Wolfram Language & System 10.3 (2015)|Legacy Documentation

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AIFF (.aif, .aiff, .aifc)

  • Import and Export support all audio codecs commonly used in AIFF files.


    MIME types: audio/aiff, audio/x-aiff, audio/x-aifc
    AIFF digital audio format.
    Commonly used in professional audio processing applications and on Macintosh.
    AIFF is an acronym for Audio Interchange File Format.
    Binary file format.
    Stores audio data in uncompressed mono or stereo waveforms.
    Supports a variety of bit resolutions and sample rates.
    Developed in 1988 by Apple and others.

Import and ExportImport and Export

  • Import["file.aif"] imports an AIFF file, returning a sound object.
  • Export["file.aif",expr] exports a sound object to an AIFF file encoded using 16-bit pulse code modulation.
  • Import["file.aif"] gives an expression of the form Sound[SampledSoundList[data,r]].
  • Export["file.aif",expr] creates an AIFF file from the sound object expr.
  • Import["file.aif",elem] imports the specified element from an AIFF file.
  • Import["file.aif",{elem,suba,subb,}] imports a subelement.
  • Import["file.aif",{{elem1,elem2,}}] imports multiple elements.
  • The import format can be specified with Import["file","AIFF"] or Import["file",{"AIFF",elem,}].
  • Export["file.aif",expr,elem] creates an AIFF file by treating expr as specifying element elem.
  • Export["file.aif",{expr1,expr2,},{{elem1,elem2,}}] treats each as specifying the corresponding .
  • Export["file.aif",expr,opt1->val1,] exports expr with the specified option elements taken to have the specified values.
  • Export["file.aif",{elem1->expr1,elem2->expr2,},"Rules"] uses rules to specify the elements to be exported.
  • See the reference pages for full general information on Import and Export.
  • ImportString and ExportString support the AIFF format.


  • General Import elements:
  • "Elements"list of elements and options available in this file
    "Rules"full list of rules for each element and option
    "Options"list of rules for options, properties, and settings
  • Data representation elements:
  • "Data"raw audio samples, given as a list of real numbers, each sublist representing an individual audio channel
    "SampledSoundList"sound data given as a SampledSoundList object
    "Sound"sound data given as a Sound object
  • The element corresponds to the first argument of SampledSoundList.
  • Multiple channels are represented as an array of audio samples.
  • Import and Export use the element by default for AIFF files.
  • Advanced Import element:
  • "SampleRate"number of amplitude samples per second and channel


  • General Export option:
  • SampleRateAutomaticnumber of amplitude samples per second for each channel
  • Detailed properties and settings:
  • "AudioChannels"Automaticthe number of audio channels in the file
    "AudioEncoding""Integer16"how samples are encoded
  • If the sample rate is not specified when exporting to WAV, the highest sample rate occurring in the exported sound is used, and all sounds are resampled as necessary.
  • If the number of channels is unspecified, the highest number of simultaneous channels is taken, and silence is inserted if necessary.
  • If is set to a value n that is less than the number of channels to be exported, only the first n channels are exported.
  • The AIFF format normally uses PCM (pulse code modulation) audio encoding but also supports various other codecs.
  • can be set to any of the following codecs:
  • "UnsignedInteger8"Unsigned 8-bit PCM
    "Integer8"8-bit PCM
    "Integer16"16-bit PCM
    "Integer24"24-bit PCM
    "Integer32"32-bit PCM
    "IMA-ADPCM"adaptive differential PCM
    "Real32"32-bit IEEE floating point
    "Real64"64-bit IEEE floating point
    "aLaw"a-Law 4-bit PCM (ITU-T G.711 standard)
    "uLaw"-Law 4-bit PCM (ITU-T G.711 standard)
    "GSM610"GSM 6.10 codec (ETSI 6.10 standard)
    "DWVW-12"12-bit DWVW
    "DWVW-16"16-bit DWVW
    "DWVW-24"24-bit DWVW
  • Not all codecs support arbitrary sample rates and channel specifications.

ExamplesExamplesopen allclose all

Basic Examples  (2)Basic Examples  (2)

This imports an AIFF sample file:

Click for copyable input

Use Play to create a one-second sound sample:

Click for copyable input

Export it to AIFF:

Click for copyable input

Export to 24-bit AIFF:

Click for copyable input
Introduced in 1999