The WAV or WAVE format is a container for audio files. It was developed by Microsoft to store uncompressed data and is based on the RIFF format (Resource Interchange File Format). It is therefore a proprietary format, but the documentation is freely available. 

PCM is most commonly used as the encoding type for WAV files, which was also the first to be implemented in the format.

The WAV format consists of different sections (chunks). They contain information and data, for example on format or transmission bandwidth. WAV does not support id3 tags, but it is possible to store metadata in INFO chunks. 

The maximum file size in wav format is limited to 4 gigabyte, due to the 32-bit header.

Formats based on WAV, such as BWF, can exceed this limit. 


- lossless

- pervasive


- Storage of id3 tags is not supported 

- proprietary format