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AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)

AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) is one of the two most-used audio file formats used in the Apple Macintosh operating system. The other is Sound Designer II (SDII). Most CD writers can accept AIFF or SDII files interchangeably when writing a Red Book audio CD. AIFF is sometimes referred to as "Apple Interchange File Format."

The extension for this file type is ".aif" when it is used on a PC. On aMac, the file extension is not needed. A Mac file uses a Type and Creatorresource to identify itself to the operating system and the applicationsthat can open it.

An AIFF file contains the raw audio data, channel information (monophonic orstereophonic), bit depth, sample rate, and application-specific data areas. Theapplication-specific data areas let different applications add informationto the file header that remains there even if the file is opened andprocessed by another application. For example, a file could retaininformation about selected regions of the audio data used for recallingzoom levels not used by other applications.

This was last updated in April 2005

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