RealMedia

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Revision as of 13:20, 26 February 2006 by Roberto (talk | contribs) (Explain audio data part)
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  • Extensions: rm, ra, rmvb
  • Company: Real

Multimedia container format developed by Real and used almost exclusively for codecs developed by Real.

The old .ra files are just for audio. The newer RealMedia (.rm) files are for audio and video.

RA Format

This is the old audio-only RealAudio file format. A very similar structure is also used to describe audio streams in RM files.

The audio data part is just a stream of bytes with no structure. There is no index in .ra files.

RealAudio 1.0 file (.ra version 3)

This is from the very first version of RealAudio (1994). These files can only contain 8kbps VSELP audio data. A FourCC (lpcJ) may be present, but it is ignored.

byte[4]  Header signature ('.', 'r', 'a', 0xfd)
word     Version (always 3)
word     Header size - 7
byte[10] Unknown
dword    Data size
byte     Title string length
byte[]   Title string
byte     Author string length
byte[]   Author string
byte     Copyright string length
byte[]   Copyright string
byte     Comment string length
byte[]   Comment string
byte     Unknown *
byte     Fourcc string length (always 4) *
byte[]   Fourcc string (always "lpcJ") *
 Audio data

Notes:

  • Fields marked with * may be missing. Based on the only known sample with no FourCC, it's assumed that all these fields are either present or missing.
  • The informative fields (title, author, copyright and comment) can have zero length.


RealAudio 2.0 file (.ra version 4)

This is second version of the RealAudio file format. It is distinguished from the above by the value in byte 5 (=0x04). This type of file must contain a valid FourCC to identify the audio codec.

Possible fourcc values are 28_8, dnet and sipr.

byte[4]  Header signature ('.', 'r', 'a', 0xfd)
word     Version (always 4)
word     Unused (always 0)
byte[4]  ra4 signature (always ".ra4")
dword    Data size - 0x27
word     Version2 (always equal to version)
dword    Header size - 16
word     Codec flavor
dword    Coded Frame Size
byte[12] Unknown
word     Sub packet h
word     Frame Size
word     Sub Packet Size
word     Unknown
word     Sample rate
word     Unknown
word     Sample size
word     Channels
byte     genr string length (always 4)
byte[]   genr string
byte     Fourcc string length (always 4)
byte[]   Fourcc string
byte[3]  Unknown
byte     Title string length
byte[]   Title string
byte     Author string length
byte[]   Author string
byte     Copyright string length
byte[]   Copyright string
byte     Comment string length
byte[]   Comment string
 Audio Data

Notes:

  • The 0x27 in data size is the size of the fixed-length part of the header (up to channels).
  • The informative fields (title, author, copyright and comment) can have zero length.

.ra version 5

While .ra header can have version 5, there are no known RealAudio files with this format, and it's not known if they really exist.

RealMedia Format

This is the newer format which stores both audio and video. All multi-byte numbers are stored in big endian-format.

A RealMedia file consists of a series of chunks. Each chunk has the following format:

bytes 0-3    chunk type (FOURCC)
bytes 4-7    chunk size, including 8-byte preamble
bytes n..    chunk payload

Real chunk types:

  • .RMF: RealMedia file header
  • PROP: File properties
  • MDPR: Stream properties
  • CONT: Content description/metadata
  • DATA: File data
  • INDX: File index
  • '.','r','a',0xFD: Legacy RealAudio encapsulation
  • VIDO

Codecs

Codecs in RealMedia are identified by the following four character codes:

Audio
Video