Quicktime: Export Sound as AIFF

Quicktime: Export Sound as AIFF

This guide will give you step-by-step instructions to exporting your audio as an AIFF file.

You should use the AIFF codec when you want to convert your audio to a format recognised by all video and audio editing software, including Final Cut Pro.

Convert your mp3, aac, mp4a or wma files to AIFF before importing into Final Cut Pro. Then they can be played back without any need for rendering (the beep when playing back indicates the need to render the audio).

How to access the Quicktime Export Options:

  • Final Cut Pro/Final Cut Express - File > Export > Using Quicktime Conversion
  • iMovie HD - Share > Quicktime, then choose Compress movie for: Expert Settings
  • iMovie 08/09 - Share > Export using Quicktime
  • Quicktime Pro - File > Export


  1. Choose Sound to AIFF for Format/Export and click Options:
  2. Set the following options. Click OK when done:
  3. Name the file, choose where to save it and click Save.


  • Set Rate to 48.000 kHz if the audio is for a video piece. Set Rate to 44.100 kHz if the audio is for an audio CD.


Q: What is a codec?
A: The codec is the format that the video/audio is encoded (saved) as. Quicktime itself is not a format, it is a container or wrapper for various audio and video formats. Therefore a Quicktime movie could be encoded in a variety of formats, e.g. DV-PAL, Animation, H.264, etc.

Codec is short for Coder-Decoder. When saving, the data that represents the video/audio is encoded as a particular format. When the file is played back, the data is decoded using the same format. The player needs to know what the format of the file is to be able to successfully decode (play) it.


Apple's Quicktime webpage
Apple's Quicktime tutorials
Apple's Quicktime support page
Quicktime User Guide

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