WAVEFORMATEX structure

The WAVEFORMATEX structure defines the format of waveform-audio data. Only format information common to all waveform-audio data formats is included in this structure. For formats that require additional information, this structure is included as the first member in another structure, along with the additional information.

Formats that support more than two channels or sample sizes of more than 16 bits can be described in a WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE structure, which includes the WAVEFORMAT structure.

Syntax


typedef struct {
  WORD  wFormatTag;
  WORD  nChannels;
  DWORD nSamplesPerSec;
  DWORD nAvgBytesPerSec;
  WORD  nBlockAlign;
  WORD  wBitsPerSample;
  WORD  cbSize;
} WAVEFORMATEX;

Members

wFormatTag

Waveform-audio format type. Format tags are registered with Microsoft Corporation for many compression algorithms. A complete list of format tags can be found in the Mmreg.h header file. For one- or two-channel PCM data, this value should be WAVE_FORMAT_PCM. When this structure is included in a WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE structure, this value must be WAVE_FORMAT_EXTENSIBLE.

nChannels

Number of channels in the waveform-audio data. Monaural data uses one channel and stereo data uses two channels.

nSamplesPerSec

Sample rate, in samples per second (hertz). If wFormatTag is WAVE_FORMAT_PCM, then common values for nSamplesPerSec are 8.0 kHz, 11.025 kHz, 22.05 kHz, and 44.1 kHz. For non-PCM formats, this member must be computed according to the manufacturer's specification of the format tag.

nAvgBytesPerSec

Required average data-transfer rate, in bytes per second, for the format tag. If wFormatTag is WAVE_FORMAT_PCM, nAvgBytesPerSec should be equal to the product of nSamplesPerSec and nBlockAlign. For non-PCM formats, this member must be computed according to the manufacturer's specification of the format tag.

nBlockAlign

Block alignment, in bytes. The block alignment is the minimum atomic unit of data for the wFormatTag format type. If wFormatTag is WAVE_FORMAT_PCM or WAVE_FORMAT_EXTENSIBLE, nBlockAlign must be equal to the product of nChannels and wBitsPerSample divided by 8 (bits per byte). For non-PCM formats, this member must be computed according to the manufacturer's specification of the format tag.

Software must process a multiple of nBlockAlign bytes of data at a time. Data written to and read from a device must always start at the beginning of a block. For example, it is illegal to start playback of PCM data in the middle of a sample (that is, on a non-block-aligned boundary).

wBitsPerSample

Bits per sample for the wFormatTag format type. If wFormatTag is WAVE_FORMAT_PCM, then wBitsPerSample should be equal to 8 or 16. For non-PCM formats, this member must be set according to the manufacturer's specification of the format tag. If wFormatTag is WAVE_FORMAT_EXTENSIBLE, this value can be any integer multiple of 8 and represents the container size, not necessarily the sample size; for example, a 20-bit sample size is in a 24-bit container. Some compression schemes cannot define a value for wBitsPerSample, so this member can be 0.

cbSize

Size, in bytes, of extra format information appended to the end of the WAVEFORMATEX structure. This information can be used by non-PCM formats to store extra attributes for the wFormatTag. If no extra information is required by the wFormatTag, this member must be set to 0. For WAVE_FORMAT_PCM formats (and only WAVE_FORMAT_PCM formats), this member is ignored. When this structure is included in a WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE structure, this value must be at least 22.

Remarks

An example of a format that uses extra information is the Microsoft Adaptive Delta Pulse Code Modulation (MS-ADPCM) format. The wFormatTag for MS-ADPCM is WAVE_FORMAT_ADPCM. The cbSize member will typically be set to 32. The extra information stored for WAVE_FORMAT_ADPCM is coefficient pairs required for encoding and decoding the waveform-audio data.

Requirements

Minimum supported client

Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]

Minimum supported server

Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]

Header

Mmreg.h

See also

Waveform Audio
Waveform Structures

 

 

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