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Thu, Jun 16, 2016 11:34 pm

Viewing a RIFF image file

After downloading an image file from Google Drive to a MacBook Pro laptop running OS X 10.10.5, I found when I tried to open the file in the Preview application on the Mac, I couldn't open it with that application. I then right-clicked on the file in the Finder and chose "open with" then "other" and then tried the Photos application, but it couldn't open the file either. So I used the file utility, which can determine the format type for files based on a magic number contained within a file.
$ file Map
Map: RIFF (little-endian) data

The file program indicated that the file I downloaded, which was a campus map, was in the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF), a file container format that was introduced by Microsoft and IBM in 1991; it was the default format for Microsoft Windows 3.1 multimedia files. The format is based on the Interchange File Format (IFF) introduced by Electronic Arts for the Commodore Amiga Amiga in 1985. However, whereas multi-byte integers are stored in big-endian format, which is a format native to the 68k processor series used in Amiga and Apple Macintosh computers, RIFF files use the little-endian format, which is why the file utility reports "RIFF (little-endian) data".

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[/software/file_formats/riff] permanent link

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