Resource Interchange File Format - Explanation


RIFF files consist entirely of "chunks". The overall format is identical to IFF, except for the endianness as previously stated, and the different meaning of the chunk names.

All chunks have the following format:

  • 4 bytes: an ASCII identifier for this chunk (examples are "fmt " and "data"; note the space in "fmt ").
  • 4 bytes: an unsigned, little-endian 32-bit integer with the length of this chunk (except this field itself and the chunk identifier).
  • variable-sized field: the chunk data itself, of the size given in the previous field.
  • a pad byte, if the chunk's length is not even.

Two chunk identifiers, "RIFF" and "LIST", introduce a chunk that can contain subchunks. The RIFF and LIST chunk data (appearing after the identifier and length) has the following format:

  • 4 bytes: an ASCII identifier for this particular RIFF or LIST chunk (for RIFF in the typical case, these 4 bytes describe the content of the entire file, such as "AVI " or "WAVE").
  • rest of data: subchunks.

The file itself consists of one RIFF chunk, which then can contain further subchunks: hence, the first four bytes of a correctly-formatted RIFF file will spell out "R", "I", "F", "F".

More information about the RIFF format can be found in the Interchange File Format article.

RF64 is a multichannel file format based on RIFF specification, developed by the European Broadcasting Union. It is BWF-compatible and allows file sizes to exceed 4 gigabytes

Read more about this topic:  Resource Interchange File Format

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