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WAV file format

File extension
File category

WAV format is intended for operation with digitalized audio stream. It contains musical compositions, voice recordings, and various audio effects. Developed by programmers from Microsoft and IBM, it is a key format for placing of uncompressed sound files on Windows PCs. The files can be played back in QuickTime, Windows Media Player, Wav Player and some other programs. In addition to that, they can be processed in audio editing apps.

When a file is compressed into WAV, the data are not supposed to be lost, and the quality is excellent. However, the format did not have a huge market share, due to its larger size, as compared with MP3. It is required to have enough time and disc space to upload and send such files via the Internet. One of the major advantages of WAV is linked to the use of Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM) for storage of audio stream. Consequently, a copy is just as good as an original, which is highly appraised by experts in music and professional users.

Technical details

Sound files with this extension are recorded into 8 or 16 bit per sample. A standard option for CD Audio is an audio stream of 16 bit per sample and sampling frequency of 44.1 KHz. One second of sound corresponds to 88 Kb of internal memory. WAV files can store metadata in the INFO chunk, and they also include integrated IFF lists.

In some cases, the standard format may be used for broadcasting. For instance, BBC stereo data of 44 100 Hz and 16 bit are generally accepted within the VCS system.

Microsoft Windows Media Player
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Apple iTunes
Plex Media Center
Apple QuickTime Player
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