk, Copyright chunk, Annotation chunk, Audio recording chunk, MIDI data chunk, Application chunk and an ID3 chunk - it is only the Common chunk and Sound data chunk that is required. It is an uncompressed format which assists rapid streaming of multiple audio files from disk to the application. The file extension for the standard AIFF file is .aiff or .aif, however for compressed variants it should use .aifc.
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The M4R is an iPhone ringtone file that is essentially a renamed AAC (m4a) file. Not all iTunes Music Store songs can be used to create M4R ringtones. In order to create an M4R ring tone from an iTunes song, the song must allow for M4R ringtone creation. An M4R ring tone is automatically transferred to a user's iPhone when the iPhone is synced with the user's computer.
M4R is essentially a renamed AAC (M4A) file - it is similar to MP3 but compresses the digital audio files further. It is part of the MPEG-4 standard and is specified in the ISO/IEC standard 14496-3. It is a lossy algorithm much like AAC and MP3. M4R supports auditory masking - essentially discarding data with minimal loss of quality.