- This article is about the generic IFF metaformat. For the IFF image format, see ILBM. For Sun IFF, see Sun TAAC image.
IFF (Interchange File Format) is a general-purpose binary file format introduced by Electronic Arts on the Commodore Amiga computer in 1985. It is sometimes known as IFF 85.
An IFF file is composed of elements called "chunks". Each chunk consists of a 4-byte type identifier (represented by four ASCII characters), a 4-byte length, and the chunk's payload data. Some types of chunks contain a sequence of nested chunks. Multi-byte numeric values are big-endian.
IFF defines a number of standard chunks types. Additional types are invented as needed by IFF-based formats.
Of particular significance is chunk type
FORM. Most IFF-based files are formatted as a single
FORM chunk. A
FORM chunk's data contains a four-byte "FORM type" code, indicating the data type, followed by a sequence of nested chunks.
An IFF-based format whose FORM type is xxxx might be referred to as "FORM xxxx". FORM types may also be used as filename extensions.
Most IFF files begin with the ASCII characters "
FORM". The file type is then indicated by the 4-byte ASCII code beginning at offset 8.
There are also aggregate formats that begin with "
LIST" or "
FORM type cross-reference
Selected FORM types, and related articles, are listed below. See also Category:IFF based file formats.
|FORM type||Refer to||Remarks|
||8-Bit Sampled Voice||8-bit sampled sound voice; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||Animated bitmap; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||Raster font; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||Vector font; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||Formatted text; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||General-use musical score; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||ILBM||Interleaved raster bitmap image; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||IFF-MAUD||Amiga sound format|
||Deluxe Print page definition; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||Macintosh picture; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||(obsolete); listed in the original IFF spec.|
||Sim City 2000 saved city (*.sc2)|
||Simple musical score; listed in the original IFF spec. |
||TDDD, Imagine Object File|
||Uhuru Sound Software musical score; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||Uhuru Sound Software Macintosh voice; listed in the original IFF spec.|
||Deluxe Video Construction Set video; listed in the original IFF spec.|
Some other formats are largely or heavily influenced by the IFF standard, but are not compatible. These include, for example:
- Erlang BEAM compiled modules: Uses 4 byte alignment instead of 2 byte, and the root chunk has a different ID (
- Microsoft's RIFF and RIFX formats are based on IFF (RIFF uses little-endian byte order instead, and the root chunk is called
- Apple's AIFF and AIFC formats are similar to IFF/RIFF as well
- Maya IFF
- The EA IFF-85 Repository
- EA IFF 85 (Updated October, 1988 Amiga, Inc.) - From AmigaOS Documentation Wiki
- The original EA spec
- FTXT IFF Formatted Text - From AmigaOS Documentation Wiki [Ed. note: This is the supplemental FTXT document mentioned in the IFF spec. TODO: Find a copy of this document that is closer to its original form.]
- IFF.TXT - A concatenation of about a dozen IFF-related documents, from FileFormat.Info