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Waveform
File extension: .wav

WAV (or WAVE), short for Waveform audio format, is a Microsoft and IBM audio file format standard for storing audio on PCs. It is a variant of the RIFF bitstream format method for storing data in "chunks", and thus also close to the IFF and the AIFF format used on Macintosh computers. Both WAVs and AIFFs are compatible with Windows and Macintosh operating systems. It takes into account some differences of the Intel CPU such as little-endian byte order. The RIFF format acts as a "wrapper" for various audio compression codecs. It is the main format used on Windows systems for raw audio. A filename extension is an extra set of (usually) alphanumeric characters that is appended to the end of a filename to allow computer users (as well as various pieces of software on the computer system) to quickly determine the type of data stored in the file. ... An audio format is a medium for storing sound and music. ... It has been suggested that Criticism of Microsoft be merged into this article or section. ... International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) (NYSE: IBM) (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A stylised illustration of a modern personal computer A personal computer (PC) is usually a microcomputer whose price, size, and capabilities make it suitable for personal usage. ... In music, a riff is an ostinato figure: a repeated chord progression, pattern or melodic figure, often played by the rhythm section instruments, that forms the basis or accompaniment of a rock music or jazz composition. ... A bitstream format is the format of the data found in some stream of bits used in a digital communication or storage application. ... Interchange File Format (IFF), is a generic file format originally introduced by the Electronic Arts company in 1985 in order to ease transfer of data between software products produced by different companies. ... Audio Interchange File Format is a file format standard used for storing audio data on PCs. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... CPU redirects here. ... Endianness generally refers to sequencing methods used in a one-dimensional system (such as writing or computer memory). ... A Codec is a device or program capable of performing encoding and decoding on a digital data stream or signal. ... Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems by Microsoft for use on personal computers, although versions of Windows designed for servers, embedded devices, and other platforms also exist. ...


Though a WAV file can hold compressed audio, the most common WAV format contains uncompressed audio in the pulse-code modulation (PCM) format. PCM audio is the standard audio file format for CDs at 44,100 samples per second. Since PCM uses an uncompressed, lossless storage method, which keeps all the samples of an audio track, professional users or audio experts may use the WAV format for maximum audio quality. WAV audio can also be edited and manipulated with relative ease using software. Audio compression is a form of data compression designed to reduce the size of audio data files. ... Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is a digital representation of an analog signal where the magnitude of the signal is sampled regularly at uniform intervals, then quantized to a series of symbols in a digital (usually binary) code. ... Lossless data compression is a class of data compression algorithms that allow the original data to be reconstructed exactly from the compressed data. ...

Contents


Popularity

As file sharing over the Internet has become popular, the WAV format has declined in popularity, primarily because uncompressed WAV files are quite large in size. More frequently, compressed but lossy formats such as MP3, and AAC are used to store and transfer audio, since their smaller file sizes allow for faster transmission over the internet as well as lower disk space consumption. There are also more efficient lossless codecs available, such as Monkey's Audio, TTA, WavPack, FLAC, Shorten, Apple Lossless and WMA Lossless. File sharing is the activity of making files available to other users for download over the Internet, but also over smaller networks. ... A lossy data compression method is one where compressing data and then decompressing it retrieves data that may well be different from the original, but is close enough to be useful in some way. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Monkey’s Audio is a lossless audio compression codec. ... True Audio (abbreviated TTA) is a free, simple real-time lossless audio codec, based on adaptive prognostic filters which has shown satisfactory results comparing to majority of modern analogs. ... WavPack is a free, open source lossless audio compression format developed by David Bryant. ... The Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) logo. ... SHN (Shorten) is a file format used to losslessly compress CD-quality audio files (44. ... Apple Lossless (also known as Apple Lossless Encoder, ALE, or Apple Lossless Audio Codec, ALAC) is an audio codec developed by Apple Computer for lossless compression of digital music. ... Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless is a lossless data lossless audio codec by Microsoft, released in early 2003. ...


The usage of the WAV format has more to do with its simplicity and simple structure, which is heavily based on the IFF file format. Because of this, it continues to enjoy widespread use with a variety of software applications, often functioning as a lowest common denominator when it comes to exchanging sound files between different programs.


Limitations

The WAV format is limited to files that are less than 4 GB in size, due to its use of a 32 bit unsigned integer to record the file size header (some programs limit the file size to 2 GB). Although this is equivalent to about 6.6 hours of CD-quality audio (44.1 kHz, 16-bit stereo), it is sometimes necessary to go over this limit. The W64 format was therefore created for use in Sound Forge. Its 64-bit header allows for much longer recording times. This format can be converted using the libsndfile library. The RF64 format specified by the European Broadcasting Union has also been created to solve this problem. Sound Forge 8 Sony Sound Forge, formerly known as Sonic Foundry Sound Forge, is a digital audio editing and creation suite aimed at the semi-professional as well as the professional market. ... Libsndfile is a C library for reading and writing sound formats. ... RF64 is a BWF-compatible multichannel file format enabling file sizes to exceed 4 Gbyte. ... Logo of the EBU/UER. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), known in French as LUnion Européenne de Radio-Télévision (UER), and unrelated to the European Union, was formed on 12 February 1950 by 23 broadcasting organizations from Europe and the Mediterranean at a conference in the...


Audio CDs

Audio CDs do not use WAV as their sound format, instead using Red Book audio. The commonality is that both audio CDs and WAV files have the audio data encoded in PCM. WAV is a data file format for computer use. If one were to transfer an audio CD bit stream to WAV files and record them onto a CD-R as a data disc (in ISO format), the CD could not be played in a player that was only designed to play audio CDs. The Compact Disc logo was inspired by that of the previous Compact Cassette. ... The CDDA trademark Red Book is the standard for audio CDs (Compact Disc Digital Audio system, or CDDA). ... PCM is an initialism which can have different meanings: Phase Change Material Pulse-code modulation, a way to digitally encode signals representing sound and their video counterparts Potential Cancer Marker Communist Party of Mexico Plug Compatible Manufacturer Power-train control module, a computer in a car which controls the car... A CD-R (Compact Disc-Recordable) is a variation of the Compact Disc digital audio disc invented by Philips and Sony. ... ISO 9660, a standard published by the International Organization for Standardization, defines a file system for CD-ROM media. ...


See also

  • BWF, Broadcast Wave Format
  • RF64, An extended File Format for Audio (multichannel file format enabling file sizes to exceed 4 Gbyte)

BWF is an abbreviation of Broadcast Wave file Format . ... RF64 is a BWF-compatible multichannel file format enabling file sizes to exceed 4 Gbyte. ...

External links


Multimedia compression formats at glance
Video compression formats
ISO/IEC: MPEG-1 | MPEG-2 | MPEG-4 | MPEG-4/AVC | ITU-T: H.261 | H.262 | H.263 | H.264 | SMPTE: VC-1
VP7 | RealVideo | WMV | Indeo | MJPEG | Theora | Dirac | Tarkin
Audio compression formats
ISO/IEC MPEG: MPEG-1 Layer III (known as MP3) | MPEG-1 Layer II | AAC | HE-AAC | FLAC | iLBC | RealAudio | WMA | Speex
Vorbis | ATRAC3 | AC3 | AIFF | ITU-T: G.711 | G.722 | G.722.1 | G.722.2 | G.723 | G.723.1 | G.726 | G.729 | G.729a
Image compression formats
ISO/IEC/ITU-T: JPEG | JPEG-2000 | JPEG-LS | JBIG | JBIG 2
GIF | PNG | TIFF | PCX | TGA | BMP | WMP | ILBM
Media container formats
AU | AVI | ASF | WAV | MP4 | Ogg | Ogg Media | Matroska | QuickTime | RealMedia | 3GP

  Results from FactBites:
 
WAV To MP3, MP3 To WAV - WAV MP3 Converter (366 words)
WAV MP3 Converter supports converting batches of audio formats MP3 WAV WMA and OGG from one to another directly on-the-fly and supports Normalizing.
WAV MP3 Converter adopts advanced LAME Encoder and OGG codec, allows you to generate various sizes and qualities of MP3, WAV, WMA, Vox and Ogg files.
WAV MP3 Converter is a shareware and is supported by your registrations.
MediaCoder Audio Video Glossary (438 words)
WAV (or WAVE), short for WAVE form audio format, is a Microsoft and IBM audio file format standard for storing audio on PCs.
Though a WAV file can hold audio compressed with any codec, by far the most common format is pulse-code modulation (PCM) audio data.
The WAV format is limited to files that are less than 2 gigabytes in size, due to the way its 32-bit file size header is read by most programs.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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