A Full Introduction to AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) [MiniTool Wiki]
What Is AIFF?
What is AIFF? It is the abbreviation for Audio Interchange File Format. AIFF is a file format designed to store audio data, which was developed by Apple Computer. However, it is based on Electronic Arts' IFF (Interchange File Format) that is a container format usually used on Amiga systems.
Specifications of the AIFF File
A standard AIFF file usually includes 2 channels of uncompressed stereo audio with a sample size of 16 bits. It is recorded at a sampling rate of 44.1 kilohertz, which is also known as “CD-quality audio" because CDs have the same audio specifications.
AIFF audio takes just over 10MB of audio per minute, that is to say, when you save a 4-minute song as AIFF, more than 40MB of disk space will be required. This is almost the same as a .WAV file (.WAV files use the same sample size and sample rate as AIFF files).
However, it is about ten times the size of a similar MP3 file recorded at 128 kbps or five times the size of an MP3 file recorded at 256 kbps. Maybe, you are interested in this post - How to Convert WAV to MP3 for Free - Top 3 Ways.
Most digital audio distributed on the Internet is saved in a compressed format, like the .mp3 or .mp4 files because compressed and uncompressed audio files sound almost the same. This makes it faster and more efficient to download audio from the website or the iTunes Store.
However, since the AIFF files are important to save the original audio data in an uncompressed format, it is still commonly used for audio recording. Audio engineers can make sure that sound quality is maintained throughout the mix and mastering process by working AIFF files. Once you have saved the final version of a song or other audio project, you can export it in a compressed format
The Variant of the AIFF Format
Although compressed audio data is not supported by the standard AIFF, Apple has developed a variant of the AIFF format called AIFF-C. It supports audio compression.
This format is also based on the original IFF format but includes extra space in the file structure to define the compression type. Therefore, the AIFF-C format can be used to store audio generated from multiple compression algorithms.
AIFF VS WAV: Which One Is Better?
You may wonder what the differences between AIFF and WAV are and which one is better for audio. Just now, you have known that the AIFF and WAV files have the same quality. However, WAV is mostly used for PCs and AIFF being used mostly for MAC, but either can be played on virtually all types of computers and devices.
Both of them use the same encoding type, resulting in relatively large file size, but the higher sound quality compared to .MP3,.MP4 or other smaller files. Thus, you can choose AIFF or .WAV based on your actual needs. Then you may ask a question - when should you use WAV/AIFF and when should you use .MP3/.MP4, etc?
You can use the .MP3 file when you are concerned with speed and small file size. For example, on the internet, or in an email. There is nobody wants to download a 50mB file to listen to a song on their phone or send a quick tune to a friend. If you’re streaming on a website or YouTube, that’s likely streaming a lossy file format similar to the .MP3 file.
To sum up, this post gives you detailed instructions for AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format). After reading this post, you can know the definition of AIFF and you can also know the differences between AIFF and WAV.