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Raw Audio File Formats Information

1st Edition

Author: Edward Blake


This article describes programming information and data specifications for raw audio formats.


Raw Audio Uses

Memory or ROM dumps, High quality sampling, sample playback on embedded devices, etc.

What is Raw Audio

Raw files concerned with audio or sampled signals are formats that may be used by some applications or embedded devices to input, process and/or output information. The information is either stored the way it is because it preserves information or corresponds to a certain memory organization without decoding. The information stored may be in any kind of depth, ordering, endian-ness and alignment. Note that the information could be in the frequency domain with information on partials for each window, as opposed to a time domain sampled sound, depending on the use of the file.

A raw audio file may or may not necessarily be produced directly by sensor acquisition, as due to the nature of audio acquisition a raw file could be acquired in low radiometric density (resolution) with high samplerates, which is then filtered to a high resolution, lower samplerate. As well, raw streams can be produced by digital synthesis simply due to exotic representation or a layout which does not match the normal audio setup.

Generally raw files will probably be uncompressed (but this is not always true), and they tend to be in 4-bit through to n-bit depths, they may have any amount of channels and they may or may not be interleaved.

Extra information:

Raw Audio Format Layouts

Here are sample orders a raw graphic format could be encoded:
Interleaved[L] [R] [L] [R] [L] [R] ...
Reversed Interleaved[R] [L] [R] [L] [R] [L] ...
Planar[L] [L] [L] [L] ... [R] [R] [R] [R] ...

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for informational purposes only. Please note that I am not the person, and Iím not involved with the one(s), who made the file formats.