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What is AIFF

Outline

AIFF, also known as Audio Interchange File Format, is an audio file format created by Apple company on the basis of Interchange File Format. The main purpose of this format is to store sound data featuring various sound bitrates used in PC or other audio utilities. It is supported by Apple Macintosh and its applications. The audio codec for AIFF is PCM (Pulse-Code Modulation). The pros of AIFF file is the output of excellent sound quality, but the cons is that AIFF file will take up much more storage space than any other lossy formats. For every minute of a song, 10MB of storage space is needed.

Characteristics:

  • Unlike other audio format files, AIFF files are uncompressed and lossless to retain the original sound data.
  • A variant of AIFF, AIFF-C / AIFC takes compression codec, thus taking up less storage space.
  • With a bit depth of 16 bits and sample bitrate of 44.1 kHz, AIFF audio file is similar to WAV.
  • Loop point data is also supported in AIFF audio files.

Technical Details

AIFF audio file is composed of a wide range of chunks, among which two types are required: Common Chunk and Sound Data Chunk. The rest are optional: Marker Chunk, Instrument Chunk, Comment Chunk, Name Chunk, etc. The prerequisite for applications to open AIFF files is the ability to recognize these two required chunks.

AIFF audio file is also supportive of metadata, including name, author, album, etc.

Which Applications can run AIFF Audio Files?

Applications that can run AIFF files include iTunes, WMP, QuickTime, VLC, MacBook and other apps that support AIFF files.

If AIFF files cannot be opened on other devices like Android phone or apps, then a audio converter may be needed. Apple iTunes is also helpful in converting AIFF files to other formats.

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