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IFF FORM and Chunk Registry

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IFF FORM and Chunk Registry

Last Updated: June 8, 2012

This section contains the official list of registered FORM and Chunk names that are reserved and in use. This list is often referred to as the 3rd party registry since these are FORM and Chunk types created by application developers and not part of the original IFF specification.

For all FORM and Chunk types that are public, the official specifications from the third party company are listed (in alphabetical order). At the end of this section are additional documents describing how the ILBM FORM type works on the Amiga.

New chunks and FORMS should be registered with the AmigaOS development team. Please make all submissions via the AmigaOS web site contact form.

Developing New IFF FORMs and Chunks

IFF has been one of the keys to the Amiga's superiority in multimedia applications, allowing interchange of media elements between packages. The wealth of standard IFF FORMs and chunks gives the Amiga user data-sharing capabilities that are virtually unequaled on other systems. The Amiga's ability to render an image, touch it up, convert it to a different display mode, and load it into in another package is something that is a chore on other platforms, simply because the format of the image file may be different from one application to the next. IFF files lessen the need for "conversion" software, because most Amiga applications can read and write them.

Since its introduction as an open standard in 1985, IFF has widened to encompass data of many sorts-and the need for new IFF types continues to grow. To satisfy these growing needs, developers will continue to define and support new IFF types.

When developing a new IFF type, there are several steps you should follow:

Discuss needs and specifications within the developer community and with the AmigaOS development team.
The most important thing about designing IFF FORMs and chunks is that they meet the data storage and transfer needs of multiple applications. When more than one product uses the same IFF type, the market widens for all products that use that IFF type. Users are not forced to use one product or another, but can buy as many as they need to get the job done, fully utilizing all the features that each product has to offer. This step helps to ensure that a proposed IFF form or chunk type is flexible and isn't redundant.
Implement the new type and conduct feasibility tests.
Before settling on a format, set up prototype code to test the proposed format. This will help to prove that the idea is sound and can be implemented in software before others try to use it.
Submit specifications to the AmigaOS development team.
Coming up with a new kind of IFF FORM or chunk is easy--almost too easy. Just about anyone can follow the IFF guidelines and define their own FORM or chunk. If every application used a different IFF FORM, one application would be unable to share data with another because it can't read the other application's IFF FORM. It's like making up a new word for something that everyone sees every day. You may understand what the word means, but when you try to use your new word to communicate with others, they won't understand you. Further, deciding to use a pre-existing FORM or chunk in a new and different way is a lot like making up your own meaning for a pre-existing word. Confusion results when programs try to read FORMs or chunks whose meaning was altered by a non-conforming program.
To avoid the problem of incompatible IFF types, register your new IFF types with the AmigaOS development team. The AmigaOS development team acts as a "dictionary" of IFF types. By submitting your proposals for FORM or chunk types to Amigan Software, you help prevent duplication of an existing data type. Also, if you register your new IFF type, it is more likely that it will be adopted as an IFF standard that other applications will use. For example, the ANIM form came from third party developers who proposed and refined the format. Now ANIM is the de facto standard for animation files.
For an excellent example of a third party FORM specification, see the WORD FORM. For an example of chunk descriptions, examine the 8SVX FORM's SEQN and FADE chunks.
Note that even you don't plan to release the specifications of your FORM or chunk, you must still register the name with the AmigaOS development team. This is the only way to prevent name conflicts in IFF files. You should register your FORM and chunk names before finalizing your product and its documentation in case there is a name conflict with an existing IFF type.
Distribute final specifications to the developer community.
Once you have registered your FORM or chunk with the AmigaOS development team, you should release the specifications of the chunk to the developer community. Although the AmigaOS development team publishes FORMs and chunks online developers should not rely on this method to distribute their IFF type specification. One of the most efficient ways to distribute your specification is to include it in your application's documentation. Distributing the specification will increase the probability of your FORM or chunk becoming a standard.

Third party FORMs

The following is an alphabetical list of registered FORMs, generic chunks (shown as (any).chunkname), and registered new chunks for existing FORMs (shown as formname.chunkname). The center column describes where additional information on the FORM or chunk may be found. Items marked “EA IFF” are described in the main chapters of the EA IFF specs. Those marked “IFF TP” are described in the third-party specifications section. Items marked “propos” are submitted proposals, some of which are private. And items marked with “—” are private or yet unreleased specifications.
Chunk ID Reference Description
(any).ANNO IFF Standard EA IFF 85 generic annotation chunk
(any).AUTH IFF Standard EA IFF 85 generic author chunk
(any).CHRS IFF Standard EA IFF 85 generic character string chunk
(any).CSET IFF_TP chunk for specifying character set
(any).FRED -- Private ASDG global chunk
(any).FVER IFF_TP chunk for 2.0 VERSION string of an IFF file
(any).HLID IFF_TP HotLink IDentification (Soft-Logik)
(any).INFO propos This chunk contains data usually found in a file's .info file
(any).JUNK IFF_TP Always ignore this chunk
(any).UTF8 IFF_TP UTF-8 character text
(any).NAME IFF Standard EA IFF 85 generic name of art, music, etc. chunk
(any).TEXT IFF Standard EA IFF 85 generic unformatted ASCII text chunk
(any).(c) IFF Standard EA IFF 85 generic copyright text chunk
8SVX EA_IFF EA IFF 85 8-bit sound sample form
8SVX.CHAN.PAN IFF_TP Stereo chunks for 8SVX form
8SVX.SEQN.FADE IFF_TP Looping chunks for 8SVX form
ACBM IFF_TP Amiga Contiguous Bitmap form
AHAM ---- unregistered (???)
AHIM private AHI Modes
AHIM.AUDN private AUDio driver Name
AHIM.AUDD private AUDio driver Data
AHIM.AUDM private AUDio Mode
AIFF IFF_TP Audio 1-32 bit samples (Mac, Apple II, Synthia Pro)
AIFF.COMM IFF_TP Describes fundamental parameters of the sampled sound
AIFF.SSND IFF_TP Contains the actual sample frames
ANBM IFF_TP Animated bitmap form (Framer, Deluxe Video)
ANIM IFF_TP Cel animation form
ANIM.brush IFF_TP ANIM brush format
ANIM.op6 IFF_TP Stereo (3D) animations
ANIM.op7 IFF_TP Maximum playback speed and acceptable packing rates
ANIM.op8 IFF_TP Maximum playback speed and acceptable packing rates. Easier to use than ANIM.op7
ARC propos archive format proposal (old)
ARES ---- unregistered (???)
ATXT ---- temporarily reserved
AVCF private AmigaVision Flow format (currently private)
BANK ---- Soundquest Editor/Librarian MIDI Sysex dump
BBSD ---- BBS Database, F. Patnaude, Jr., Phalanx Software
C100 ---- Cloanto Italia private format
CAT IFF Standard EA IFF 85 group identifier
CELP propos For storage of compressed ZyXEL voice data (reserved)
CHBM ---- Chunky bitmap (name reserved by Eric Lavitsky)
CLIP ---- CAT CLIP to hold various formats in clipboard
CMUS propos Common MUsical Score
CPFM ---- Cloanto Personal FontMaker (doc in their manual)
DCCL ---- DCTV paint clip
DCPA ---- DCTV paint palette
DCTV ---- DCTV raw picture file
DECK ---- private format for Inovatronics CanDo
DEEP IFF_TP Chunky pixel image files (used in TV Paint)
DOC ---- unregistered (PageStream)
DR2D IFF_TP 2D object standard format
DSDR ---- unregistered (DrawStudio)
DRAW ---- reserved by Jim Bayless, 12/90
DTYP IFF_TP DataTypes identification
EXEC propos Proposed form for executable (loadseg-able) code
FANT IFF_TP Fantavision movie format
FAX3 ---- private GPSoftware FAX format, no longer used
FAXX.GPHD IFF_TP Additional header info for FAXX forms
FAXX IFF_TP Facsimile image form
FIGR ---- Deluxe Video - reserved
FILM ---- LIST FILM - For storing ILBMs with interleaved 8SVX audio
FNTR IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved for raster font
FNTV IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved for vector font
FORM IFF Standard EA IFF 85 group identifier
FTXT IFF Standard EA IFF 85 formatted text form
GRYP propos byteplane storage proposal (copyrighted)
GSCR IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved general music score
GMS IFF_TP Gesture and Motion Signal GMS Web Site
GUI propos user interface storage proposal (private)
HEAD IFF_TP Flow - New Horizons Software
ILBM EA_IFF EA IFF 85 raster bitmap form
ILBM.3DCM ---- reserved by Haitex
ILBM.3DPA ---- reserved by Haitex
ILBM.ASDG ---- private ASDG application chunk
ILBM.BHBA ---- private Photon Paint chunk (brushes)
ILBM.BHCP ---- private Photon Paint chunk (screens)
ILBM.BHSM ---- private Photon Paint chunk
ILBM.CLUT IFF_TP Color Lookup Table chunk
ILBM.CMYK IFF_TP Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, & Black color map (Soft-Logik)
ILBM.CNAM IFF_TP Color naming chunk (Soft-Logik)
ILBM.CTBL.DYCP IFF_TP Newtek Dynamic HAM color chunks
ILBM.DCTV ---- reserved
ILBM.DGVW ---- private Newtek DigiView chunk
ILBM.DPI IFF_TP Dots per inch chunk
ILBM.DPPV IFF_TP DPaint perspective chunk (EA)
ILBM.DRNG IFF_TP DPaint IV enhanced color cycle chunk (EA)
ILBM.EPSF IFF_TP Encapsulated Postscript chunk
ILBM.PCHG IFF_TP Line by line palette control information (Sebastiano Vigna)
ILBM.PRVW propos A mini duplicate ILBM used for preview (Gary Bonham)
ILBM.TMAP ---- Transparency map (temporarily reserved)
VTAG propos Viewmode tags chunk suggestion
ILBM.XBMI IFF_TP eXtended BitMap Information (Soft-Logik)
ILBM.XSSL IFF_TP Identifier chunk for 3D X-Specs image (Haitex)
IOBJ ---- reserved by Seven Seas Software
IODK ---- reserved for Jean-Marc Porchet at Merging Technologies
ITRF ---- reserved
JMOV ---- reserved for Merging Technologies
LIST IFF Standard EA IFF 85 group identifier
MFAX ---- reserved for TKR GmbH & Co.
MIDI ---- Circum Design
MOVI ---- LIST MOVI - private format
MSCX ---- private Music-X format
MSMP ---- temporarily reserved
MTRX IFF_TP Numerical data storage (MathVision - Seven Seas)
NSEQ ---- Numerical sequence (Stockhausen GmbH)
OB3D propos Proposal for a standard 3D object format
OCMP IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved computer prop
OCPU IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved processor prop
OPGM IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved program prop
OSN IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved serial num. prop
PGTB IFF_TP Program traceback (SAS Institute)
PICS IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved Macintosh picture
PLBM IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved obsolete name
PMBC propos reserved for Black Belt Systems 91.12.01
PREF ---- Reserved by the AmigaOS Development Team for user preferences data, currently private
PREF.AHIG private AHI Global preferences
PREF.AHIU private AHI Unit preferences
PROP IFF Standard EA IFF 85 group identifier
PRSP IFF_TP DPaint IV perspective move form (EA)
PTCH ---- Patch file format (SAS Institute)
PTXT ---- temporarily reserved
RGB4 ---- 4-bit RGB (format not available)
RGBN and RGB8 IFF_TP RGB image forms, Turbo Silver (Impulse)
RGBX ---- temporarily reserved
ROXN ---- private animation form
SAMP IFF_TP Sampled sound format
SC3D ---- private scene format (Sculpt-3D)
SHAK ---- private Shakespeare format
SHO1 ---- reserved by Gary Bonham (private)
SHOW ---- reserved by Gary Bonham (private)
SMUS EA_IFF EA IFF 85 simple music score form
SPLT IFF_TP ASDG's file SPLiTting system
SSRE ---- reserved for Merging Technologies 92.05.04
SWRT ---- unregistered (???)
SYTH ---- SoundQuest Master Librarian MIDI System driver
TCDE ---- reserved by Merging Technologies
TDDD IFF_TP 3D rendering data, Turbo Silver (Impulse)
TERM ---- unregistered (???)
TMUI IFF_TP Toolmaker IFF project file format (ToolMaker V1.19)
TREE IFF_TP Storage of arbitrary data structures as trees (or nested lists)
TRKR propos TRacKeR style music module format proposal
UNAM IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved user name prop
USCR IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved Uhuru score
UVOX IFF Standard EA IFF 85 reserved Uhuru Mac voice
VDEO ---- private Deluxe Video format
WORD IFF_TP ProWrite document format (New Horizons)
WOWO ---- unregistered (Wordworth)
YAFA ---- unregistered animation format (Wildfire)
YUVN IFF_TP For storage of Y:U:V image data (MacroSystems)