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Mendelssohn: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4, "Italian"

LSO Live


Julia Fischer: Russian Violin Concertos



Janáček: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3


WAV files

The Wave format is widely used around the world. WAV stands for Waveform Audio File Format but is commonly known as WAV due to its extension. It is a lossless format and it stores the audio bitstream in small portions using the RIFF bit stream format, making it closely related to AIFF and CD audio. Wave is also widely known as a PCM encoded format just like FLAC and AIFF. Since Wave isn’t compressed, one file will be significant larger than FLAC. The size of a Wave file is related to its length, even silences will be decoded to WAV while FLAC recognizes a period of silence. A minute of Wav audio (stereo, 16 bit, 44.1 kHz) will take up approximately 10 MB, about 11 times the size of 128 k/bit MP3. Because of its relatively simple structure, Wave is easy to process, making it the main format in recording studios.

Although the stereo 16 bit / 44.1 kHz quality is the most common Wave format it is also possible to use higher bit rates and sample rates. However, there is one downside to using higher qualities: the WAV format is limited to a maximum size of 4 GB due to its 32 bit file header. When a better quality is needed, one can use the RF64 format. This is almost identical to Wave but it uses a 64 bit header.

WAV is very flexible: it is possible to use an 8, 16 or 24 bit rate, sampling rate can be 1 Hz to 4.3 GHz and up to 65535 channels can be used. Metadata isn’t largely supported. Although there is option to use metadata, several well-known players are not capable of distinguishing the metadata from the audio which cause bugs, crashes and audio ticks. For this reason primephonic doesn’t upload metadata to Wave audio.

It is a widely mistaken fact that Wave is used on audio CDs. Instead of WAV, CDs use Red Book Audio. These are closely related since they both use PCM, but the file headers are different. A standard consumer CD player won’t recognize WAV audio.

At primephonic

We consider WAV files as the minimum benchmark of high quality music since it is the industry standard audio coding format for audio CDs. WAV files at primephonic can only store stereo-channel and are sampled 44,100 times per second, which gives them a frequency of 44.1 kHz with 16 bits per sample.

All Wave audio on our website is at least recorded in 44.1 kHz / 16 bit, but usually higher sample rates and bit rates are used. To make sure we can offer audio that meets our standards, all our online audio is checked by highly regarded audio engineers.

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