INTERCHANGE FILE FORMAT
\ˌɪntət͡ʃˈe͡ɪnd͡ʒ fˈa͡ɪl fˈɔːmat], \ˌɪntətʃˈeɪndʒ fˈaɪl fˈɔːmat], \ˌɪ_n_t_ə_tʃ_ˈeɪ_n_dʒ f_ˈaɪ_l f_ˈɔː_m_a_t]\
Definitions of INTERCHANGE FILE FORMAT
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(IFF, full name "EA IFF 1985") A generic fileformat published by Electronic Arts as an open standard.IFF is chunk-based and hierarchical so files can includeother files. It is easily extensible and an all round GoodIdea.An IFF file starts with one of the following "group IDs":'FORM', 'LIST' or 'CAT '. This is followed by an unsigned32-bit number of bytes in the remainder of the file. Thencomes an ID that indicates which type of IFF file this is.The main image type is ILBM, audio is either AIFF or8SVX, animations are ANIM etc. An IFF file will probablyhave a filename extension related to this file type storedin the file. The rest of the file is divided into chunkseach of which also has a four-byte header and byte count.Microsoft WAV and AVI are all based around an almostidentical scheme to IFF called RIFF. The main difference isthat, in RIFF files, numbers are little-endian as on Intelprocessors, whereas in IFF files they are big-endian, as onthe Motorola 68000 processors in the Amiga where IFF fileswere first used.
By Denis Howe