The VOC filetype, developed by Creative Labs, is synonymous with sound file formats distinctive to the Sound Blaster line of audio hardware. Debuting in the early nineties, this format played a pivotal role in the expansion of audio capabilities for personal computers of that era. The VOC structure is known for its block-oriented approach, allowing it to store sound definitions and audio data in chunks, accommodating multiple sample rates and codecs within a single file.
How VOC Files Work
VOC files consist of a series of data blocks, each prefaced with a header that defines the block type. There are various block types, including sound data blocks, silence blocks, and marker blocks, to name a few. This flexibility means that it can store not just audio data, but also information about the audio, which helps synchronize sound with visual media such as video games or presentations.
Compatibility and Usage
Though the rise of newer, more versatile audio formats has led to decreased mainstream use, VOC files are still compatible with various audio editors and playback software. Programs like Audacity, VLC media player, and GoldWave can handle VOC files, enabling users to manipulate and playback these old-school sound formats with ease.
As technology progressed, the demand for higher quality and better-compressed audio formats grew. Formats like MP3, WAV, and FLAC have taken the stage as leading solutions, offering higher compression, better sound fidelity, and broader compatibility with modern devices and software. Despite this shift, VOC files maintain a place in the field of digital audio, particularly for enthusiasts and professionals working with vintage computing resources or in sound preservation.