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Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition

An uncompressed Windows audio file. WAV files occupy an incredible amount of disk space, thus the need for compressed formats, such as MP3.


Waveform is a type of sound that works like a tape recording: speak into a computer's microphone, and your voice becomes a waveform sound file (typically stored in WAV, AIFF, or AU format). Waveform sounds play back from disk using sound chips in your computer's system board or on an add-in audio card. System sounds, such as the annoying Windows ding.wav file, and downloadable audio clips are all waveform sounds.


The Windows Media Player format, which (according to independent testing) sounds as good as MP3 at half the bit rate (and therefore half the file size).

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