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The WAVEFORMATEX data structure defines common properties of an audio stream and occurs in a variety of multimedia file formats, including:
- Microsoft Wave
- Microsoft Audio/Video Interleaved
- Microsoft Advanced Streaming Format
- Microsoft xWMA
- QuickTime container
Since the format originated on Windows/Intel computers, the defined, multi-byte numbers are stored in little endian format, even if the data structure appears in QuickTime files.
bytes 0-1 wFormat bytes 2-3 nChannels bytes 4-7 nSamplesPerSec bytes 8-11 nAvgBytesPerSec bytes 12-13 nBlockAlign bytes 14-15 wBitsPerSample bytes 16-17 cbSize bytes 18.. extradata [actual number of bytes is determined by cbSize field]
It is an extension of the WAVEFORMAT data structure, which is exactly 16 bytes long and omits the cbSize field and the associated extradata.
It is a subset of the WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE structure, which is typically used for data with more than two channels. A WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE structure can be recognized by wFormat being equal to 0xfffe.