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WAV (or WAVE), short for WAVEform audio format, is a Microsoft and IBM file format standard for storing audio on PCs. It is a variant of the AIFF bitstream format, the standard format used on Macintosh computers, that acts as a "wrapper" for various audio compression codecs. It is the main format used on Windows systems for raw audio.

Though a WAV file can hold audio compressed with any codec, by far the most common format is PCM audio data. Since PCM uses an uncompressed, lossless storage method which keeps all the samples of an audio track, professional users or audio experts may use the WAV format for maximum audio quality. WAV audio can also be edited and manipulated with relative ease using software.

As file sharing over the Internet has become popular, the WAV format has declined in popularity, primarily because uncompressed WAV files are quite large. More frequently, compressed but lossy formats such as MP3 and Ogg Vorbis are used to store and transfer audio, since their smaller file sizes allow for faster transfers over the Internet.

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