AET 2050 - DAW Production

6. Audio File Formats


  1. Describe the basic structure of audio files, including file descriptors and data storage methods
  2. Identify the basic streaming file formats in terms of origin, application, platform compatibility, and type of audio data stored (bit depth, sample rate, channels, etc)


Chapter 6.1-6.2, Desktop Audio Technology - Rumsey

Computer Files

What is a file?

File Structures

Two methods of data byte ordering

Audio files


Audio File formats

Sound Designer I (SD I)

Sound Designer II (SD II)


What is IFF?

IFF is Interchange Format File.

Standard file layout, designed so that data can be easily interchanged between apps.

Data is stored in subgroups called chunks. One IFF can have several chunks.

Data must conform to open standards - cannot have anything that is intended for one specific program.

Here is a page with further discussion on this topic

Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF)


WAVE (.wav)

Broadcast WAVE (BWF)