Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) was developed by Apple in 1988 and is most commonly used on Apple Macintosh computers. It is a leading audio format used by professional level audio and video applications as it is superior in quality to its more popular lossy MP3 format. AIFF is lossless and uncompressed meaning it takes up around 10mb for every minute of audio at 44.1kHz.
AIFF is intended for viewing and processing of audio data, as well as for its storage in digital devices. Apple designers developed it on the base of IFF in late 1980s. Thanks to lossless coding it is very similar to WAV. In Windows OS it is mostly used with .aiff extension.
AIFF files have gained great attention from Mac PC users. They are popular as well among professional musicians who are most particular about sound quality. The fact that the format is widely supported by various multimedia software, and universal players, may also be considered as a notable benefit. To open AIFF files in Windows OS it is required to install Apple iTunes, Windows Media Player, Roxio Creator, and some other programs.
An AIFF file is divided into chunks made up of Common Chunks, Sound data chunk, Marker chunk, Instrument chunk, Comment chunk, Name chunk, Author chunk, Copyright chunk, Annotation chunk, Audio recording chunk, MIDI data chunk, Application chunk and an ID3 chunk - it is only the Common chunk and Sound data chunk that is required. It is an uncompressed format which assists rapid streaming of multiple audio files from disk to the application. The file extension for the standard AIFF file is .aiff or .aif, however for compressed variants it should use .aifc.
When being coded, the stream is divided in sound segments. A minute of standard stereo sound corresponds with 10 Mb of memory, approximately. Standard non-compressed files use .aif or .aiff. In such files audio data are represented in the form of pulse code modulation. If some data are lost through codecs, .aifc is used.
A standard 16 bit AIFF file has 2 channels for stereo sound, and sampling frequency of 44 100 Hz. Being non-compressed, it differs in size significantly from MP3 and other similar formats. Sometimes it may contain samples and cycle information.
MP3 is a digital music format which allows CD tracks to be reduced to around a tenth of their normal size without a significant loss of quality. MP3 gets rid of a lot of the information recorded in a song that our ears are not able to hear and then uses complex algorithms to reduce the file size. This then enables you to get hundreds of songs on to a CD and it also has opened up a new market over the internet - the download market as download times have been significantly reduced.
MP3 is a digital format for storage of audio files designed by MPEG programmers. It is one of the most required codecs for digital coding. The format is widely used in various file-sharing sites for evaluation downloading.
With this format, it is possible to compress CD tracks up to 1/10 of their original size while maintaining high playback quality. Overtones, which cannot be perceived by a human ear, are removed. Complex algorithms allow for smaller size of tracks. As a result, one compact disk can contain several hundred songs. MP3 is compatible with all most popular operating systems and supported by the most of modern DVD-players and music systems.
The MP3 format is a lossy format. That means that an MP3 file does not contain 100% of the original audio information. Instead, MP3 files use perceptual coding. In other words, that means it removes the information that your ear doesn't notice thereby making the file smaller. The reason lossy formats are used over RAW is that RAW audio files are too large to travel over the internet at any great speed. By using lossy formats it enables even dial up users to download mp3 files at a reasonable speed. RAW file formats generally require 176,000 bytes per second compared to a lossy format which requires 17,600. The difference is massive and so are the download times.
Prior to MP3 introduction, MPEG-1 had been widely used. That format contained not only audio data, but images as well. MP3 breaks an audio file into parts of the same length. When the processing is over, each part is packed into its own frame. It involves the technology of spectral limit that requires a continuous input signal to provide the use of two adjacent frames.
When spectral deleting is over, the file is to be compressed with mathematic methods. If necessary, compression rate can be changed, even inside the same frame. Files of 128 kbit/s have 11-fold compression. Further reduction of the file size will lead to significant deterioration in sound quality.
Moving Picture Experts Group