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Author Topic: WAV file limitations  (Read 12268 times)

Romy The Cat

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WAV file limitations
« on: December 19, 2005, 12:34:41 am »

I wonder if any way to deal with Wav file maximum limit of 2G. It looks like Win2K with NTFS partition has no natural limitation for the file size. There is no quota set for my drive  or for my accounts. However, the WaveLab 5 that I am using throw a warnings that it does not want me to handle the files larger then 2G. Is it something that physically built-in into the WAV format or it comes from something else? Perhaps form the WaveLab itself?  Any advise how can I record the uncompress files of 20-30G?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2005, 03:34:18 am »

The WAV format contains a 32 bit value which is the data size, so you are constrained by that.

What are you recording that you need over 5 hours of stereo for though?
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2005, 03:37:19 am »

OOOPS!

That'll teach me to check what base I've got my calculator set to.

About 3.3 hours at 16 bits, and 1.67 at 32 bits.

Still seems quite long.

I don't know id any of the other format standards allow for longer data portions.
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Romy The Cat

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2005, 12:46:13 pm »

Yes, the 32bit file makes 4.294.967.296 of the max size the slightly more then 2G. The FAT 23 has 2G limits but the NTFS is a 64-bit based file system with no size limitation. At lest it is what I initial thought. This is why I was so surprised when the WaveLab was barking on me preventing to create the over 2G files. Writing at 88.2/24 a large opera from FM broadcast, following with the after fracas follow up might end up with a program of over 5 hours. In addition, in many instance the timing is very approximate and I would like to have portions to write the file as large as I would like to. I do not writhe the temporary 32Bit file in the WaveLab but do it directs to the disk as the “Name File”. I wonder if anything in the nature of the Wave file that has the limitations and the database files form SQL Server for instance on NTFS have no size limitations.  What is the “PCM Raw” format that the WaveLab offers? Is it compressed? Perhaps it would do?

The caT
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2005, 01:18:15 pm »

Romy The Cat wrote on Mon, 19 December 2005 17:46

Yes, the 32bit file makes 4.294.967.296 of the max size the slightly more then 2G. The FAT 23 has 2G limits but the NTFS is a 64-bit based file system with no size limitation. At lest it is what I initial thought. This is why I was so surprised when the WaveLab was barking on me preventing to create the over 2G files. Writing at 88.2/24 a large opera from FM broadcast, following with the after fracas follow up might end up with a program of over 5 hours. In addition, in many instance the timing is very approximate and I would like to have portions to write the file as large as I would like to. I do not writhe the temporary 32Bit file in the WaveLab but do it directs to the disk as the “Name File”. I wonder if anything in the nature of the Wave file that has the limitations and the database files form SQL Server for instance on NTFS have no size limitations.  What is the “PCM Raw” format that the WaveLab offers? Is it compressed? Perhaps it would do?

The caT

So far as I can tell a single chunk of data in a wave file is limited to 4Gig (length in bytes is given by a 32 bit value), it seems it is possible to have more than one data chunk, but I don't know how many programs will read that.
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David Satz

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2005, 04:31:26 pm »

Romy, this may be due more to the Win32 limit of 2 GB as the maximum size of a file mapping object, at least in Windows NT and Windows 95 (the first 32-bit versions of Windows, to which WaveLab was originally ported from Windows 3.x), than it is due to any inherent limitations in NTFS today.

Internally, a chunk in a RIFF file (a WAV being a kind of RIFF) has a size indicator which is an unsigned 32-bit integer. A chunk's size should technically be able to reach almost 4 GB, but many programmers working in C/C++ (the typical application languages at the time WaveLab was written) use "int" as their default data type all the time, and don't necessarily distinguish carefully between that and the "unsigned" or "unsigned long" data type. If so, a chunk size greater than 2 GB would appear to wrap around to a large negative value, and I wouldn't expect most older software to know how to deal with that. Back when this generation of code was written, hardly anyone had that much space on their entire hard drive.

--best regards
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Romy The Cat

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2005, 10:53:48 pm »

Yes, David. Thanks you. What you propose does sound as a very plausible explanation. Probably I should try the last Sound Forge. I hope it will be Year 2000 complied.. Smile

The CaT
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mdemeyer

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2005, 06:00:55 pm »

Certainly for those of us doing live concert recordings (stereo @ 88.2K @ 32-bits), a 2GB file size limitation is a meaningful issue.  Some programs will allow recording to a 4GB limit, but then you run into problems with some tools (like r8brain, as I found last week) trying to process them.

So... a plea to software writers.  Please support larger .wav files!  

Michael
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Romy The Cat

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2005, 10:03:19 pm »

Yep, Michael. I juts recorded the broadcast of Abbado with Detroit Mahler First. The transmission with the introduction took 1.95G at 88.2/24. I wonder if Abbado took a very slightly slower tempi in the second movement then I would need to break it: isn’t it funny? BTW, I load the Sony’s Sonic Fore 7.0 and it has 4G max file size. They say right in the options screen. I wonder how difficult would be to writhe a very simple 64bit WAV recorder, with any bells and whistles? Or perhaps some common API libraries have written and available somewhere at public domain. I am sure it would not be difficult but I do not want to waste a weekend day for reinventing a very ordinary bicycle.  Does anyone know something like this, 64bit and obtainable? Any language would be fine.

The caT
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George_

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2005, 02:28:51 am »

sorry guys.. isnt it the same like the AVI-format? first was 2gig than a hack (kind of) and now oyu can have more..

maybe I am completly wrong..
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Gunnar Hellquist

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2005, 02:06:52 pm »

Some things I´ve come to understand over time.

Wav files are limited to max file size of 4G. There is no way around that size limit. Instead many applications split files so that once you reach a limit, a new file is seemlessly created. The Sound Devices 722/744 recorders even allow you to say that the limit is 640K, 2G or 4G (640K is supposedly a decent size for storing on data CD-s).

Many, many applications can not work on wave files larger than 2G. This is due to a bug (as indicated above).

FAT32 is limited to max file size of 4G.

Gunnar
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Gunnar Hellquist
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AlexVI

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2005, 05:43:29 am »

You could always get a Pyramix editing system from Merging Technologies - the 'native' .pmf file format can, I believe, be as long as you like - literally days worth of audio... - and the Native system isn't too pricey either. www.merging.com

AVI
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fader8

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2006, 04:25:44 pm »

Just an FYI, BIAS Peak version 5 introduced a continuous recording feature which simply starts a new file when it reaches 2gB.
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Randall Thomas
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astroshack

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2006, 05:32:15 am »

Samplitude and Sequoia both have "invisible" workarounds which allow almost unlimited recording time. Similar to some other programs, they simply create (behind the scenes) another file just before the 2GB limit is reached. Then, when the limit is reached, they transparently "swap" to the new file/s. Works fine, but even so, the user needs to be aware of the underlying file structure when the time comes to implement file management, particularly in the case of recovery if (heaven forbid) you have disk problems or crashes, power failures etc.  

Sean
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Sean Diggins
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Yannick Willox

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Re: WAV file limitations
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2006, 09:40:15 am »

To make matters worse, apparantly the DVD-R format does not support files bigger than 2GB either.

With Nero you can make a session with eg one 4GB file, it burns the dvd, but the file on dvd is only 2GB !
This happens both on PC and on Mac, so it is not an OS problem.

Take care when transporting hires multichannel .wavs to mastering houses - better stay 5x mono or else ...
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Yannick Willox
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