.WAV - File Extension Audio/Sound Files

Q

File extension WAV is used for audio/music files encoded in WAV (Waveform) format. A WAV sample file is provided. Free WAV players and editors are listed.

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A

File Extension: .WAV

MIME Type: audio/wav, audio/wave, audio/x-wav

File Content: Audio data.

What is WAV? WAV is a short name for Waveform, which is a very popular encoding format for audio recording. WAV format was developed by Microsoft and IBM.

WAV is the file extension for files storing audio recordings encoded in WAV format.

The original WAV file format contains uncompressed audio data using the same encoding method, PCM (Pulse-Code Modulation), as audio CD (Compact Disc Digital Audio or CD-DA) discs. So uncompressed WAV file size matches audio track sizes on audio CDs.

WAV files may also be encoded with a variety of codecs (coder and decoder) to compress audio data. A WAV file encoded with the mp3 codec may reduce the audio data to the same level as a MP3 file.

Roughly, uncompressed WAV files take about 10MB space per 1 minute of play time. Here is how to calculate space requirement based on PCM specifications:

16 bits per sample
44,100 samples per second
60 seconds per minute
2 channels for stereo sound
1 minute stereo sound requires:
2 * 60 * 44,100 * 16 bits
   = 2 * 60 * 44,100 * 2 bytes
   = 10,584,000 bytes = 10 MB

WAV files actually use the RIFF container format.

Here are the first 64 bytes of a sample WAV file dumped in HEX values:

52 49 46 46 bc af 01 00 57 41 56 45 66 6d 74 20 RIFF....WAVEfmt.
10 00 00 00 01 00 01 00 40 1f 00 00 40 1f 00 00 ................
01 00 08 00 64 61 74 61 98 af 01 00 81 80 81 80 ....data........
81 80 81 80 81 80 81 80 81 80 81 80 81 80 81 80 ................

"RIFF" is the magic number for RIFF container file. "WAVEfmt" identifies the WAV data.

WAV sample file: Click sample.wav to download.

Audio data stored in WAV files can be retrieved, played or edited by many popular free software:

  • Winamp Media Player - Plays WAV files and other audio files.
  • Windows Media Player - Plays WAV files and other audio files.
  • MPlayer - Plays WAV files and other audio files. An open source software.
  • RealPlayer - Plays WAV files and other audio files.
  • Audacity - Edits WAV files and other audio files. An open source software.

2012-07-01, 4766👍, 0💬