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Chapter 25. Windows 98 Audio Features > A Review of Audio File Formats

A Review of Audio File Formats

Just as video clips come in different file flavors (see Chapter 24, “DirectX and Windows 98 Video,” for details), so too are there various formats for audio clips. Windows 98 and its audio applets support the following sound file formats:

Waveform audio (.WAV): This is the standard Windows digital audio format created via the PCM technique. All Windows-based sound applications can play WAV files, and each WAV file will sound the same no matter which sound application you use to play it.

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (.MID or .RMI): These are nonwaveform files that store musical instructions instead of waveform amplitudes. Sound cards that support MIDI have various synthesized instruments built into their chips. A MIDI file's instructions specify which instrument to play, which note to play, how long the note should be held, and so on.

Audio Interchange File Format (.AIF and .AIFF): This format began life on the Apple Macintosh. It supports 16-bit 44.1KHz stereo sound files.

Sun Audio Format (.AU): This is the standard UNIX audio format, so it's the standard audio format used on most of the Internet.


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