Shockwave (Director)

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File Format
Name Shockwave (Director)
Extension(s) .dcr, .dir, .dxr
MIME Type(s) application/x-director
PRONOM x-fmt/341, fmt/317, fmt/486
Released ≤1995
For Shockwave Flash, see SWF.

Shockwave is a platform and format for multimedia applications, video games, etc. It was owned by Macromedia during most of its formative years, and is now owned by Adobe. It has many names, most of which involve permutations of the words "Macromedia", "Adobe", "Shockwave", and "Director". Director is the application usually used to develop it. It is distinct from SWF (Flash).

The format seems to be based on the RIFX metaformat, though some DCR files are not[1] actually valid RIFX files.

Shockwave also has a plugin system called "xtras" which may complicate the correct interpretation of some files in the future.


This format has three related extensions: DIR is uncompressed, DCR is compressed, and DXR is encrypted.


Editors' notes

The PRONOM database claims that the PC version of Director creates files that begin with "RIFX" (i.e. big-endian), and the Macintosh version creates files that begin with "XFIR" (little-endian). This seems backwards. Either PRONOM is wrong, or something else is going on here.

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