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Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition

An uncompressed Macintosh audio file. WAV files occupy an incredible amount of disk space, thus the need for compressed formats, such as MP3s.


When a Sun Microsystems or other Unix computer makes a noise, it does so in AU file format. And because the Internet is dominated by Unix boxes, you'll find a lot of AU files there. Luckily, Macintosh and PC browsers such as Netscape Navigator are usually able to play AU files, which have the extension .au. A sound file that originated on a PC is likely to be in WAV or MIDI format instead.

AVI (audio/video interleave)

Next time you see a video clip on your PC, there's a good chance that it's an AVI file. AVI is the file format used by Video for Windows, one of three video technologies used on personal computers. (The others are MPEG and QuickTime.) In AVI, picture and sound elements are stored in alternate interleaved chunks in the file.

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