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What are WAV and WAVE files (and how do I open them)?



A file with the file extension .wav or .wave is a Waveform Audio File Format. It is a container audio file that stores data in segments. It was created by Microsoft and IBM and has become the standard PC audio file format.

Note: WAVE and WAV files (or the .wav and .wave extensions) are the same. In this article, we will call them WAV files to save a few words.

What is a WAV file?

A WAV file is a raw audio format created by Microsoft and IBM. The format uses containers for storing audio data, track numbers, sample rate, and bit rate. WAV files are uncompressed, lossless audio and can therefore take up quite a bit of storage space, about 1

0 MB per minute for a maximum file size of 4 GB.

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WAV file formats use containers to contain the audio in unformatted and usually uncompressed "chunks" using the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF). This is a common method that Windows uses to store audio and video files – such as AVI – but can also be used for any data.

WAV files will generally be much larger than other popular types of audio files, such as MP3. In fact, they are usually uncompressed (but compression is supported). For this reason, they are mainly used in the professional music recording industry to maintain the maximum audio quality.

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WAV files are very common, so many programs can open them on different platforms – Windows Media Player, Winamp, iTunes, VLC, and QuickTime, to name but a few. [19659002] Windows and macOS users can play WAV files directly from the box without having to install third-party software. In Windows 10, WAVs play by default in Windows Media Player. In Mac OS, they default to iTunes. If you are using Linux, you will need to install a player to open WAV files – VLC is a good choice.

All you have to do is double-click on the .wav file and your default audio player will open the file and start playback.

However, if you prefer a different audio player than either, changing the assignment of a file is an easy task on Windows or Mac OS. And you probably will not even have to do that. When you install a new music app, there is a possibility that the new app may use WAV files during installation.


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