MOV (.mov) is a digital file format that Apple developed, and it is used in the software application QuickTime®, as well as by many digital cameras. MOV’s container-like structure differentiates it from other media formats and makes it able to support Internet streaming video as well as hold a collection of disparate contents on distinct tracks. Contents that MOV can hold include audio and video, but also text, images, and sprites — independent graphic objects. WAV (.wav) is the Waveform Audio File Format from Microsoft® Windows®, and is used for digital audio. Thus, when you convert MOV to WAV, data that is not audio can be lost, but this type of conversion can be useful to adapt audio for particular playback devices, such as Windows® system sounds.
One way to convert MOV to WAV is within QuickTime®. This may require QuickTime® 7 and the Pro version. With an open file, using File > Export, you can then choose ‘Sound to Wave’ for the export. You can either click on ‘Save’ or explore some further options.
The more detailed options become visible by clicking on the ‘Options’ button or using the drop down ‘Default Settings’ menu. The ‘Options’ button tells you that the format of the audio will be switched to Linear PCM — there’s no choice about that — but you can control the sample size and choose between Little Endian, Floating Point, and Unsigned. You can also choose stereo or mono channels, the kHz rate, and the render quality.
It is also possible to play a preview to see the impact of your settings choices, and play the source file so that you can compare. This is especially important because within a MOV file, the sound may be in a variety of formats. These include AAC (Advanced Audio Coding), MPEG 4 (Moving Pictures Experts Group) — either High Efficiency AAC or Low Delay AAC, Apple Lossless, AMR NB (Adaptive Multi-Rate Narrowband), IMA (also known as IMA4 and IMA-ADPCM—Interactive Multimedia Association; Adaptive Differential Pulse-Code Modulation), Linear PCM (Pulse-Code Modulation), Qualcomm® PureVoice® and iLBC (Internet Low Bit Rate Codec).
If you do not have access to QuickTime®, you can find freeware and paid software to convert MOV to WAV easily through a search on the Internet. Most converters are operating system- and version-specific; that is, they will work on either Mac® computers or Windows® computers, not both and with some particular versions of the software, but not others. Many programs that convert MOV to WAV also convert other formats, so if you already have any type of converter, check to see if it will handle these file formats. The steps will be similar to those described for QuickTime®, except one usually starts by finding a file in a browser or dragging and dropping it on the interface, rather than opening it.