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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WAV (WAVE) files are audio files playable via multimedia playback software such as Windows Media Player and other software available for your operating system. These files contain any sounds such as sound effects, music or spoken words. WAV files are large in size and with the advent of MP3 and MP4 WAV files are becoming less popular and less common. They were created and developed by IBM and Microsoft but unlike MP3 and MP4 the WAV file format does not use a form of lossy compression so file sizes are therefore much bigger and now less popular.
Wav files are the standard digital audio format in Windows. Using the .WAV file extension, 8- or 16-bit samples can be taken at rates of 11,025 Hz, 22,050 Hz and 44,100 Hz. The highest quality being th 16-bit at 44,100 HZ, this highest level is the sampling rate of an audio CD and uses 88KB of storage per second. All general sounds in Windows, such as when you log in, are in the .WAV format. The default content of a WAV file is uncompressed (although they can be used to store compressed formats such as MP3), pulse code modulated (PCM) digital samples derived from the analog source.
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