.CAF File Extension

File Type 1

Core Audio File

Developer Apple
3.6  |  28 Votes
Category Audio Files
Format Binary

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 3
CAF file open in VideoLAN VLC media player 3

The CAF file structure includes a file header that stores information about the file type and CAF version and is followed by multiple data chunks. Two chunks always present in CAF files are the 1) Audio Data chunk, which contains the audio data, and the 2) Audio Description chunk, which contains information that specifies the audio data format.

Other types of chunks include the following:

  1. Channel Layout - Required for CAF files with more than one audio channel; describes the role of each channel in the file.
  2. Information - Stores text about the audio data, which includes the title and artist.
  3. Edit Comments - Contains time-stamped comments added when the CAF data is edited.
  4. Instrument - Stores descriptive information about audio data needed when the audio is used by a sampler or played as an instrument.

NOTE: For more information about CAF, view Apple's documentation.

How to open a CAF file

You can open CAF files with various audio players, including QuickTime Player 7 and later (included with macOS), VideoLAN VLC media player (multiplatform), Audacity (multiplatform), and NCH WavePad (multiplatform).

The CAF audio format is supported by Mac OS X (10.4 and later) applications that incorporate the Core Audio API. The format is also supported by iOS, beginning with version 5.0.

Open and view .CAF files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open CAF files

Updated June 14, 2021
File Type 2

CryENGINE Character Animation File

Developer Crytek
3.1  |  11 Votes
Category Developer Files
Format Binary

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

Updated August 9, 2012
File Type 3

Class Action Gradebook File

Developer CalEd Software
2.5  |  6 Votes
Category Data Files
Format Binary

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
Updated May 24, 2010
File Type 4

Cathy Catalog File

Developer Robert Vasicek
3.0  |  2 Votes
Category Database Files
Format Text

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

Updated November 6, 2020
File Type 5

Cal3D Binary Animation File

Developer Cal3D
1.8  |  6 Votes
Category 3D Image Files
Format Binary

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

Updated April 28, 2011

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