What is IFF?
Format DescriptionIFF, an acronym and file extension for Interchange File Format, is a generic file format developed by Electronics Arts in 1985. IFF is actually a flexible wrapper format that can store all kinds of data, including graphics, text, video, and audio among many others.
Since IFF was developed in cooperation with Commodore Amiga, it is most commonly used for storing all the different types of data found in Amiga file systems. It is also commonly used for storing audio files. The IFF audio file can store audio files up to 4 GB in size.
In general, an IFF file consists of chunks, each composed of a four-byte ‘type’ followed by data. The ‘type’, which can either be FORM, LIST, or CAT, has four ASCII characters in a row indicating the type of encoded data contained therein (FORM specifies the format of the file, LIST gives the properties of the file, and CAT includes all other data). This is followed by an integer (which is big endian and of 32 bits) which specifies the size of the data. Since precise lengths of chunks are clearly given at the beginning, the file becomes easy to read. This makes it simple for parsers to skip through the chunks they cannot handle.
The IFF file can support only 8 bit sounds in stereo and mono. The program that can open an IFF file, is Apple QuickTime Player on both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. Factory Audio Converter can convert IFF files to more popular formats like MP3, OGG, WMA, AAC and others.
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