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Re: [ARSCLIST] Prefered format for digital archiving?

On 27/03/04, Steven C. Barr wrote:

> But...are .bwf files (which I've never heard of) accessible to any
> other applications than the specialized program used to create them?
> Accessibility,
> in the sense of what application(s) can be used to open a file, is an
> important aspect of digital archiving. Don't .wav files represent the
> actual values (translated into binary) of the sound levels for each
> sample? At the very least, this means they contain the essential data
> needed to recreate the sound in question, which could be taken from
> the .wav file as a group of bits and put into a new format.

A WAV or AIFF file does contain the raw data of the sound samples.
However, this is only really "standard" for CD format - 16 bit sampling
at 44.1KHz.

As soon as you move to more tracks and other bit depths and sample
rates, things get much less standard.

BWF seems like a good solution to this, and has the advantage of being
an open and published format.

A program that reads in a file in any IFF format (which includes both
AIFF and WAV) should simply ignore any chunks of data that it doesn't
recognise. That was built into the IFF standard by Electronic Arts from
the beginning.

The extra information in a BWF file is in extra chunks.

(WAV is a slightly corrupt version of the IFF standard, but this is
inevitable in a Microsoft format. It presents no real problems.)

Don Cox

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