Saving audio as an alaw file


I am trying to save a file on audacity as an alaw format. I have selected ‘other uncompressed files’ and then selected the encoding to be ‘A-Law’ but its still saving as a wav file… Do I need to change the header to be something else? Or am I missing a step?

Any help would be great!

A-Law isn’t a “format”, it’s a method of “encoding”.

File formats, defined by their header, will often support more than one type of encoding. For example, “.M4A” (iTunes) files usually contain audio encoded as AAC or as ALAC.

There are standard “file extension” (the letters after the dot in the file name) for each file format. File formats may have multiple standard extension. For example, AAC is part of the MPEG-4 specification and will commonly have the file extension “M4A”, or “.MP4”. Windows uses the file extension to identify the file type, so if you add “.MP4” to the end of a file name, Windows will assume that it is an AAC / MPEG-4 file, and will display the icon for an AAC/MPEG-4 file.

The “file extension” is not the “format”. It is just part of the file name, and serves as a human readable indicator of what format the file is. You could use any file extension on any file and it would make no difference to the file format, though it may stop the file working properly in Windows because of Windows assuming the file type from the file extension. For example, if you renamed an MP3 file from “mysong.mp3” to “” or to “mysong.mp3.pig”, then it is still an MP3 file, but Windows will probably not recognise it as such.

I presume from that statement that you do not want the WAV header, so the question is, what do you want? A-Law is commonly used in “.AU” files. If you want the “.AU” header, select “AU (Sun/NeXT)” as the header.

There’s three things that you need to know:

  1. What encoding do you need?
  2. What header do you need?
  3. What file extension do you need?

For example, if you need an “AU” file with “8-bit A-Law” encoding, and “.alaw” as the file extension, then you would select “AU (Sun/NeXT” as the header, “A-Law” as the encoding, and enter the file name with “.alaw” at the end.