Common Formats

Like files written by different word processors or different spreadsheet programs, waveform files can differ substantially in their format. Several waveform file formats are in very common use today. On MacIntosh computers, AIFF and AIFC formats are typical, on computers running MS-DOS and Windows, RIFF (also called Microsoft Wave) format is common. Many Unix workstations use what is referred to as AU format. There are additionally many special-purpose research formats for speech waveform data, notably, ILS format (named after a software package which supported the format), ESPS format (another commercial speech processing software package), ADC format (developed at CMU and used on some early speech databases), and Sphere format (developed for speech recognition databases and distributed by NIST).