Most commonly a .snd file contains a NeXT sound file. This is essentially the same as the au file format used by Sun Microsystems. The first four bytes of a .snd file contain the hex number 0x2e736e64 which displays as ".snd" when interpreted as ASCII text.
Another .snd file format is attributed to Apple Inc. Data stored in such files are commands for the Macintosh Sound Manager including 'wavetable' sample-based instruments and sound samples. Thus it is some kind of improved midi format. As well it can serve as a pure audio file format if only one command and one sound sample is stored in it. In this format, the first two bytes specify a 16-bit integer contain the number 1 or 2.
Programs supporting audio files with the .snd extension generally assume (and check) that it is NeXT/SUN (AU) format.
- Documentation on developer.apple.com
- List of commands on developer.apple.com
- Sox audio file format FAQ
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