Waveform audio (WAVE) is a proprietary Microsoft and IBM audio container format that used to be the standard for storing uncompressed audio. WAVE is commonly known WAV due to its filename extension. The most common encoding format used with WAVE files is linear PCM encoding, but a WAVE file can contain bitstreams encoded with other codecs, both lossy and lossless. WAVE is the basis for the European Union’s Broadcast Wave (BWF) format, an open format that has become the de facto standard for audio preservation.

Although WAVE and BWF are based on the same format, migrating from WAVE to BWF can be problematic. The FFmpeg tool can help you to convert almost any audio and video file from the command line. It is free to use, and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems. However, before depositing audiovisual material in the DANS Archive, please always contact DANS for discussion on the available formats/containers and possible migrations.

WAVE is a DANS non-preferred container format for audio.