Sony Wave64 is a file format that’s similar to the RIFF format. The RIFF format allowed for approximately 4GB of audio data, which was sufficient to hold about 6 hours and 45 minutes of 16-bit/44.1kHz audio. The advent of multi-channel audio – such as 5.1 surround – and 24-bit/96kHz or 192kHz audio, made the RIFF format inconvenient. To accommodate the larger files, the Sony Wave64 is a true 64-bit file format designed to overcome the size limitations of the RIFF format.
Sonic Foundry initially defined the Sony Wave64. Sony Pictures Digital acquired Sonic Foundry’s Desktop Software and began officially promoting the Wave64 format as Sony Pictures Digital Wave 64. Sony has encouraged other companies to support this new format and deemed that no royalties need be paid for its use. The suggested file name extension for the Sony Wave64 is “.w64,” rather than “.wav.”