Sustainability of Digital Formats
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WAVE Audio File Format with LPCM audio

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name Waveform Audio File Format (WAVE) with Linear PCM bitstream
Description WAVE file format with Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM) audio.
Production phase Used for content in initial, middle, and final states.
Relationship to other formats
    Subtype of WAVE, WAVE Audio File Format
    Subtype of RIFF, Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF)
    Contains LPCM, Linear Pulse Code Modulated Audio (LPCM)

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings When reformatting analog sound recordings, the Broadcast WAVE format (either version, WAVE_BWF_1 or WAVE_BWF_2), wrapping LPCM, is used as the archival master format for mono and stereo audio at the Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation and by the American Folklife Center.
LC preference The Broadcast WAVE format (either version), wrapping LPCM, is preferred as the archival master format for mono and stereo audio when reformatting analog sound recordings. The Library is a participant in the Federal Agencies Audio-Visual Working Group that published a recommended specification for BWF bext metadata conforming to version 1 in 2009, with an update conforming to version 2 in 2012.

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure See WAVE.
    Documentation See WAVE.
Adoption Very widely used.
    Licensing and patents No special issues.
Transparency See WAVE and LPCM.
Self-documentation See WAVE.
External dependencies None
Technical protection considerations Not applic.able.

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Sound
Normal rendering Good support.
Fidelity (high audio resolution) See WAVE.
Multiple channels Requires use of WAVE Format Extensible (WAVE_FORMAT_EXTENSIBLE). See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463006.aspx.
Support for user-defined sounds, samples, and patches Not supported.
Functionality beyond normal rendering Files greater than 4 GB in size may be produced using the MBWF ("RF64 with a bext chunk") specification, EBU-TECH 3306, MBWF / RF64: An extended File Format for Audio (2009). See Notes.

File type signifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension See related format. 

See WAVE

Internet Media Type See related format. 

See WAVE

Magic numbers See related format. 

See WAVE

Microsoft WAVE format registry 0x0001
From Microsoft registry.

Notes Explanation of format description terms

General  
History Format created by Microsoft and introduced with Windows 3.1. Adopted as basis for European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WAVE_LPCM_BWF standard.

Format specifications Explanation of format description terms


Useful references

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 08-Jan-2014 08:24:26 EST