.CAF File Extension

Core Audio File

Developer Apple
3.6  |  29 Votes
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What is a CAF file?

A CAF file is an audio file saved in the Core Audio Format (CAF), a digital audio format based on Apple's Core Audio technology. It stores audio data, text annotations, markers, channel layouts, and other information. CAF files are similar to .AIFF and .WAVE files, but do not have a 4GB size limit and can store any number of audio channels.

More Information

Screenshot of a .caf file in VideoLAN VLC media player
CAF file open in VideoLAN VLC media player

CAF files consist of a file header, which specifies the file's type and CAF version, followed by a series of data chunks. All CAF files include an Audio Data chunk, which contains the file's audio data, and an Audio Description chunk, which specifies the audio data's format. Other, optional types of CAF data chunks include:

  • Channel Layout: Required for CAF files with more than one audio channel; describes the role of each channel
  • Information: Stores audio metadata, including title and artist
  • Edit Comments: Contains time-stamped comments added when the CAF data was edited
  • Instrument: Stores descriptive information used when the audio is loaded as a sample or instrument, by a sampler or digital audio workstation

Apple added support for the CAF format to MacOS X in version 10.4, via the Core Audio API, and to iOS in version 5.0. For more information about the CAF format, refer to Apple's official format documentation.

How to open a CAF file

You can open a CAF file with any of the following audio players and editors, to play the audio it contains:

Audacity, GarageBand, and WavePad also allow you to edit the audio a CAF file contains.

How to convert a CAF file

You can use VideoLAN VLC media player or Audacity (with the program's optional FFmpeg library installed) to convert a CAF file to other audio formats. For example, VLC can convert CAF files to the following formats:

  • .OGG - Ogg Vorbis Audio
  • .MP3 - MP3 Audio
  • .FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec

Programs that open CAF files

CryENGINE Character Animation File

Developer Crytek
3.1  |  11 Votes

File created by the CryENGINE SDK, an application suite used for making PC and console games; contains character animation data that was compiled from a .CHR character file using a .CBA compiler specification file.

More Information

CAF files are used as intermediate compilation files before building the database animation (.DBA) file, which is suitable for use in the final game deliverable.

Programs that open CAF files


Class Action Gradebook File

Developer CalEd Software
2.5  |  6 Votes

Gradebook file created by Class Action Gradebook, a program used for organizing classroom information; may contain student information, seating arrangements, homework assignments, awarded grades, and other class data.

More Information

CAF files are used for managing gradebook data and for printing reports. Teachers can generate reports such as classroom grade summaries, individual student reports, parent letters, and class and assignment graphs. Each report can be customized.

NOTE: CAF files are created by the Secondary and College editions of Class Action Gradebook.

Programs that open CAF files

CalEd Class Action Gradebook  —  Discontinued

Cathy Catalog File

Developer Robert Vasicek
3.0  |  2 Votes

A CAF file may also be a catalog created by the Cathy media cataloging tool. It contains an indexed catalog of media files that users can search through within Cathy. CAF files can be shared with other Cathy users to allow them to browse your media collection.

More Information

Cathy is a free media cataloging program that music and movie enthusiasts can use to catalog the CDs, DVDs, .MP3s, .MP4s, and other media that they own. When a user saves a catalog within Cathy, it is saved as a CAF file. After creating a CAF catalog, users can search the catalog by filename, the date a file was created, or file size.

Sometimes, Cathy users share their CAF catalogs with others, allowing those users to peruse their media collection. Note that sharing your CAF catalog with someone won't allow that person to actually play your media. However, it will allow you to compare the pieces of media you own (and maybe, inspire you to swap some files).

How to open a CAF file

You can open a CAF file in Cathy. To do so, place your CAF file in the same directory as your Cathy.exe file. Then, open Cathy. Your CAF catalog will appear in Cathy.

Programs that open CAF files


Cal3D Binary Animation File

Developer Cal3D
1.8  |  6 Votes

Three-dimensional animation file used by Cal3D, a free toolkit used for character modeling and animation; contains motion settings for the model's skeleton; specifies rotations and movements for the model's bones over time.

More Information

CAF files are used to give characters realistic human motions. They can specify animations for walking, running, or various other movements.

NOTE: Cal3D animation files can also be expressed in an XML format using .XAF files.

Programs that open or reference CAF files


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